The Hydrating Properties Of Hyaluronic Acid


By Darrell Miller

Discovered in 1934, hyaluronic acid can be found anywhere there is the need for connective tissue in your body. Your joints, your eyes and your heart all contain hyaluronic acid, and a shortage can lead to a wide range of bodily defects, including the appearance of accelerated aging. It is a glycosaminoglycan, a form of polysaccharide that is not only found in connective tissue and epithelial and neural cells, but is also important in the growth and renewal of body cells.

We shall discuss here how hyaluronic acid affects specific areas of your body, and what the effect of a deficiency would mean, but also keeping in mind that an excess of this polysaccharide can also have a serious impact on your health although it offers few side effects worth noting.

Hyaluronic Acid and Your Joints

The highest concentrations of hyaluronic acid (HA) in your body is found in the synovial fluid, the fluid lubricating contained in your joints, and it is also plays an important role in maintaining the function of cartilage in keeping your joints flexible and well cushioned. It is chemically a glycosaminoglycan that is formed from glucosamine and glucuronic acid. Its production is boosted by chondroitin, which is why glucosamine and chondroitin are commonly used supplements for the treatment of arthritis.

Specifically, HA joins with collagen and elastin to produce cartilage, and also increases the supply of synovial fluid that maintains lubricity within the joints. Without the synovial fluid your cartilage would soon become worn away and your bones would grind together, eventually seizing up. By taking hyaluronic acid orally as a supplement, you can help to maintain healthy joints by maintaining the integrity of the cartilage and the quality of the synovial fluid.

Because the cartilage contains no blood vessels, it is reliant on the synovial fluid to keep it supplied with nutrients, and specifically with HA which is a large part of its structure. Without this important polysaccharide your body would not be able to function: no mobility, dry flaky skin and poor or no eyesight.

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Hyaluronic Acid and Your Skin

Hyaluronic acid occurs in the lower layers of your skin where it helps to maintain a smooth and full appearance to your skin due to its hygroscopic nature in absorbing up to a thousand times its weight of water. For this reason HA is frequently used in skin moisturizing treatments and lotions.

HA is not found inside body cells, but appears to be restricted to the extracellular regions between cells where its moisturizing properties are critical in maintaining suppleness. Elastin requires copious quantities of water to remain elastic or it would otherwise become brittle: that is why our skin looks dry and wrinkled when we age. It is due to a lack of moisture: the moisture that hyaluronic acid can bring to the table. The problem is that HA reduces with age and in order to maintain our youthful looks we have to take a supplement.

Hyaluronic acid doesn’t last long in your skin: it has to be renewed constantly and each day about 50% of the HA content of your skin is lost. It takes about two weeks for the same degree of loss to occur in the synovial fluid of your joints. The look of your skin depends to a very large extent on the extracellular matrix, or what is contained between your skin cells. The more moisture there then the smoother and plumper your skin will appear.

As you age, your hyaluronic acid production drops and so your skin becomes increasingly more depleted of moisture. This causes it to dry up and wrinkle. Were there one substance that I would choose as the elixir of life it would be HA, because by taking a regular supplement your natural daily loss is replenished and your skin is given a hand to maintain its soft, moist plumpish look that helps you to keep you looking young.

Hyaluronic Acid and Your Eyes

The vitreous humor is the liquid inside your eyeball, and it contains a large amount of hyaluronic acid. It helps absorb shock and to maintain the shape of the eyeball. The HA is so important that your body has developed a special set of cells known as the hyalocytes of Balazs that are believed to promote the renewal of hyaluronic acid, and also possibly its breakdown.

There is still a lot of research going on into this but the importance of HA in the vitreous humor and other aqueous area of your body is not in question. It helps to retain water and give structure to the liquid media within your body, whether that is between the bones of your joints, in the dermal and epidermal regions of your skin to keep it supple, or in your eyeball. In fact, it is believed to take up 70% – 80% of your eye, and helps to keep the retina in place exactly where it has to be for your eyesight to work.

Because Hyaluronic acid is:

a) present between the cells in every tissues in your body, and

b) a consumable, in that it gets used up rapidly, and

c) your biochemistry’s ability to regenerate it reduces with age,

a supplement is the ideal way in which to maintain its levels in your extracellular system. In some instances injections are given, particularly in expensive anti-wrinkling treatment, but studies have shown that hyaluronic acid taken as an oral supplement shows an improvement after an average of 3 months treatment.

It should be understood that the average person has around 15 grams hyaluronic acid in their body, of which 5 grams is continually degraded and synthesized daily. When you reach an age that your ability to generate HA is impaired, then an oral supplement will be less expensive than injections, the hyaluronic acid of which will also be degraded with time. It won’t be long before you need more treatment, and oral supplements are less expensive than private hypodermic injections.

A Hyaluronic acid supplement can be taken to improve the suppleness and appearance of youthful skin, help maintain the integrity of your eyesight and help to reduce the symptoms of arthritis and many other conditions brought on by a reduction in the synovial fluid and hydration of the skeletal and connective tissues of your body. In other words, it helps to keep you looking younger for longer and to keep your joints and your eyesight in good health.

Have you had your daily dose of hyaluronic acid today?

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