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UCSF study offers new treatment to prevent age-related chronic diseases: Moisturizer



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The new UCSF pilot study has a simple treatment proposal to prevent serious age-related problems such as Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and heart disease. The best part? You probably already owned it.

Researchers in tandem with the San Francisco Veterinarians' Health System now have reason to believe that skin inflammation can accelerate the development of multiple chronic diseases and one way to help

The authors of the study write that as the skin begins to lose moisture and worsens around 50 years of age, it begins to experience breakage of the "permeability barrier". The barrier is designed to keep water in the body and act as a shield from sinister pathogens outside of our body.

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When this barrier weakens with age due to the loss of moisture, it releases cytokines (a type of protein released of the immune system cells) to signal inflammation in the affected areas of the skin. Typically, such cytokines are designed to help restore the barrier, but older skin requires more effort to fix, researchers write, so skin releases these "inflammatory signals" many times. In the end, cytokines can penetrate the blood, potentially causing inflammation throughout the body.


Previously, researchers did not suspect that skin can be caused by such a disease, but more recent research suggests that skin inflammation can be guilty of heart disease.

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"Inflammation must come from a large enough organ that very little inflammation can affect the whole body. its size, "says senior author of the study, Dr. Mao-Qiang Man. "After we get older, we have dermatological symptoms such as itching, dryness and changes in acidity." It may be that the skin has very little inflammation, and because it is such a large organ, it increases circulating levels of cytokines.

UCSF The study was conducted with 33 adults aged between 58 and 95 years. They are given a type of moisturizer that scientists have noticed for the ratio of three lipids that are beneficial to skin health. The participants were prompted to inject a body-wide moisturizer twice a day for one month, after which clinicians found that their cytokine levels were "almost equivalent to those at the age of 30, suggesting that rejuvenation of the skin may reverse "Inflammation".


Scientists will then follow up their initial findings with a longer-term study to test the effects of applying the moisturizing cream. If the findings are similar, it can be confirmed that administration of a reparative humectant can be an effective way of preventing chronic diseases.

Alice Pereira is a writer from the SFGATE team. Email it to apereira@sfchronicle.com or find it on Twitter on @asyspereira .


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