Chances are, you’ve heard of hyaluronic acid in skin care products. But did you know that it’s also found in supplement form, and great for joint health?

 

Chances are, you’ve heard of hyaluronic acid (HA). This mighty molecule is revered for its use in skin care products, but did you know that it’s also found in supplement form? Here are 10 things you must  know about HA.

 

  1. It’s naturally found in our bodies[1]
    HA can be found in our connective, epithelial, and neural tissues, such as in our skin, hearts, lungs, and eyes.[2] And it’s found in surprisingly large quantities—about 15 grams can be found in a 150-pound person.

 

  1. It’s in other living things, too
    HA isn’t just in humans! It’s also found in other animals, bacteria, algae, and molluscs. [3]

 

So, what’s it doing there?

 

  1. It’s great for joints
    Well, it plays a crucial role in lubricating joints[4] and preventing cartilage degradation, for starters. In fact, a recent review showed that oral HA supplementation helped to decrease knee pain.[5]

 

  1. It’s amazing for skin health
    No surprise here. Our skin contains 50% of all the HA in our bodies. It helps to regulate our skin’s moisture levels and keep our skin beautifully hydrated.[6]

 

  1. It retains up to 1000 times its volume in water[7]
    Amazing, but true! One of HA’s unique attributes is its ability to hold water, which is one of the reasons it’s key to hydration in the skin and lubrication in the joints.

 

  1. It helps with wound healing
    In our bodies, HA gets straight to work when our skin is injured, helping to regenerate tissue and heal wounds.[8]

 

  1. It’s been studied for many other uses
    HA, in its various forms, is currently making waves in scientific research for its potential uses in cancer therapies,[9] diabetic foot treatment,[10] burn treatment,[11] and more.

 

  1. It degrades, and get remade, all the time
    HA has an incredibly fast turnover rate in the body, lasting three weeks at the absolute longest. In the skin, its half-life is a mere 12 hours.[12] That means that our bodies are working hard to replenish themselves with more HA, all the time![13]

 

  1. We make less as we get older
    Perhaps not surprisingly, our skin makes less HA as we get older, and as a result, our skin becomes significantly less hydrated.[14]

 

  1. It can be taken as a supplement
    A great option is a HA supplement that also contains collagen. As always, check with your doctor before taking a new supplement to make sure it’s right for you.

 

Do you use hyaluronic acid? If so, you may also be interested in reading our blog titled: “What’s the Hype over Collagen?”

 

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[1] Wikipedia. (2018). Hyaluronic Acid. Retrieved April 12, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyaluronic_acid.

[2] Papakonstantinou, E., Roth, M., & Karakiulakis, G. (2012). Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Dermato-Endocrinology4(3), 253–258. http://doi.org/10.4161/derm.21923 Retrieved April 12, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583886/.

[3] Marcellin E, Steen JA, Nielsen LK. (2014). Insight into hyaluronic acid molecular weight control. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. Retrieved April 13, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24957250.

[4] Papakonstantinou, E., Roth, M., & Karakiulakis, G. (2012). Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Dermato-Endocrinology4(3), 253–258. http://doi.org/10.4161/derm.21923 Retrieved April 12, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583886/.

[5] Oe, M., Tashiro, T., Yoshida, H., Nishiyama, H., Masuda, Y., Maruyama, K., … Fukui, N. (2016). Oral hyaluronan relieves knee pain: a review. Nutrition Journal15, 11. http://doi.org/10.1186/s12937-016-0128-2. Retrieved April 13, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4729158/.

[6] Papakonstantinou, E., Roth, M., & Karakiulakis, G. (2012). Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Dermato-Endocrinology4(3), 253–258. http://doi.org/10.4161/derm.21923 Retrieved April 12, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583886/.

[7] Brandt, F. S., & Cazzaniga, A. (2008). Hyaluronic acid gel fillers in the management of facial aging. Clinical Interventions in Aging3(1), 153–159. Retrieved April 13, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2544360/.

[8] Neuman MG, Nanau RM, Oruña-Sanchez L, Coto G. (2015). Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Retrievd April 13, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25877441.

[9] Cadete A, Alonso MJ. (2016). Targeting cancer with hyaluronic acid-based nanocarriers: recent advances and translational perspectives. Nanomedicine. Retrieved April 13, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27526874.

[10] Chen CP, Hung W, Lin SH. (2014). Effectiveness of hyaluronic acid for treating diabetic foot: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Dermatologic Therapy. Retrieved April 13, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25039587.

[11] Dalmedico MM, Meier MJ, Felix JV, Pott FS, Petz Fde F, Santos MC. (2016). Hyaluronic acid covers in burn treatment: a systematic review. Rev Esc Enferm USP. Retrieved April 13, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27556725.

[12] Brandt, F. S., & Cazzaniga, A. (2008). Hyaluronic acid gel fillers in the management of facial aging. Clinical Interventions in Aging3(1), 153–159. Retrieved April 13, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2544360/.

[13] Papakonstantinou, E., Roth, M., & Karakiulakis, G. (2012). Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Dermato-Endocrinology4(3), 253–258. http://doi.org/10.4161/derm.21923 Retrieved April 12, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583886/.

[14] Ludger, J., M. Meyer, and Robert, Stern. (1994). Age-Dependent Changes of Hyaluronan in Human Skin. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 102(3). Retrieved April 12, 2018, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022202X94976422.

Matuoka K1, Hasegawa N, Namba M, Smith GJ, Mitsui Y. (1989). A decrease in hyaluronic acid synthesis by aging human fibroblasts leading to heparan sulfate enrichment and growth reduction. Aging. Retrieved April 12, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2488300.