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What is Dry (Blood) Layer / Oxidative Stress Test? Part 2 of Live Blood Microscopy

In the June issue of Natural Awakenings, an article was written on Live Blood Microscopy which is a nutritional analysis of the blood done using a Darkfield Microscope. The Second Part of the test performed using the same state of the art high powered microscope is called Dry Layer Oxidative Stress Test. Health practitioners who use a microscope in their practice for patient education have the unique ability to observe the extent of free radical activity taking place in the body. The test is very simple. A drop of blood from a finger is placed on a specimen slide and dries in a series of layers. After the layers dry, they are observed under high powered microscope.

Blood is an interesting indicator of health and where free radicals are concerned, their activity impacts blood morphology. When free radicals attack cells, damage is done. The stuff that lies between the cells and holds them together is the interstitum, or extracellular matrix. Through free radical attack, the cells get damaged, enzyme activity is altered, and the extracellular matrix around the cells becomes compromised. Water soluble fragments of this matrix get into the blood stream and alter the blood clotting cascade. With that done, we find that blood does not coagulate perfectly. This is one mechanism for altering a “normal” blood pattern.

Reading the dry layers of blood is like reading an ink blot. It can be very revealing as to the overall state of one’s health. Blood from a healthy person will be uniform in coagulation and tightly connected. From an individual with health problems and excess free radical activity, the dry layer blood profile will be disconnected, showing puddles of white which is known as polymerized protein puddles. The more ill the person with free radical/oxidative stress, the more disconnected is the dry layer. Since free radical activity has been implicated in nearly all disease processes, this test can be used as a quick reference to gauge the severity and extent of one’s health problems.

What is oxidative stress? Oxidative stress is the state of the body in which there is an access of free radicals present. A free radical is a molecule in an unstable state because it is missing an electron. To gain stability it takes an electron from a nearby molecule. This can happen in any part of the cellular structure such as the cell membrane or within DNA. Because that second molecule is now unstable, it in turn needs to regain its stability by taking electrons from another molecule. Now a domino effect of stealing electrons begins. Without mediation, this process can lead to destruction of cellular structures such as cell membrane. Free radicals are produced naturally throughout the body as a byproduct of cellular metabolic processes. But our cells come equipped with the molecules to get rid of these free radicals. The problem comes when there is access of free radicals and our cells can no longer keep up. This is called oxidative stress load.

Food and lifestyle choices can increase the oxidative stress load. Choices such as smoking, excessive exercise, poor diet, excess alcohol consumption, radiation, UV light, pollutants and toxins cause the body to have an imbalance load of oxidative stress. An elevated oxidative stress load is a contributing factor to many chronic debilitating diseases and more over can lead to chronic inflammation response and the inappropriate upregulation of immune system both of which lead to chronic conditions such as coronary artery disease, allergies, autoimmune disorders, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, colitis and many others.

When observing Dry Blood, different systems in the body can show oxidative stress. Almost all clients exhibit oxidative stress in the Lymphatic System due to lack of exercise and movement. Some clients show an altered blood pattern where the blood cells are not fully connected which is due to abnormal coagulation (clotting process) and therefore may have cardiovascular disease. Oxidative stress may be visible in the digestive system as well as organs such as kidneys, liver and spleen. Outer layers may show issues in the bones, skin and possible heavy metal toxicity.

Oxidative Stress can be remedied with proper food/diet and/or supplementation of proteolytic enzymes under the care of a health care provider. Eating a diet of anti-oxidant rich foods and doing moderate exercise can help our cells reduce our oxidative stress load. Result of both increase antioxidants.

Antioxidants are molecules that can donate electrons without themselves becoming unstable. They essentially interrupt the breaking down of cellular membranes. Certain foods are great sources of antioxidants such as dark berries, bitter leafy greens, and a lot of other fruits and vegetables. A health care provider can set up a unique eating plan that is right for you and recommend, if needed supplements that may benefit the client. When this is done, you will have an abundance of antioxidants which will prevent cell damage and proper digestion which will eliminate leaky gut syndrome that causes havoc to the digestive system.

Larisa Belote, INHC, AADP, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Published Author of a book “Surviving Pancreatic Cancer”, and a strong believer that your body is a smart machine and can heal itself given a chance and the right set of tools. Larisa is the Founder of Step by Step Wellness. For more information or to schedule an appointment Contact Larisa at 732.490.5770 or email:; or visit

This article appears in the September 2019 issue of Natural Awakenings Magazine Monmouth Ocean edition. Click here to subscribe, thanks :)

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