An explosion of chronic disease has quietly descended upon the U.S. In the past generation, 36 fast-growing diseases and conditions more than doubled. 20 more than tripled…
Explosion of Disease
An explosion of chronic disease has quietly descended upon the U.S. In the past generation, 36 fast-growing diseases and conditions more than doubled.
20 more than tripled. 16 more than quadrupled. At least 170 million Americans are now affected by at least one of these new age diseases.
The Diseases of Civilization
Several characteristics make these chronic diseases and conditions part of a new “era of disease.” First, they are all germless. These conditions are not contagious, nor are they spread by bacteria, viruses, molds or parasites. Instead, scientists believe they are caused by something in our diet, lifestyle or environment. They are man-made. These are the so called diseases of civilization.
New Disease Groups
The second characteristic is the emergence of four new disease groups. Until recently, the focus of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been on cancer, diabetes, infectious disease and heart disease.
These four new categories of disease are system-focused. Each is highly associated with either neurological, auto-inflammatory or metabolic processes. This means all 36 fast-growing chronic conditions either attack our brain, nervous system, immune system or our core ability to create vital energy. Only three new age diseases are cancers.
While the heart disease and cancer categories still persists in the US, the diseases experiencing the fastest growth and highest costs are associated with these new categories:
|Disease/ Condition||People Affected|
|Neurological Disorders||91+ million|
|Autoimmune Disease||50+ million|
|Sleep Conditions||101+ million|
The annual economic burden associated with just these four is now more than $2.7 trillion.
Until recently, none of these medical conditions exceeded typical global norms. In fact, prior to 1990 the prevalence of these conditions was just a fraction of current levels. Since then, the US has added more than 394 million new cases of just 36 new age diseases.. The US now leads the rest of the world by a wide margin in each category.
The third shared characteristic of these new age diseases is there are no effective cures. While some conditions may be preventable by changing diet, lifestyle or environment, cures remain elusive. In fact, no recognized cures exist for any of the 36 fastest-growing diseases. This means for more than half of all Americans, there is little hope. It feels like a life-sentence.
Prevention with a Caveat
Avoiding dietary triggers like sugar and lifestyle factors such as poor sleep habits seems straightforward for chronic disease prevention. But a real dilemma is created by the environmental causes of these diseases. Avoiding environmental factors is infinitely more problematic. For instance, how do we avoid exposures to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) or airborne chemicals?
These are just two of the realities we face in our brave new world. Along with pesticides, these environmental factors have each grown by more than 3000% since 1990. All three have been scientifically associated with the main diseases driving the US health crisis.
Silence is deafening
Few have recognized a most prolific health crisis which is currently afoot in the US. Despite an annual economic burden from chronic, germless disease of nearly $3 trillion, there has been virtually no public attention paid to this issue. No TIME magazine cover story. No 60 Minutes special. No Washington Post investigative reporting. No political debate. Only silence.
The rest of us are left wondering, “Did we miss the memo?”
A Single Molecule to Blame?
A paper I published in 2016, “The Root Cause in the Dramatic Rise of Chronic Disease,” links a single molecule to all 36 diseases studied. This connection suggests a possible path for identifying a cure. If this molecule can be controlled, it could mean the reduction or elimination of dozens of devastating diseases and medical conditions.
Here is a sampling of chronic conditions, all of which have more than doubled since 1990:
- Kidney Disease
- Panic Disorder
- Celiac Disease
- Squamous Cell Cancer
- Autoimmune Disease
- Sleep Apnea
- Food Allergies
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Bipolar Disorder
- Thyroid Disease
- Diabetes I & II
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Irritable Bowel (IBS)
- Fibromyalgia/ CFS
Today, these chronic conditions cripple the productivity of more than half of the US population. Lost wages alone exceed $1.3 trillion annually. If a single, controllable, molecule sits at the heart of this health crisis, scientists surely must be close to a cure for three dozen devastating chronic diseases. Correct? Not so fast.
More Silence in the Media and Political Arena
I submitted these findings to the US President, several prestigious investigative news organizations and a half dozen members of the 115th Congress. No response. While more than 3,600 scientists and researchers have already read my “Root Cause” paper on ResearchGate, there seems to be little or no interest within the media or political arena.
The US is presently experiencing a serious health crisis and yet, the public remains both unaware of the scope of the epidemic itself and the fact that root causes may already be known. Meanwhile, the average American suffers from 2.1 chronic diseases or conditions. In the political arena, the debate on health care rages on. Health costs are spiraling out of control. Yet, why is there silence on the health crisis itself?
