There are many signs of aging; the most common complaints that we hear from our patients usually involve the skin and the joints. It’s no secret that, as we age, the skin becomes thinner, more wrinkled, and less pliable.
It’s also common for people to begin to complain about age just after their joints begin to show signs of degeneration—each step that they take acts as a reminder of the advancing years.
These complaints—although not life threatening—do affect the quality of life…
Although not the topic of today’s article, I could make a case that anything that impacts the quality of the skin and joints could impact the integrity of the blood vessels and vital organs. For now, however, we will forgo the life-or-death discussion in the interest of vanity and vitality.
So, what “amazing substance” exists that can improve the quality of the skin and joints?
When we are born, our skin is beautiful and smooth. In fact, we use the baby as the benchmark for nice skin when we say, “her skin is as smooth as a baby’s bottom.” One reason why babies have such soft skin is the same reason they do not suffer joint degeneration and pain. That reason is…
Don’t worry; this is not one of those articles that’s going to preach the merits of drinking water. I do believe that many of us are suffering with chronic dehydration, but I will continue under the naive assumption that you are drinking plenty of water. Assuming that this is the case, the problem is not with the amount of water in the body but rather the ability of the tissues to hold onto that water.
A sponge that has dried becomes hard and brittle. When wet, the sponge becomes pliable and easily recovers its shape after you compress it. Our body is full of microscopic sponges which reside within the skin, joints, and eyes. In fact, these microscopic sponges exist in every organ within our body—but I promised that I would not get into this topic today, so let’s move on…
The scientific name for these microscopic sponges is hyaluronic acid—“H.A.” for short.
Babies are born with high levels of hyaluronic acid in their skin; in fact, much higher concentrations than their elders—that’s you.
As we age, we produce less and less H.A. which results in some of the previously mentioned problems. In a sense, our bodies lose their “sponginess”. The solution is simple, replace the H.A. and the skin, joints and disks of the spine retain their moisture better.
H.A. is available in supplement form and we have used it, in our practice, to help men and women with a multitude of problems that are attributed to aging:
- Floaters of the eye—caused by a separation of the jelly-like material in the eye that is made up of H.A.
- Arthritis and stiff joints—worsened by lack of H.A. which makes up the lubricating fluid within the debt
- Thin, dry skin—lack of H.A. in the skin causes dryness and lack of skin pliability
- Wrinkles—H.A. deficiency prevents skin from retaining its “plumpness”
I will not claim that H.A. is the cure for arthritis—or wrinkles for that matter. I can say, however, that H.A. supplementation has helped many of my patients reverse floaters, improve arthritis pain and stiffness, and decrease the appearance of wrinkles. I have pinched the skin of seniors who have been taking H.A. and seen their skin immediately bounce back to its original shape which would not have happened before supplementation.
H.A. is available in capsules and topical creams. The capsules are very effective for all of the above mentioned issues; however, adding the H.A. to the skin in topical form can result in further improvements for wrinkles of the face and neck. The recommended dose of H.A. is 100 mg twice daily for the first month—in order to build up the H.A. rapidly. After the initial month, I recommend 100 mg, once daily, for maintenance. The recommended product is Hyaluronic Acid.