Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid

Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is involved in several physiological processes. For example, it plays a key role in the healing of wounds, cell regeneration, joint lubrication and the connective system.

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

HA is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) present in the entire body. However, its highest concentrations are in the synovial fluid, vitreous humor, cartilage, blood vessels, and umbilical chord. This substance should not be underestimated, since it is present in all the tissues of the body.

It is also abundant in the skin, in fact, HA is one of the main elements of the extracellular matrix. This is a key component in all the connective tissues, including collagen and cartilage.

In terms of sports, HA can improve the recovery from certain injuries when compared to a placebo.

Moreover, it is the substance responsible for the elasticity and beauty of the skin. This organ is nourished from the inside out, and the connective tissue has hyaluronic acid.

What are the sources of Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic Acid is a gelatinous substance that is naturally produced in the body, specially in the soft connective tissue. Occasionally, its levels drop, leading to health problems like arthrosis. We need this substance to bind the collagen fibers and elastin, which is also important for a healthy skin.

Moreover, it is a basic component of the synovial fluid which lubricates the joint capsules.

Passing of time

The production of HA drops as we grow old, resulting in skin flaccidity, wrinkles, and the deterioration of the cartilages. Some foods contain HA naturally, while other contain nutrients that stimulate its synthesis. Precisely, animal products will stand out in this aspect, specially if we consume parts like the skin and other connective tissues.

Young looking skin

For instance, the liver is both a great source of this acid and iron. If we want to use vegetable products, roots and tubers, like potatoes and sweet potatoes, are the two main choices.

The main inconvenient of using these sources for their HA supply, is that we will also increase the calorie intake. Therefore, if we want to improve our body composition it may not be the best thing to do. This is why the best choice would be using hyaluronic acid supplements

Properties of Hyaluronic Acid

It plays an essential role in:

  • Keeping the tissues hydrated, specially our skin.
  • Working as an antioxidant.
  • Lubricating the joint and connective system.
  • Producing an anti-inflammatory response.

Hydration

One of the main properties of HA is its ability to hydrate, due to its hydrophilic molecules. In fact, they can absorb up to 1000 times their own weight in water. The aging process progressively reduces the synthesis of this acid. Consequently, aging hinders our ability to retain water in the cells and tissues.

Apart from aging, there are other factors that can affect its levels such as: genetics, the environment, or nutrition, including a magnesium and zinc deficiency.

hyaluronic-acid-skin

Hyaluronic acid deficiency

  • Dry and weak skin (lack of water)
  • Connective tissue problems
  • Wrinkles
  • Joint pain
  • Difficulty to move

Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for the skin

The skin is the largest organ of our body and it makes up a 15% of our body weight. Approximately a 50% of this acid in the body is in the skin. HA and collagen are vital to preserve the skin layers and structure:

  • Collagen provides firmness to the skin
  • Hyaluronic acid nourishes and hydrates collagen

The dermis (our skin) has a network of collagen fibers that move easily inside a viscous substance. Said substance is made of hyaluronic acid, keeping the collagen hydrated. This lubrication process allows the skin to adjust to the changes in its shape and volume when we move the bones and ligaments. The skin will stay young, soft, and elastic as long as it has high concentrations of hyaluronic acid. All of this will help us keep a healthy skin, which is why it is often used in beauty treatments and esthetic medicine.

From the age of 25, the natural production of hyaluronic acid starts to drop. Consequently, the skin becomes more flaccid gradually.

Then, it starts losing its elasticity, which is when the first wrinkles appear. When we reach the age of 40, a hyaluronic acid deficiency produces more or less deep winkles.

Study

There was a clinical study conducted on 96 women between the ages of 22 and 65. They took hyaluronic acid for a period of 45 days. At the end, an 80% of women had a better skin, much more smooth and elastic.

Factors that reduce the Hyaluronic Acid

  • The passing of time
  • UV radiation
  • Environmental contaminants

These factors are related to a decrease of the amount of this acid in the skin and the cells lose their ability to produce it gradually. Moreover, the molecular weight of hyaluronic acid also drops which means that it will not store the water like it did before. What happens then? The skin becomes dry and it loses its ability to stay hydrated, which results in the onset of wrinkles.

There is no other biological substance that can retain as much water as HA and keep such level of hydration. The result is more softness and less wrinkles. Moreover, it also inhibits the activity of strange particles, like bacteria. Therefore, it supports our defenses and skin cleansing, since it creates a barrier against harmful agents.

The skin of a baby will always look specially delicate and smooth. Why is that? Newborns have a high percentage of hyaluronic acid, which helps to preserve this smooth aspect. However, as we have previously mentioned, the ability to synthesize HA drops with age.

Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for the joints (elbows and knees)

Our joints (like the elbows and the knees) are surrounded by a membrane called the synovial membrane, which forms a capsule around the ends of the bones. This membrane releases a liquid called synovial fluid. Basically, the synovial fluid is found in the joint cavities.

joint

Some of its many functions consists of lubricating, buffering, and transporting nutrients

A loss of synovial liquid can affect the cartilage. Consequently, it will trigger an inflammation process that causes pain and wear. With time, this can even lead to diseases like osteoarthritis.

Those who suffer arthritis have less hyaluronic acid in the joints. In these cases, one of the most frequent treatments consists of applying hyaluronic acid injections on the joint capsule.

What is the Synovial Liquid and what is its use?

Hyaluronic acid is the most active form of GAG (glycosaminoglycan, a type of polysaccharide) and it works as a buffer, helping to absorb impacts. Similarly, it keeps the joints lubricated. The synovial liquid is made of hyaluronic acid, a viscous substance that protects the joints and bones. Said fluid soaks the cartilage, a fibrous connective tissue. The cartilage is avascular, which means that it does not have blood vessels, so the synovial liquid will be the only way to transport the nutrients to said cartilage.

