This time of year, pumpkins are all over the place! We enjoy them for décor, but they offer so much more! Recent news focuses on the benefits of their leaves to reduce the speed of disc degeneration and even possibly encourage regeneration. That’s news to your Nashua chiropractor’s ear…and surely to our Nashua back pain and neck pain patients’ ears, too!
THE DISC – Healthy and Degenerated
Most treatments of back pain focus on relieving the pain and returning function without consideringa way to reduce the speed of the degenerative process and/or promote regeneration. The intervertebral disc is made up of an inner core (nucleus pulposus) made of proteoglycans and a layered outer rim (annulus fibrosus) rich in collagen. Together, these two work as a shock absorber and stabilizer for the spine. Treatment choices for the degenerated disc come from being aware of the processes that lead to degeneration in order to help alleviate discogenic pain more effectively. (1) Your chiropractor probes 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 main one in most pumpkin types. The total content of carotenoids rests on many factors, one being the extraction process. Functional foods are advanced from carotenoids which are said to add significantly to the many health benefits of the foods. (2) Nutrition can plan a role in disc health. Let’s put our Nashua 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 generated a significant increase in extracellular matrix components like aggrecan and collagen type II in addition to other proteins and stress response regulators in the degenerated intervertebral disc cells taken from degenerated disc tissues of spinal surgery patients. Markers indicating the presence and activity of stem cells were significantly higher as well. This news motivated the researchers to state that the hypothesis about how adequate stimuli can support resident cells to repopulate the degenerated discs was thereby sustained. The report overall concluded that data point to the breakthrough that molecules may effectively reduce disc degeneration using a part of the pumpkin that most of us throw in the trash as waste – the leaves! (3) Moriarty Chiropractic bets you will look at the pumpkin leaves differently this season!
CONTACT Moriarty Chiropractic
Listen to this PODCAST with Dr. James Cox on The Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson as he describes how nutrition may decelerate and possibly stop degeneration and promote regeneration via ingredients like chondroitin sulfate based on years of research done already and how nutrition combined with The Cox® Technic System of Spinal Pain Management decrease and control spine pain. We’ll keep watching the pumpkin leaves’ research as it grows!
Schedule your Nashua chiropractic appointment today to visit us this pumpkin season!