If you could find a natural replacement for synthesized, bacterially-fermented Hyaluronic Acid – would you want to?
Don’t get me wrong – Hyaluronic Acid does wonders for the skin. In fact, we own a state of the art, skin resurfacing machine called the HydraFacial in our office – Agape Chiropractic, which uses hyaluronic acid as one of the main ingredients. BUT – if you know us well – you know that we try to acquire all of our nutrients from foods instead of synthetic vitamins. Why wouldn’t we search out a natural source for use on our skin?
What is Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp (Silver Ear Mushroom) Extract?
Tremella fuciformis is a species of fungus producing white, frond-like, gelatinous basidiocarps (fruit bodies). It is widespread, especially in the tropics on dead attached and recently fallen branches of broadleaf trees. The fruit bodies are commercially cultivated and are one of the most popular fungi in the cuisine and medicine of China and Taiwan. Tremella fuciformis has been given the common names snow fungus, silver ear fungus or white jelly mushroom.
Tremella fuciformis is parasitic yeast, and grows as a slimy, mucous-like substance until it encounters a Hypoxylon species of fungi, which becomes its host and triggers the aggressive mycelia growth required to form the fruit body.(1)
Tremella’s main component is a complex polysaccharide composed of five sugar units – alpha-mannose, beta-glucoronic acid, beta-xylone, fucose, and beta-mannose. Its molecular structure is a polymer backbone comprised primarily of 1,3-mannose sugar monomer, along with many short branches or side chains of xylose and glucoronic acid. The total amount of glucoronic acid within Tremella comes out to around 20%. By comparison, traditional hyaluronic acid is composed of disaccharide units of glucuronic acid and N.-actylglucosamine, with around 50% glucuronic acid. Traditional hyaluronic acid used to be extracted from rooster crowns, but the technology has advanced to the point where it is now synthesized through bacterial fermentation.
History and Background Uses
Traditionally Chinese women, including the legendary beauty Yang Guifei, took Tremella Mushroom to make the skin moist, soft and pliable. According to traditional Chinese medicine, Tremella Mushroom nourishes the lung, stomach and kidney, strengthens the bones, helps maintain ideal weight and provides proper moisture balance to the skin.(2) Yang Guifei (719–756, Tang Dynasty), was said to have a face that puts all flowers to shame. I’d like that to be said of me! How about you?(3)
Tremella Mushroom contains the highest level of the natural whole food form of Vitamin D (ergosterol, aka provitamin D) among known food sources. Here are some food source Vitamin D IU per 100 grams for comparison:
- Tremella Mushroom, dried 38,800
- Cod liver oil 22,220
- Salmon (Atlantic) 650
- Tuna 249
- Shrimp 150
- Sunflower seeds 92(4)
Hyaluronic Acid VS. Tremella Mushroom
Hyaluronic acid is a carbohydrate that occurs naturally in various parts of the human body. In the skin tissue it helps retain the skin’s natural moisture, hence it is used in skin-care products as a good water-binding agent.
Tremella generates a natural flexible hydration film on the skin that reinstates dry skin to its optimally hydrated and mobile state, enabling it to develop elasticity and a fit appearance. This film experiences very little shrinkage over time which leads to better sensory, more functional moisturizing and anti-oxidation efficiency.
Tremella reduces the peroxidation of cell lipids and shoots the concentration of Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD) in cells. SOD is the body’s natural anti-oxidation enzyme, which breaks down the superoxide radicle into harmless compounds, preventing the devastating anti-aging effects of free radicals on the skin health and appearance.
A polysaccharide contained in Tremella Mushroom has an excellent water holding capacity. It can hold water equivalent to nearly 500 times its weight, which is greater than hyaluronic acid.
When the polysaccharide from Tremella Mushroom was applied to skin topically for 4 weeks, the water holding capacity of the skin and horny layer was greatly improved and had better results than the Hyaluronic Acid control.(5)
Now that we have learned about the benefits of both – What would you choose?
Just to let you know – we have added a generous amount of the finest, most potent form of Tremella mushroom to our new Stockton Aloe 1 Youth-Derm® Ointment.