Every year around this time, pumpkins are all over the place! We enjoy them for décor, but they offer so much more! Recent news highlights the benefits of their leaves to reduce the speed of disc degeneration and even possibly support regeneration. That is news to your Easley chiropractor’s ear…and without doubt to our Easley back pain and neck pain patients’ ears, too!
THE DISC – Healthy and Degenerated
Many back pain treatment approaches focus on relieving the pain and returning function without addressinga way to slow the degenerative process and/or encourage regeneration. The intervertebral disc has an inner core (nucleus pulposus) made of proteoglycans and a layered outer rim (annulus fibrosus) rich in collagen. Together, these two act as a shock absorber and stabilizer for the spine. Treatment choices for the degenerated disc come from understanding the processes that lead to degeneration so as to help alleviate discogenic pain more effectively. (1) Your chiropractor expores these mechanisms all the time!
PUMPKIN LEAVES AND CAROTENOIDS
It's well-known that pumpkin products and by-products (like leaves!) contain major carotenoids - β-carotene, α-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin – with β-carotene being the foremost one in most pumpkin varieties. The total content of carotenoids depends on a variety of factors, one is the extraction process. Functional foods are advanced from carotenoids which are said to add significantly to the numerous health benefits of the foods. (2) Nutrition can plan a role in disc health. Let’s put our Easley pumpkins and their by-products to work for us!
PUMPKIN LEAVES AND COLLAGEN AND PROTEINS AND DISC CELLS
A unique way to put pumpkins to work for us is well explained in a recent study about how the leaves of pumpkins may help. The acetone extract from Violina pumpkin (curcurbita moshata) leaves induced a significant increase in extracellular matrix components like aggrecan and collagen type II as well as other proteins and stress response regulators in the degenerated intervertebral disc cells removed from degenerated disc tissues of spinal surgery patients. Markers noting the presence and activity of stem cells were significantly increased as well. This news excited the researchers to state that the hypothesis about how enough stimuli can support resident cells to repopulate the degenerated discs was thus reinforced. The report overall concluded that data indicate that the breakthrough that molecules may effectively slow disc degeneration using a part of the pumpkin that most of us throw away as waste – the leaves! (3) Young Chiropractic thinks you will look at the pumpkin leaves differently this season!
CONTACT Young Chiropractic
Listen to this PODCAST with Dr. James Cox on The Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson as he illustrates how nutrition may slow and possibly stop degeneration and stimulate regeneration via ingredients like chondroitin sulfate based on years of research performed already and how nutrition in combination with The Cox® Technic System of Spinal Pain Management reduce and control spine pain. We’ll keep watching the pumpkin leaves’ research as it evolves!
Schedule your Easley chiropractic appointment today to visit us this pumpkin season!