Streptococcus is a diverse genus that plays a role in disease and food production. Streptococcus pneumoniae generates high levels of hydrogen peroxide. This is the principal compound associated with oxidative stress, which deserves our attention. Most bacteria use catalase for protection against hydrogen peroxide. However, Streptococcus has a mysterious response that includes the production of more hydrogen peroxide. Let’s learn more about the implications of this study on human health as it relates to the Coronavirus and COVID-19 in 2021.
Streptococcus Hydrogen Peroxide Production
Streptococcus strains are catalase negative. This means that they have the ability to grow in the presence of high levels of hydrogen peroxide. This provides a selective advantage for these bacteria and catalase positive bacteria when the host environment has appreciable levels of hydrogen peroxide. Long-term, elevated levels of Oxidative Stress promote the growth of these bacteria. It may explain why people with chronic health conditions associated with oxidative stress are more susceptible to secondary infections.
Blood Oxidative Stress
About 2/3 of adult Americans have Blood Oxidative Stress or BLOS. For BLOS, a large fraction of the White Blood Cells and platelets produce high rates of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), such as hydrogen peroxide. BLOS is not normal and the Western Diet is thought to be the primary cause of BLOS. Higher BLOS levels may be the cause of several chronic diseases including Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease. Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) is a group of compounds associated with Oxidative Stress. These ROS molecules alter expression profiles (enzyme production) and damage DNA. The most common ROS molecule is hydrogen peroxide. Streptococcus increases the level of hydrogen peroxide or Oxidative Stress in the body.
Streptococcus Amplifies Oxidative Stress
All Streptococcus strains generate more hydrogen peroxide. This should be of concern for people suffering from BLOS. The response varies among the different strains. For example, S. pneumoniae has a strong response, which makes it more dangerous. The combination of BLOS and Streptococcus could be dangerous.
Inhibition of Inflammation
Low levels of hydrogen peroxide are thought to induce inflammation via inflammasomes. Inflammasomes clear infections when activated. However, elevated level of hydrogen peroxide (50-100 micromolar) inhibits inflammasomes. This decreases their effectiveness at clearing infections. In low-BLOS individuals (i.e., healthy), an uncontrolled S. pneumoniae infection is dangerous. It may inhibit inflammasome activity causing severe health problems and even death (see figure below). However, the death risk of healthy folks is low. Individuals with BLOS are at risk for these health problems for a less advanced S. pneumoniae infection. Individuals with BLOS are more susceptible to S. pneumoniae, since hydrogen peroxide provides selective pressure against catalase-negative bacteria. That means S. pneumoniae (and other Streptococcus strains) has a selective advantage in folks with BLOS.
Streptococcus pneumoniae Is A Dangerous Secondary Bacterial Infection
Streptococcus pneumoniae generates high levels of hydrogen peroxide, which inhibits inflammasomes. This aspect makes it difficult for the host to fight off and clear infections. Secondary bacterial pneumonia is dangerous in hospitalized patients that contracted viral infections, such as influenza or coronavirus. Elderly patients and folks suffering from chronic health conditions are most at risk of developing secondary bacterial pneumonia. This may cause cause pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis. These patients have a greater risk of death compared to healthy humans contracting a viral infection.
Pneumovax-23 Prevents Pneumonia
Hospital treatment for Covid-19 cost between $75,000-$100,000 for a 10 day visit. However, Pneumonia vaccines, such as the Pneumovax-23, could prevent secondary infection by S. pneumoniae. In turn, this reduces the death risk of these patients. Full immunity takes 2-3 weeks. The $100 investment in the pneumonia vaccine is a pragmatic, inexpensive approach to reducing your death risk and a hefty hospital bill. There are a high number of at-risk patients in the USA. You may not be able to get hospital treatment due to the lack of hospital beds. At this time, physicians should check patient records to identify at risk patients that may benefit from Pneumovax-23.
Is There Anything Else You Can Do?
Could antioxidant supplements manage BLOS with the goal of maintaining inflammasome activity? A drastic change in your diet might take 1-2 weeks. It takes that much time for blood cell to turnover. There is a clinical trial evaluating an IV treatment using Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant. Medical researchers want to determine whether it could be useful in the fight against Oxidative Stress from COVID-19. Use this calculator to determine your risk of hospitalization, ICU admission, and death for your age, gender, and health. I will update this blog post with any information that could be helpful.
Health Hack for Life
If you are a curious about BLOS and want to learn more, then my eBook, “Let’s Hack Oxidative Stress” may interest you. I provide more details on my simple strategy for using three lifestyle choices to reduce your Oxidative Stress and improve your health. I have a collection of eBooks and Paperback Versions that describe general and custom Health Hacks. The rest of the items needed for your Hack are available through Amazon or your local stores. However, there is a simpler way to gather up all of the products for your Hack: Buy an Oxidative Stress Hack Kit from my Store!
Glixin Provides Useful Information to Help You Fight BLOS
We will continue to provide thought provoking Blog Posts on health related issues caused by BLOS. Consider subscribing to my blog and sharing posts with your family and friends that may suffer from BLOS. Also check out the new Glixin YouTube Channel. I will post new videos related to the Glixin Blog. Keep BLOS out of your Health Blind Spot by learning how to use make better Lifestyle Choices.
As always, read my disclaimer and consult with your physician before making any changes in your diet or fitness regime.
Click on the image below to download our Free Report on the Best Vitamin C Supplement for fighting Oxidative Stress.