Many of my patients ask me if I know of the product that will really deliver the anti-aging skin benefits it promises. They’ve tried countless creams and serums and have a little success but are mostly left disappointed. Then I tell them about this simple “barnyard” nutrient. They’re always very surprised as they’ve bought expensive products containing this substance. Yet, they never realized they could also add it to their diet to achieve greater anti-aging benefits. Let me tell you what it is…
Look Younger, Feel Better with This 1 Simple Nutrient
If you’ve spent some money on cosmetic anti-aging creams and serums, you’ve likely come across an ingredient in many of them – hyaluronic acid or HA for short. Applied topically to your skin, you’ll achieve some help in smoothing out crow’s feet, or those vertical lines around your lips, but not as much as you would boosting your dietary intake of it.
So, do you have to know a chemist to get this special acid and is it dangerous to take by mouth?
Heck no. Hyaluronic acid is the main substance present in barnyard fowl like chicken, turkey, duck, goose and their eggs. It’s also found in bovine (beef) cartilage, shark cartilage and some fruits (see below). The flesh of poultry contains a good amount of HA, so, if you eat poultry frequently, or make your own “bone broth” chicken soup, you probably have smoother skin, stronger hair and nails, better eyesight and less painful joints than people who eat less, or none.
How does HA help you stay younger looking and feeling better? Well, it’s what gives young skin that buoyant, well-hydrated, plump look. HA attaches to skin collagen and creates a strong, elastic supportive matrix throughout your skin. Collagen is what every supporting tissue in your body is made from. Your skin – facial and the rest of you – is held together by this collagen-based matrix of tissues. Before the age of 30, this matrix is tightly knit so you have few lines, wrinkles or sagging skin.
But, with aging, this collagen-matrix structure starts to break down faster from less and less HA to bind with it. You see, HA turns over rapidly in your body and without adequate replenishment of it from food sources, its stores become depleted and set off a chain reaction of breakdown.
Other nutritional deficiencies of Vitamin C, and body building proteins, which is common in older people, makes it hard for your body to regenerate collagen like it used to. By the time you reach the age of 60, HA and collagen stores can become very depleted. As a result, your skin starts to lose its structure and wrinkles and sagging start to show up on your face.
Re-boosting these nutrients in your diet can help fire up your body’s natural collagen rebuilding program again. All the collagen-based structures in your body will benefit from it. Those surface lines on your face and hands will start to smooth out, your hair and nails will strengthen and look more vibrant.
As a “side effect”, boosting HA will help your aching joints to feel better. In a few weeks, you’ll be able to move more sprightly with less pain. But that’s not all. Even your eyes will benefit from more HA as it makes up the vitreous humor that supports all your inner eye structures.
Research out of Japan revealed that the residents of a specific village there, Yuzurihara, lived very long lives with very little skin wrinkling or sagging. They also lived well into their 90’s, and beyond, without the typical diseases of aging we see in the United States. The Yuzuriharans diets were also found to contain much higher levels of HA. The researchers concluded that higher HA levels were likely the reason for the residents’ longevity and youthful appearances.
How Can You Get More HA?
Now, you don’t have to eat a special Japanese diet, or eat a pound of poultry, or drink chicken soup everyday to get the benefits of increased HA levels. All you need to do is start boosting your diet with a convenient, and economical, form of HA supplement found in “chicken capsules”.
These capsules contain chicken collagen, created from the cartilaginous, high HA-containing breastbone of young chickens, concentrated into one small capsule. If you have poultry sensitivities, there is also a fish-based HA collagen capsule product as well.
I recommend starting with two, 500-600 mg capsules a day, with a little bit of protein-based food. Then, eventually increase your intake to 4 capsules a day for a total of about 2,000 to 2,400 mg per day. It’s best to take your HA supplement just before bed as it helps you sleep and turn on your body’s repair mechanisms.
In addition, adding more HA to your diet in the foods you eat also helps. Generally, foods that are high in vitamin A (retinol) or Vitamin C will help your body make more HA. Here are some common foods that contain good amounts of HA:
1. Poultry: Chicken, turkey, duck, geese, and their eggs.
2. Cattle: Beef and veal, especially the livers.
3. Fish: Salmon, shark, cod and cod liver oil.
4. Fruit: Cherries and other high Vitamin C fruits.
5. Root vegetables: Starchy root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potato, parsnips, etc.
Take the dollars you’ve been spending on expensive “anti-aging” creams and put them into foods and supplements that boost HA to get the most bang for your buck. In a few short weeks, you’ll see a younger, smoother face smiling back at you in the mirror.
Jay Brachfeld, M.D.
Collagen Type II Shown To Reverse Skin and Joint Aging, http://www.vrp.com/bone-and-joint/bone-and-joint/collagen-type-ii-shown-to-reverse-skin-and-joint-aging
Chicken Capsules Good for Aching Joints, Arthritis Study Finds, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091130192915.htm
Hyaluronic Acid, http://hyaluronicacidwiki.com/hyaluronic-acid-foods/