A link between HA and longevity.
In 2000, Connie Chung reported on Yuzuri Hara (sometimes spelled “Yuzurihara”), Japan, a farming village in the hills of Japan. 29Ms. Chung reported that the people of Yuzuri Hara lived very long lives and that many people in the village were 85 to 90 years old or older. The local village doctor believed that the villagers could attribute their longevity; low rates of cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s; and their characteristic of having lovely, smooth skin to having high levels of high molecular weight HA in their bodies. The doctor believed that the purported high levels of HA resulted from Yuzuri Hara residents’ unique diets, which were high in specific, healthy carbohydrates derived from root vegetables (satsumaimo, a type of sweet potato; satoimo, a sticky white potato; konyaku, a gelatinous root vegetable concoction; and imoji, a potato root). In 2007, Bill Sardi, an HA enthusiast, visited Yuzuri Hara and corroborated the advanced age and spryness of the people of Yuzuri Hara’s residents. 30The ABC News report has been routinely touted by HA enthusiasts as proof that high molecular weight HA causes long-life; however, neither the ABC News or the Sardi report have provided scientific, peer-reviewed evidence that the people of Yuzuri Hara actually do have high levels of high molecular weight HA in their bodies. The authors of this book have not been able to find peerreviewed reports that directly substantiate that the Yuzuri Hara villagers’ advanced age and good health were caused by or related to HA.
However, there are observations in the peer-reviewed literature that suggest indirectly that the Yuzuri Hara physician might be correct in his intuition that HA contributes to long life. Data-based observations in residents of Okinawa, another island in the Japanese archipelago (Willcox, et al., 2014) have shown that, like Yuzuri Hara residents, Okinawans also consume a nutrient rich, low energy diet that includes sweet potatoes (Drewnowski& R, 2013). 31These data demonstrate that Okinawans experience significantly longer life expectancy and much lower rates of age-related disability compared to other cultures (Willcox, et al., 2014). Additional research suggests a data-based explanation for this phenomenon. Sweet potatoes are rich in a specific class of chemicals, polyphenols (Dini, et al., 2006). A specific type of polyphenol, anthocyanin, which is found in black currants and purple sweet potatoes, has been shown to correlate with increased anti-oxidant activity and increased hyaluronic acid content in cultured cells and in the skin of rats (Lim, et al., 2013; Nanashima, et al., 2018; Sugata, et al., 2015).
So, perhaps the villagers of Yuzuri Hara are the proof that, if we eat the right foods and add oral HA supplements to our diet we can emulate our little buddy, the naked mole-rat, who has been shown by scientific research to have high levels of high molecular weight HA in his body, and to be cancer-free and long-lived (Lewis et al., 2013; Takasugi, et al., 2020. Peer-reviewed scientific research has shown that adding oral HA supplements to your diet is safe (Bellar, et al., 2019), and several clinical studies that we have described have shown that oral HA has specific clinically- and scientificallyproven health benefits (Gupta, et al, 2019).
In the next two sections, we are going to talk about HA in skin and eyes. These two sections highlight existing uses for HA in human health. HA has been applied extensively as treatments in both the skin and eyes by the medical community.