Do cosmetic “fillers” protect against cancer?

This recently caused amazement worldwide: An odd-looking, naked rodent living in East Africa. This animal digs tunnels, forms colonies in a similar way to bees and termites and is seemingly immune against cancer.

Another thing that makes these “naked mole rats” unusual is the fact that they live to an unusually high age: 30 years. In contrast, their near relations, mice and rats, live for only a maximum of 3 years. What is the reason for this? Apparently, the cells of the naked mole rat produce high levels of hyaluronic acid, very similar to that used in cosmetic fillers (“fillers”) injected in wrinkle treatment and lip augmentation for ladies requesting such treatment. This special hyaluronic acid (HMM-HA) seems to protect cells from cancer. We know this because naked mole rat cells, being immune to cancer, can form tumors when the hyaluronic acid surrounding them is experimentally removed.

Can fillers protect against cancer? If so, this would be a good reason to use them. As you know, I am decidedly against injecting fillers, whether from hyaluronic acid or other substances. I find that they are unsuited for wrinkle therapy, resulting only in an unnatural appearance. This was actually carried out on mummies for the first time 3,000 years ago in the time of the Egyptian New Kingdom, to make their cheeks appear attractively rounded.

It is advisable to use a different procedure to smooth out wrinkles or sunken cheeks on living persons, who, if possible, should not resemble mummies afterwards: Bioidentical Hormones (Hormonal Regeneration®) and autologous stem cells address the problems of skin aging and tissue slackening at their source. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP), obtained from the patient’s blood, and growth factors from skin cells (Skin Growth Factors) provide assistance when they are gently introduced into the skin using microneedles, whereas symptomatic treatment involving injections of foreign substances can be dispensed.

What can hyaluronic acid used for in aesthetic medicine?

As a means of moistening the skin, hyaluronic acid is well suited for regular intake and use on the skin. Internally and externally – it works better than most expensive creams, as it binds fluid and protects the skin from drying out and forming wrinkles.

What about the protective effect against cancer?

Evidently, the type of hyaluronic acid that provides protection from cancer (HMM-HA) is structured somewhat differently than the normal type we use. It has larger molecules. Research is currently being carried out as to how well it is tolerated and effective in mice. Humans are next. However, it could probably take a while until doctors worldwide have had sufficient therapeutic experience with it.

In any case, I will keep you updated. Until then, normal hyaluronic acid will also be caring for the skin, protecting it from free radicals and the damaging effects of sunlight. This is a good enough reason to take it regularly and apply it. Injecting it into wrinkles is unnecessary.

DDr. Heinrich, MD

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