hyaluronic acid - the secret to a long and healthy life...

Hyaluronic acid, (HA) sometimes referred to as ‘the fountain of youth’ is known to many of us as a ‘hot’ new ingredient in skin creams. What exactly is it, and does it have other benefits?

A reporter visited the people of Usuri Hara, near Mount Fuji in Japan, and found that in this small mountainous village, 90 year olds are commonplace and more than 10% of the population is 85 or older! What is not common is disease. Cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s are virtually unheard of. Is this genetic, or due to their low-stress lives, or because they consume HA-rich foods.

What is HA?
HA is a polysaccharide (a type of carbohydrate molecule) naturally present in the human body. Levels decline with age, and supplements are often recommended to treat or prevent ageing-related health problems. It is found in the highest concentrations in fluids in the eyes and joints, and in connective tissue, and it helps the body resist wear and tear.

Secret Sticky Potatoes?
Japanese researchers first thought that the health secret of these villagers was connected to potatoes, their staple diet. Generations ago the villagers discovered that in the hilly terrain, potatoes were easier to plant than rice. A local doctor is of the opinion that their diet gives them an abundance of HA. He told reporters that he has never seen a case of skin cancer in Usuri Hara.

It has since been found that the reason for the villagers longevity is related to oestrogen-like molecules in their diet from soya and tofu, which sends signals to the cells to make more HA. Potatoes and sweet potatoes are some of the very best vegetable sources of HA, and sweet potatoes have the additional advantage of high levels of magnesium – essential for the synthesis of HA in the body. Bananas are also rich HA and magnesium. Like magnesium, vitamin C is critical for the synthesis of HA.

The Many Uses of HA
Scientists are losing no time investigating the full potential of HA in Western medicine, as shown by the thousands of patents related to its use. HA has been used for more than 20 years in many products all over the world. Some examples of its uses are as follows:

» HA is used in eye surgery as a shock absorber to protect the retina.

» The ability of HA in cream & gel form to restore moisture and elasticity to tissues is a major reason why cosmetic companies include it in moisturisers and dermatologists use it to promote healing of burns and wounds.

» HA is injected as a filler for aesthetic procedures and used in plastic surgery.

» Since 1997 doctors have been injecting HA to lubricate arthritic joints.

According to a research review published in Current Rheumatology Reports, HA may help reduce inflammation, relieve pain, restore joint fluids, and protect against cartilage breakdown in patients with osteoarthritis.

Conclusion
HA has the ability to regenerate the cells in our bodies. It is available in supplement / cream and gel forms and can possibly considered something to add to your daily regime internally and externally.

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