The Plot Thickens
Much of the scientific community has been keenly aware of the connection between a single molecule, called peroxynitrite, and chronic disease for more than a decade. To simplify, let’s call peroxynitrite, P.
Peroxynitrite destroying DNA
According to a top team of scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), P is associated with more than sixty chronic diseases. In their landmark paper, “Nitric Oxide and Peroxynitrite in Health and Disease” the NIH team establishes P as one of the most devastating molecules created in the human body. In addition to linking it to more than 100 biological disruptions, the NIH team connects P with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. This paper was published in 2007.
Hundreds of scientists have shown that P both causes and acts in concert with other biological factors like chronic inflammation and high levels of free radicals (oxidative stress). It also cripples the mitochondria’s ability to create energy (ATP). These four biomarkers are highly correlated to most of the diseases of civilization, including all 36 fast-growing diseases. According to US government website, PUBMED, at least 8,000 studies confirm the extensive biochemical havoc P creates, including the more than 100 biological effects reported NIH.
Still, most physicians and medical practitioners remain in the dark. Both causes and cures for chronic illness remain elusive. For most germless, chronic conditions, doctors have few ideas for causes. And even then, there is little consensus. Even fewer have answers for cures. Most physicians have never heard of peroxynitrite. Shockingly, the insights of thousands of scientists have not made their way through to the medical community. The best doctors can do today is prescribe drugs for symptom management. This leaves more than half of us suffering from at least one chronic condition. This often means a life sentence for taking prescription medicine. Cures and causes remain elusive.
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If Scientists know, Why don’t we?
When I discovered the crucial role P plays in the explosion of chronic disease, I contacted Dr. Pal Pacher, the lead author from the landmark NIH paper mentioned earlier. I asked Dr. Pacher, “Why don’t we know about peroxynitrite’s role in chronic disease?” He quickly responded that some pharmaceutical companies had tried to create a prescription drug to eliminate P from the body. However, these drug companies gave up because they were unable to synthesize a clean drug for public use. I was stunned. I was actually intending a much larger question. So I repeated it: “Why don’t ‘we’ know? I mean, why doesn’t the public know?” Silence.
A chilling implication hung in the air. Could it be that both the medical community and the public are wholly dependent on the pharmaceutical industry to communicate scientific breakthroughs? Dr. Pacher’s response seems to suggest this harsh reality. This troubling realization points to a huge flaw in how science generally gets translated into clinical medicine.
Though the scientific community is firmly aware of the role P plays in disease, physicians and the medical community, in general, have never heard of peroxynitrite. While disturbing in itself, what follows evokes an even more frightening question. Does this mean that unless scientific breakthroughs are successfully translated into prescription drugs or medical products, the medical community and the general public is left in the dark?
Later, I discovered more than 20 natural scavengers which can reduce, or possibly eliminate P. Herbs, spices and supplements like cloves, turmeric, mega doses of citric acid, vitamin E, ginger, rosemary, green tea and garlic are all capable of reducing levels of P. That’s when the light bulb really went on. Two epiphanies suddenly exploded into view.
First, why would any pharmaceutical company create a wonder drug that could eliminate disease for 170 million people? This single drug could potentially eliminate the need for hundreds of already successful drugs overnight. Profits would plummet. Shareholders would not be happy.
Second, if there are really so many natural scavengers for P, pharmaceutical companies have little incentive to sink R&D costs into creating a drug to reduce or eliminate it.
Despite the existence of extraordinary science on peroxynitrite, which potentially reveals the root cause of chronic disease, flaws in the current healthcare system prevent these crucial insights from getting through. Consequently, nearly 53% of Americans are left without access to possible cures and treatments for more than three dozen diseases!
Did we really miss the Memo?
Questions remain. Why hasn’t the public been informed about the scope and cost of the huge health crisis that is currently plaguing the US? What is preventing the scientific insights from more than 8,000 studies on peroxynitrite and the other related biological factors from finding their way through the system? Why are most of us still in the dark?
Yes, it looks like we’ve completely missed the memo.
Or maybe – there never was one.
The more we learn of this story, the more questions arise: Why do our politicians and the media remain silent? Will at least one courageous journalist rise up and look a little deeper at this crucial social issue? Will someone in Congress finally call for an investigation into the sudden explosion of so many diseases of civilization in the US?
There is substantial evidence that this new “era of disease” is real. Neurological and autoimmune diseases are skyrocketing Obesity and sleep issues each affect more than 100 million Americans. Together, government websites like the CDC, NCBI and NIH report more than 700 million cases for just 36 chronic diseases and conditions in the US. More than 400 million new cases have been diagnosed in a single generation.
Have we really entered a new era of disease in the US?
“If so, when will we finally get the memo?”