This book started with a documentary television report. ABC News reporter Connie Chung visited the Japanese village of Yuzurihara to find out why the people there were living so long yet looking so young. The TV report, aired in November of 2000, showed men and women in their 80s and 90s with smooth wrinkle-less skin, flexible joints, full heads of hair, and activity levels that defied their age. Most villagers were still active farming in family gardens that every villager tends. What to make of this? I flew to Japan to find out.
The Yuzurihara phenomenon is about a little-known molecule called hyaluronic acid. Why should such a pervasive molecule in the human body be so obscure? Hyaluronic acid is a gel-like, water-holding molecule that is the space filler and cushioning agent in all mammals. HA cushions joints, nerves, hydrates skin and hair, and fills the eye. The HA molecule is a long disaccharide, that is a sugar-like molecule, with two-molecules holding hands – glucosamine and glucuronic acid. It is the very molecule that makes humans look young.
A visit to Yuzurihara is like visiting a hidden valley where the dinosaurs are still alive. When I re-visited this past summer of 2004 I met people like Mr. Ishii, an 83-year old man who still rides his motorcycle to transport fresh vegetables he grows to the local open-air market. Most octogenarians in America are in nursing homes or slowly losing their memory. Not in Yuzurihara. For the most part,
I had carpal tunnel real bad. After a few hours on the "puter" and my arm and wrist were killing me. After taking the first pill, the HA, I noticed a very big difference, and oh, was I a happy camper. -Particia H., July 2006
villagers there aren’t plagued with arthritis as most aged Americans are. Many of them don’t even need reading glasses. Their voices don’t sound old and guttural. What is their secret of youth?
ABC news had to guess. They surmised it was the sticky vegetables in their diet. But my visit didn’t find that to be a factor. It was the estrogen-like molecules in their diet, fermented forms of soy in miso paste and tofu. These molecules, along with natural estrogen, send a signal for fibroblast cells to make more hyaluronic acid. The Japanese as a population have thicker hair, smoother skin, and exhibit fewer visible signs of aging because of this.
So you want to know
Does oral hyaluronic acid work?
Will it remove wrinkles?
Is it safe?
Is HA really the “fountain of youth?”
After 10-14 days receive improvement in walking and pain. After 2 months I have minimal pain and do not need my brace, and walk all day without limping. I have having a real hard time selling this to my doctor. - Maureen, March 2006
At what age should I begin taking oral HA?
Does HA improve eyesight?
Is oral HA absorbed?
Are there any studies to show oral HA pills work?
Are there any potential side effects?
These questions are all answered in the book.
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