The synovial liquid also eliminates waste products, usually acid, which result from the destruction of the cartilage matrix. Therefore, it means that it also helps to relieve joint pain; working as a powerful antioxidant agent by neutralizing the harmful effects of the free radicals on the joint

As we grow old, the viscosity of the liquids drops and we start to experience joint problems: pain, stiffness, lack of mobility, injuries, infections, arthritis, arthrosis, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, tendinitis, etc. Taking a hyaluronic acid supplement can help to avoid or prevent this problems, since it is an essential element for the synovial fluid. Moreover, it works as a buffer for the joints and helps to transport nutrients for the cartilage.

If we compare the joints of the human body with the engine of a car, the joint liquid works like the oil of the engine. We have to change the oil periodically since the heat and the friction changes the viscosity of the oils. The oil becomes thinner and it loses its ability to protect the metal surfaces against an excessive wear

Benefits of the treatments:

  • Lubricating the joints
  • Using glucose and amino acids to nourish the joint cartilage
  • Helping to get rid of toxins and waste products
  • Contributing to buffer the friction between joints

It allows our body to keep our backbone straight and support weight

This substance works on the backbone due to its ability to retain water. Said property is very important for all the tissues, specially the inter-vertebral disks of the backbone. Thanks to this substance, the body can keep the backbone straight and support any kind of weight.

Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for the lips

The lips are a muscle covered by epithelial tissue. The dermal layer of the lips mainly consists of connective tissues, collagen and hyaluronic acid. These elements shape the structure and roundness to the lips.

hyaluronic-acid-lips

HA mixes with water in order to create a gelatinous tissue that hydrates the surrounding tissue, keeping the collagen hydrated (responsible for the firmness of the skin).

Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for the hair

Structurally speaking, the scalp is identical to the skin tissue from the whole body. However, it also has around 100000 follicles that make up the hair. In fact, the hair and the follicle are a derivative of the skin tissue. We can mainly distinguish two layers of skin, the epidermis (external layer) which creates a protective screen for the body. On the other hand, we have the dermal layer (deeper layer), which makes up most of the skin and where we can find the hair follicle.

Benefits of Hyaluronic acid for our Hair

This dermal layer is a connective tissue that nourishes and hydrates the deepest layers of the scalp with its gelatinous liquid. The result is a healthy and bright hair and a hydrated scalp. Again, all of this is possible thanks to the presence of HA in the scalp.

Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for the gums

The properties of HA to preserve the mouth health are not that well-known. The gums are a dense and fibrous connective tissue (ligaments) that binds to the alveolar bone (jaw bone). Once again, the tissue is made of a fibrous tissue that is surrounded by hyaluronic acid (extracellular matrix).

Without HA, the gum tissue deteriorates. On the contrary, it will provide resistance to the traction of the ligaments that hold the teeth, providing hydration and nutrients. Consequently, our gums will be strong and healthy.

Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for eye health

There is a high percentage of HA inside the ocular globe. The liquid inside the eyes is called vitreous humor and it is made almost completely of hyaluronic acid. HA is like a viscous gel inside the eyes that buffers and also transports nutrients to the eyes.

Collagen with Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid and collagen are two substances that are truly important for the organism. Actually, combining hem can be really beneficial. Collagen and hyaluronic acid have anti-aging properties that help to regenerate the cartilage and the bones. The microscopic fibers of collagen with hyaluronic acid provide the structure that gives strength and flexibility to the connective tissues of the body.

Taking collagen with hyaluronic acid is a great choice because both substances are in charge of providing hydration. In fact, they provide nutrients and help to regenerate the tissues.

The skin increases its volume, it is more hydrated and has less wrinkles and lines of expression. The joints also gain strength and flexibility and the bones have the necessary nutrients to regenerate. Let’s keep in mind that collagen is the most abundant protein in the organism. In fact, it makes up a 25% of it. Its role inside the human body consists of developing fibers that will transform in the structure of several tissues of the body. Therefore, it supports the skin, muscles, blood vessels, cartilages, bones, and even the ocular globe.

Properties of collagen and hyaluronic acid

  • Hydrating the skin
  • Preventing/reducing the wrinkles and lines of expression
  • Supporting the regeneration of joints and bone tissue
  • Increasing the strength and flexibility of bones and soft tissues

Foods rich in hyaluronic acid

Some of the most popular foods that are rich in hyaluronic acid are:

  • Chicken, turkey and duck are the meats (protein) with the highest hyaluronic acid content
  • Salmon, sardines and tuna are the best fish sources of this acid
  • Foods rich in magnesium, like vegetables: broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts or green beans
  • Gelatin

Hyaluronic Acid in capsules

There are many ways of taking this product (capsules, tablets, powder…). The hyaluronic acid supplements will allow you to preserve your joint and bone health, apart from improving the aspect of the skin, nails, and hair. It is advisable to combine it with hydrolyzed Collagen.

You can purchase the best hyaluronic acid supplements to improve your joints or skin in this link.

Hyaluronic acid in cream

The first signs of skin aging appear in our face, but it also affects the rest of the body.

To keep a young looking skin, people tend to use products, creams or gels that contain hyaluronic acid. There are also beauty treatments that consist of injecting the hyaluronic acid directly under the skin. However, this procedure only works on the area it has been applied and it can entail some risks. That is why creams are so successful, both in herbalist’s shops or beauty stores.

Side effects of hyaluronic acid

There are no side effects regarding hyaluronic acid products or supplements as long as we take the recommended dose.

Bibliography

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