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Posted June 20, 2013: by Bill Sardi
Now that we know why naked mole rats are impervious to cancer, the question arises – can we do this for humans?
Naked mole rats (said to be naked because they are hairless) live about ten times longer than any other rodent. But that is not all – they are cancer-proof animals!
The discovery announced today was that a gooey sugar-like substance known as hyaluronan (hyaluronic acid) serves to protect cells in naked mole rats from becoming cancerous.
While all animals produce hyaluronan, which is a water-holding gel in the body, the naked mole rat produces an unusually large (high molecular weight) form of this molecule.
If knowledge is gained how to reproduce this cancer-repellant property in humans, the prospect of cancer-proof humans would be on the horizon.
The announcement of this discovery was made in the journal Nature, which describes the ability of hyaluronan to serve as a type of cement in the gooey matrix that surrounds living cells that therefore keeps malignant cells from growing and spreading
In its non-degraded form hyaluronan cushions joint spaces and nerves and acts as a space filler and smoothing agent in the skin. Estrogen promotes hyaluronan (HA) and thus females have smoother skin, thicker hair and more flexible joints when their estrogen levels are high during youth.
Cells called fibroblasts make HA and enzymes called hyaluronidases break down and degrade HA.
Exposure of skin to fast-tanning solar ultraviolet-B radiation activates hyaluronidase that results in a drastic reduction in the volume of HA in the skin. Chronic exposure to the sun then creates wrinkling of the skin due to loss of HA.
Cancer researcher Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff has performed groundbreaking research to show that even single-dose x-ray radiation to breast tissue breaks down HA which then enables the development of healthy cells into malignant ones.
The idea of using hyaluronidase inhibitors to block the spread of toxins and venoms has been widely documented.
There are various natural hyaluronidase inhibitors in the diet that can help retain the integrity of connective tissue that lies between living cells like mortar between bricks.
For example, quercetin, found naturally in red onions and red apple peel, is a particularly strong hyaluronidase inhibitor.
Hyaluronidase inhibitors help maintain a balance between the synthesis and breakdown and disposal of HA. It is very possible that the inclusion of molecules like quercetin in the diet help maintain the integrity of hyaluronan and thus lock-down cancer cells so they die in place.
Because cancer cells degrade HA, higher blood levels of degraded HA in the blood stream serve as a marker for cancer in the body.
When HA degrades it facilitates the spread of infection and cancer.
Some naïve observers question whether supplemental HA would only facilitate the spread of cancer. But this is like blaming the highway for auto accidents. It is a slick highway (degraded low-molecular weight HA) that creates an environment for cancer to spread.
Degraded HA accumulates in 20-30% of tumors and is associated with poor survival.
Twelve years ago this writer wrote a book about hyaluronic acid (How To Live 100 Years Without Growing Old). Today, the promise of HA in producing unusual longevity has taken another long overdue step forward. It is very possible that those individuals who over a decade ago ventured to take oral hyaluronic acid supplements that included natural hyaluronidase inhibitors like quercetin may be mimicking what naked mole rats do in their inborn cancer-proof state. ©2013 Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc.
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