Hyaluronic Acid is a compound present in every tissue of the body, with the highest concentrations occuring in connective tissues such as skin and cartilage. Hyaluronic Acid is an important constituent of joint fluid, where it serves as a lubricant and plays a role in resisting compressive forces.
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid:
Skin: Almost half of the bodys HA is located in the collagen of skin and it is logical that HA plays a vital role here. Hyaluronic acid helps to retain over a 1000 times its weight in water within the cells of skin, making it an excellent moisturizer. In fact, no other biological substance can retain as much water as HA resulting in increased smoothness, softening and decreased wrinkles. Equally important is its ability to remove waste matter from cells including those where there is little blood circulation.
The skin is composed of hyaluronic acid, collagen & elastin, and holds large amounts of water. Elastin must be bathed in water or it becomes dry and brittle, and results in wrinkled skin. HA content in the skin changes as we age, and we can help reverse this process by applying it topically, and taking it internally. It is essential for the structure of the extracellular matrix in the skin, insuring that the matrix has the ability to hold onto its essential fluid. This ensures hydration of the skin, making it look smooth and youthful.
Today, hyaluronic acid is considered equally important, if not more important, than Collagen.
Joints: Most of us have heard of glucosamine supplements used for the treatment of arthritic conditions. Glucosamine belongs to a group of compounds known as glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). These compounds help you build stronger, healthier and more flexible joints. Hyaluronic acid is the most active form of GAGs and it works as a shock absorber lubricating the fluid in the joint tissues as well as stabilising its breakdown.
It also works to remove the waste products, often acidic in nature, that arise from the destruction of the cartilage matrix and hence eases joint pain. As an antioxidant, it further supports joint health by protecting joint destruction due to free radicals. Hyaluronic acid can be administered by way of injections directly into the knees, although treatment can be very expensive and often needs to be repeated due to its natural breakdown.
Eyes: Hyaluronic acid is found in the vitreous fluid in the eyes and gives them their shape and characteristics. The first hyaluronic acid medical product was intended for use in eye surgery specifically for cataract surgery and glaucoma and was used to hasten the healing process following surgery. Since hyaluronic acid lubricates the eye tissues, it is of great benefit for people suffering from dry eyes. Oral supplements of HA may also help your eyesight. The reason for this is that as we age, less HA is found in the eye tissues and it is required to help support the eye structures.
Gum Disease: Gum disease is a common problem. Gum disease, and not tooth decay, is the single biggest cause of tooth loss. Hyaluronic acid is an important connective tissue component in the gums helping with the regeneration of fresh healthy gum tissue as well as reducing any inflammation that leads to bleeding gums. Several studies indicate that applying hyaluronic acid as a gel (Gengigel) helps to reduce bleeding gums and other indicators of gum disease.