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Your Environment. Your Health.

Visionary Ideas: Health Status or Disease

New Strategic Plan

Visionary Ideas

NIEHS established a special website for visitors to submit, vote on, or comment on Visionary Ideas, as well as discuss strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for NIEHS. Visionary Ideas are as submitted, unedited for grammar or spelling.

Idea 1: Environmental factors and metabolic diseases

Metabolic diseases have attracted substantial attention from many research fields due the huge social-economical impact of these diseases. It is generally believed that environmental factors do play a role in the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes (type II diabetes in particular). However, there is a lack of in-depth study to understand the mechanisms by which environmental factors and the metabolic enzymes and transporters controlled by environmental factors may influence energy metabolism than thus the onset of metabolic diseases. The mechanistic studies will be invaluable to developing intervention strategies, including environmental interventions, in order to prevent or delay the onset of metabolic diseases. Such programs could be developed in partnership with NIDDK to draw broad attention.

Idea 2: Environmental factors and their association with lung disease

Much has been written about lung disease in man and animals. But little innovation has happened until the last decade. We can now measure markers of disease in exhaled breath and we have the potential to look forward and quantify which VOC's and molecules when associated together cause disease. Technology is now at hand that can measure molecules in the parts per trillion.  These analytical instruments are now portable and cost effective. Lets look to the future as to how we can make our environment a cleaner and more environmentally friendly home for all of the mammals that inhabit it.

Idea 3: Exposome: linking exposure to disease

The exposome offers a conceptual leap towards understanding the environmental causes of human disease through unbiased studies of the internal chemical environment using repeated blood samples especially during critical life stages. It replaces the chemical-by-chemical approach to finding causes of disease and includes endogenous and exogenous exposures. Several ‘omic’ technologies can be applied to characterize the exposome of specific diseases and can thereby promote discovery of the key exposures responsible for chronic diseases.

Idea 4: Exposure/effect biomarkers for environmentally linked disease

Expanding the development and application of biomarkers in personalized medicine to inform about environmentally-linked human health risks at the level of the individual.

Idea 5: Fattening for feed animals cause human obesity

I think that all the products that the feed industry use to increase the weight of animals (poultry, lamb, cow, pork) when we eat them we following increase our weight do to fattening agents.

Idea 6: Food as the body's first line of defense

All over the United States farmers are growing food that is free-range, grass-fed, pesticide, herbicide and hormone free.  Why would we want to put anything in our body that isn't wholesome and real.  Simple, real food grown in chemical free soil

Comment 1
Great idea!!!!

Comment 2
Great Idea.
We have complete populations that have lived on Organic Foods for Many Years.  We have Complete Populations that live on a “High Trans Fat Diets”.   We have Complete Populations around the World that live on Rice Based Diets.   To gather all the Information and Quantify it should be fairly easy.

Comment 3
This is very important for public health.

Idea 7: Birth Defects

We at the Agent Orange working group made comments on the voting site, providing email addresses and requests with regard to the studies we are trying to get done by and Autism Speaks. So far we have received an incredible number of "Visionary ideas - comments" but no email addresses or questions about the survey. Please contact us at 702-742-3398 or via email at so that we can figure out how to reach these effected families. We have more than 1 million names internationally.

Idea 8: Immune system

I often wonder why more research is not being done to improve our immune system,  To my knowledge, we only have Low Dose Naltrexone to boost our immune system, when ill or affected by autoimmune diseases. We need more direction to improving our own immune system, for possibly cures or prevention.

David hallgarth lubbock tx

Idea 9: Interaction between life style choices and environmental toxin

The toxic environment of the work place.
Role of stressors interacting with our exposure to environmental pollutants.
Modulating effect, mitigating effect of "healthy lifestyle" nutrition(obesity plus the quality of the food we ingest),  exercise,. stress modulation, balancing work with relaxation and its relationship to toxic environmental exposure.

Idea 10: New innovative programmatic research topics

Understanding why the prevalence of cognitive developmental delay continues to rise despite the implementation of policies, programs, and/or interventions designed to reduce exposure to environmental contaminants known to cause or exacerbate these illnesses (e.g., learning deficits and ambient air pollution)

Understanding why some programs designed to address communities where environmental exposure is prevalent fail to be cost effective

Examining how harmful and beneficial aspects of the social and physical environment are differentially distributed by neighborhoods, how these conditions interact with other factors to compound the effects of environmental exposures, and how such interactions may result in a greater impact of environmental exposures on minority populations (by socio-economic status or ethnicity)

Using multidisciplinary approaches and systems methodology to examine the cumulative health impacts of multiple environmental exposures (physical, chemical, biological, social, and psychosocial) at multiple levels (i.e., the home, workplace, neighborhoods, and community/population) to determine appropriate policy and prevention strategies.

Examining policy resistant problems that are related to multilevel factors that affect environmental exposure screening (e.g., for childhood development, heart disease, stroke, cancer, HIV-AIDS or any other disease or risk factor) and the multilevel causal pathways through which these factors ultimately influence screening behavior and health outcomes.

Sorry, but this topic appears overly broad.

Idea 11: Salutogenic environmental health research

NIEHS has invested a wealth of resources in focusing on exposure to environmental agents and negative health outcomes.  The focus on biomedical and reductionist science limits our ability to holistically assess and understand the nature of environmental exposures at multiple levels, multiple scales, and different time points.  This focus also limits our ability to understand positive environmental exposures particularly built environment and social exposures that helps add to community resiliency and ability of populations and individuals to overcome acute and chronic environmental exposures.  The study of salutogenic environments will help us to do more to build healthy and sustainable community ecosystems and do more to prevent negative health outcomes for populations and individuals.  We do not always have to do mechanistic research at the molecular or cellular level to understand the role that environmental factors play on health.  By taking a more systems approach and a focus on salutogenesis, we can come up with multidisciplinary integrated solutions to improving environmental health and population health.

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