Category: Blood Oxidative Stress Impact on Health Care
Blood Oxidative Stress or BLOS is thought to be responsible for annual health care costs of $800B in the United States. The management of BLOS may be an effective strategy for treating and reversing many health problems.
For drivers, the Blind Spot is the most dangerous unknown. For Americans and others that consume the Western Diet, Oxidative Stress is the Blind Spot for Health Care. Oxidative Stress is thought to be the cause of multiple health problems with many remaining asymptomatic for years. The list of diseases attributed to Oxidative Stress include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and more. If you ask Americans about their health state and compare it to their actual health state, then you will see their Blind Spot, too.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Healthiest of Them All?
The figure below compares the results of a 2015 Self Survey of Adult Americans for Health State and BMI. In the third column, the corresponding Diabetic State or Blood Oxidative Stress (BLOS) level are shown. About 1/3 of Adult Americans report Excellent Health with BMI and BLOS (most likely) in agreement. About 10% are honest about their Poor (and Fair) Health with Type 2 Diabetes being difficult to ignore. Here is the Blind Spot: About 60% of Adult Americans think they are in Good or Very Good Health, but BMI and corresponding BLOS level tell a different story. Why?
BLOS is a Long-Term Health Problem
Being Overweight or Obese is the primary target of public health professionals, but it should be a secondary target. Extra weight does not cause health problems beyond leg and joint problems. The evidence that fat causes chronic health problems is scant. Elevated BMI is only a Risk Factor. However, oxidative stress is thought to cause several health problems, due to reactive oxygen species (ROS). Continuous production of ROS by BLOS impacts tissue throughout your body. Long-term, elevated Blood Oxidative Stress or BLOS should be the primary target, since it is an asymptomatic disease. Reduction and management of BLOS may prevent the development of multiple health problems.
The traditional Wellness program offers employees a number of benefits that focus on improving morale with little if any ROI. Encouraging employees to make healthier choices with respect to diet and exercise is great, but the financial gain is difficult to measure. Does the employee’s Lifestyle Choices prevent major health care problems in the future? This is a difficult question to answer, since weight or BMI are risk factors and not causes of health care problems.
2nd Type: Avoid the Emergency Room!
The second type of Wellness program focuses on identifying employees at risk of a major health problem. For these employees, this wellness program is a disease management program that reduces the cost of intensive medical care (that means Emergency Room visit). These plans don’t manage a disease. Instead, they provide a strategy to avoid the high cost of a catastrophic event. Periodic testing may reveal a significant change in the employee’s physiological state, which may lead to a major medical event (e.g., heart attack). Immediate medical attention for this employee may prevent the medical event and reduce the overall health care costs.
Are There Only 2 Types of Wellness Programs?
Is this the best that we can do? Should we wait for the cumulative effect of long-term poor Lifestyle Choices for an Asymptomatic Disease like Cardiovascular Disease to manifest as a major medical event? Is there a better way to structure Wellness Programs? Could there first type of Wellness Program that focuses on Life Style Choices be better with a ROI? (of course, read on!)
The Right To Try Bill is a new Law, which offers hope for terminally ill patients interested in trying experimental drugs that passed Phase 1 safety standards from the FDA. While encouraging, the grim reality of experimental drugs is that a large majority fail in Phase 2/3 of Clinical Trials. This is despite Pre-Clinical experiments providing evidence that these experimental drugs work in animal models. Could variable levels of Oxidative Stress in humans cause some of this failure? If true, then there may be a simple way to improve the odds of an experimental drug working for Right To Try patients. This approach should also interest Big Pharma. An Oxidative Stress Test provides feedback on lifestyle choices for lowering Oxidative Stress. This approach should be used prior to using experimental drugs for better results.
Elevated Blood Oxidative Stress May Impact Clinical Trials
The primary source of Oxidative Stress in adult Americans is from blood cells, which we call Blood Oxidative Stress or BLOS. Although about 2/3 of adult Americans are thought to suffer from elevated levels of BLOS, medical researchers do NOT control it during Clinical Trials. Control in this context means minimizing BLOS during the clinical trial. But Big Pharma has been doing this for decades and this is the right approach for evaluating experimental drugs, right?
If Black Swan in the title got your attention, then you are already familiar with Nassim Taleb’s work on Black Swans. Beyond the financial sector, there is interest in predicting Black Swans in other sectors including Health Care. What if the Black Swan for Health Care isn’t a digital product or novel class of promising drugs? What if it’s a new, broad impacting asymptomatic disease that escaped the attention of medical researchers and the general public? This potential Black Swan is Blood Oxidative Stress or BLOS. An estimated 2/3 of adult Americans suffer from BLOS costing $1T/year in Health Care costs. BLOS extends beyond the USA impacting Europe and many countries that adopted the Western Diet.
What is Blood Oxidative Stress (BLOS)?
Blood Oxidative Stress or BLOS is a high percentage of blood cells generating reactive oxygen species (ROS). Once induced to generate ROS, these blood cells generate it until replacement (about 1 week). The high prevalence of BLOS in Western Countries suggests that the Western Diet may be the culprit. One theory suggests that excessive dietary inorganic sulfur may lead to the proliferation of sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) in the gut. Many food preservatives and additives contain inorganic sulfur, which is common in the Western Diet. In turn, these SRB have the potential to generate high amounts of sulfide in the gut. Short bursts of sulfide production in the gut are thought to induce the ROS response in captive blood cells.