Could Cell Hydration Cut the Risk of Alzheimer’s?

New research says, Yes!

For years, I’ve championed the evidence—based on my own and others’ research—that cell hydration is the cornerstone of cell health, which is the cornerstone of wellness, which is the cornerstone of beauty!

Now there’s additional evidence, announced in March 2019, from dermatological researchers at UC San Francisco, who demonstrated that age-damaged skin in older adults may be contributing to a wide range of chronic, age-related conditions that include heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers also cited a pilot study that showed that topical moisturizers can reduce this risk factor.

As reported in the Sacramento Bee, as aging skin begins to break down, the immune system releases small proteins—known as cytokines—to signal inflammation in damaged areas of the skin. These tiny inflammatory cytokines circulating in the blood stream can trigger body-wide inflammation, or the so-called “inflamm-aging” among older adults.

The skin—being the largest organ in the body—is the most likely source of these cytokines. “The inflammation must come from an organ big enough that very minor inflammation can affect the whole body,” explained Dr. Mao-Qiang Man, the study’s lead author. “Once we get old, we have dermatological symptoms like itchiness, dryness and changes in acidity. It could be that the skin has very minor inflammation, and because it’s such a large organ, it elevates circulating cytokine levels.”

It’s long been known that older adults typically have many more inflammatory cytokines circulating in the blood stream, relative to young adults; what’s not been clear is why. Some have proposed the cytokines come from the lungs, or the G-I tract, but UCSF dermatologists suspected the skin was the source.

They tested their hypothesis by asking one group of seniors to apply a specified amount of moisturizing cream twice daily over 30 days. The study also included young adults and seniors who did not moisturize their skin.

After 30 days, the seniors who used the skin cream had dramatically reduced levels of three cytokines linked to age-related chronic diseases: interleukin-1 beta, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor.

Among seniors (ages 58-95) who used the moisturizer, cytokine levels fell nearly to the level of people in their 30s. They also lowered their skin’s acidity, improved hydration, and repaired its permeability.

While this study demonstrates the power of topical moisturizing, in my book, The Water Secret, I explain why “eating your water” and protecting your cellular hydration and cell membrane health internally are even more important than topical protections. Put them both together—and combine the two with a healthy outlook—and you have my optimal prescription for Modern Health and Wellness.

Sacramento Bee

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