Every year around this time, pumpkins are all over the place! We enjoy them for décor, but they offer so much more! News of late focuses on the benefits of their leaves to slow disc degeneration and even possibly support regeneration. That is news to your Augusta chiropractor’s ear…and without doubt to our Augusta 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 a thought about how to reduce the speed of the degenerative process and/or promote 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 options for the degenerated disc come from being aware of the processes that precede 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 recognized that pumpkin products and by-products (like leaves!) contain major carotenoids - β-carotene, α-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin – with β-carotene being the main one in most pumpkin varieties. The total content of carotenoids rests on several factors, one is the extraction process. Functional foods are advanced from carotenoids which are said to add significantly to the multiple health benefits of the foods. (2) Nutrition can plan a role in disc health. Pumpkin and its by-products should not just be thrown away!
PUMPKIN LEAVES AND COLLAGEN AND PROTEINS AND DISC CELLS
One 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 brought about a significant increase in extracellular matrix components like aggrecan and collagen type II along with 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 higher, too. 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 sustained. The report overall concluded that data point to the discovery of molecules that may effectively slow disc degeneration using a part of the pumpkin that most of us throw away as waste – the leaves! (3) Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic bets you will look at the pumpkin leaves differently this season!
CONTACT Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic
Listen to this PODCAST with Dr. James Cox on The Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson as he describes how nutrition may slow and possibly stop degeneration and promote regeneration via ingredients like chondroitin sulfate based on years of research done already and how nutrition in combination with The Cox® Technic System of Spinal Pain Management decrease and control spine pain. We’ll keep watching the pumpkin leaves’ research as it evolves!
Make your Augusta chiropractic appointment soon to see us this pumpkin season!