Weekly Health Tip
During red carpet season, we ogle celebrities at the award ceremonies, examining their skin and hair, along with “who they’re wearing.”
It’s hard not to notice women who have clear, radiant, vibrant-looking skin, which is a sign of good health. While celebrities spend a lot of time improving the appearance of their skin from the outside, the real key to young-looking skin is proper nutrition and healthy habits.
In addition to eating healthfully and exercising, there’s a little-discussed supplement that can help prevent the wrinkling and dryness that contribute to old-looking skin. It’s called hyaluronic acid (HA). HA is a glycosaminoglycan that acts as the intracellular cement or glue of connective tissue. Connective tissue, as the term suggests, serves the function of supporting and binding other tissues. The loose connective tissue holds the skin and internal organs in place, while the fibrous connective tissue includes tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. In essence, hyaluronic acid not only helps to provide the structural framework of connective tissue, it is the actual “glue” that holds our body together.
Maintaining HA in body tissues is an important anti-aging strategy. One of the reasons our skin develops lines and wrinkles is due to the loss of HA. By the time most people reach the age of 70, the HA content in their body has dropped by 80% from when they were 40. After the age of 45 or so, HA levels in the skin begin to plummet.
There is a great deal of evidence that applying HA topically helps prevent wrinkles. But now researchers have discovered that taking hyaluronic acid orally is also beneficial for restoring moisture and youthful suppleness to the skin. Recent clinical studies using oral HA in patients with dry and rough skin have shown that patients given a supplement consisting of purified, bioavailable hyaluronic acid had a significant increase (46%) over baseline values in the moisture content of their skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a substance found in our bodies that’s essential for health, but now we know it’s also a key to beautiful-looking skin.
Do you want to lower your blood pressure without the harmful side effects of pharmaceuticals? The good news is that there are a number of safe, effective, and natural foods and nutrients that will help you do it.
Over 60 million Americans have high blood pressure, including more than half (54%) of all Americans age 65 to 74 years old and nearly three quarters (72%) of all American blacks in the same age group.
Did you know, that a nectarine is considered a smooth skinned peach? Native to China, peaches and nectarines were spread to the Middle East and Europe by the Roman Empire. Today, the largest peach producing countries include Japan, Australia, and South America.
· Both peaches and nectarines have high levels of potassium, carotenes, flavonoids, and natural sugars.
· One medium sized peach, about 3½ ounces, contains 49 calories.
· Peaches and nectarines are good sources of carotenes, and the flavonoids lycopene and lutein.
· The carotenes and flavonoids found in peaches and nectarines are effective at preventing macular degeneration, heart disease and cancer.
Both peaches and nectarines are best June through August. If a peach is ripe, you should be able gently apply pressure to the skin, creating a small indent. Wonderful on their own, or added as topping to a salad, peaches and nectarines are a bright and healthy addition to your summer menu. Try grilling your peaches outside on the barbecue and topping them with honey for a great warm weather dessert! For more Healing Facts, check both the Doctor Murray and Good Cacao (facebook.com/goodcacao) page for weekly installments!
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a movement disorder that is the result of damage to the nerves in the area of the brain that is responsible for controlling muscle tension and movement. The damaged cells are the ones needed to produce the neurotransmitter called dopamine. Main symptoms can include shaking or tremor at rest, slow movement, stiffness or rigidity of limbs and problems with balance.
The first biochemical abnormality in PD is a decrease in the level of glutathione (GSH), the brain cell’s primary antioxidant. The low GSH makes the cells more susceptible to oxidative damages—such as induced by environmental toxins—thus setting the stage for the destruction of the brain cell. There are a number of dietary and environmental factors that are thought to be responsible for the initial decrease in GSH. Likewise there are a number of dietary and lifestyle factors that offer protection. A new study highlights the benefits of members of the nightshade (Solanacea) family of vegetables that includes tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.
Population based studies show that people who smoke cigarettes are 60 percent less likely to get PD than those who have never smoked. Studies in animals and cell cultures indicate that nicotine is able to slow the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells and in some models actually rescue the brain cells back to health.
If you’re a smoker, don’t get too excited. Though nicotine may offer some protection against PD it greatly increases the risk for major killers like heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Though clinical studies are underway looking at nicotine patches to delay the progression of PD, dietary sources of nicotine may prove to be the best approach.
Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle decided to test whether risk of Parkinson disease (PD) is associated with consumption of nicotine-containing edibles from the same botanical family as tobacco, Solanaceae, including peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes.
The researchers evaluated 490 patients who were diagnosed with PD and compared them to 644 with no neurological disorders who served as a control group. All were asked about their lifetime diets and tobacco use. Tobacco use was defined as ever smoking more than 100 cigarettes or regularly using cigars, pipes or smokeless tobacco.
Eating more vegetables in general did not lower Parkinson’s risk, but eating vegetables in the Solanaceae family did. People who ate these types of vegetables lowered their risk 19 percent on average, compared with those who did not eat these vegetables. People who ate the most peppers, about two to four peppers weekly, had the strongest risk-lowering association. They lowered the risk of PD by 30 percent.
Nielsen SS, Franklin GM, Longstreth WT, Swanson PD, Checkoway H. Nicotine from edible Solanaceae and risk of Parkinson disease. Ann Neurol. 2013 May 9. doi: 10.1002/ana.23884. [Epub ahead of print]