Keiran's World World by word by word

Slugs and snails may provide the secret to perpetual youthfulness

Pacific banana slug: secret origin of the slime-fountain of youth. Photo © Jitze Couperus, www.couperus.org

Could the Pacific banana slug be the secret behind the slime-fountain of youth?

Years ago, when commiserating about my squeamishness for slugs, Nature Boy speculated that these terrestrial molluscs might yet surprise us.

“Perhaps scientists will discover remarkable youth-preserving compounds in the slime, and we’ll start eagerly smearing slugs on our faces.”

You have no idea how sorry I am to report it has come to pass. Spas in Japan and the U.K. recently started offering snail facials. Clients pay handsomely for the privilege of having snails slither youth-enhancing slime all over their faces.

Its coiled shell distinguishes the snail from its naked cousin, the slug. Both slime-meisters belong to the mollusc group known as gastropods—so called because they appear to use their stomachs (gastro) as feet (pod).

Their slime apparently contains natural antibiotics, elastin, collagen, glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid and many compounds known to heal cuts, soften scar tissue, fight infections, repair sun damage, regenerate skin cells, and make skin look younger, tighter and brighter.

And younger.

Did I mention younger? ….

Read the rest of this editorial in the Victoria Times Colonist….

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