What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a clear gooey substance known as hyaluronan that is naturally produced by your body. It’s a very long chain of disaccharides (sugars) present in all connective tissues in the body that is responsible for retaining moisture. It occurs in high concentrations in the skin, joints, and eye fluids helping to lubricate these areas. As we age, levels of hyaluronic acid fall—some say by as much as 50 percent. Genetics, smoking, and magnesium and zinc deficiencies appear to accelerate this loss, but it happens to all of us to some degree. The result? Aching joints and sagging skin.
Hyaluronic Acid Foods
Certain foods can mildly stimulate your body to produce more of it. Foods like: leafy greens, citrus fruits, bananas, starchy root vegetables, tofu, tempeh, edamame, almonds & cashews, peppers, dark chocolate, beans & red wine. The only natural source of hyaluronic acid is in the connective tissues of animals (tendons, joints, bones, skin & organ meats). Red combs of hens and roosters contain loads of sugar molecule hyaluronan, which researchers believe is going to be the next best thing in the world of beauty products used to remove wrinkles.
Supplements to the Rescue
Hyaluronic acid is also available in dietary supplement form and has a variety of uses. Many people take it as a supplement, but it’s also used in topical serums, eye drops and injections.
Here are 5 scientifically backed benefits of taking hyaluronic acid.
1. Promotes Healthier, More Supple Skin. Doses of 120–240 mg per day for at least one month have been shown to significantly increase skin moisture and reduce dry skin in adults, which reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
2. Can Speed Wound Healing.
Hyaluronic acid has antibacterial properties, so it can help reduce the risk of infection when applied directly to open wounds. Also helps wounds heal faster by regulating inflammation levels and signaling the body to build more blood vessels in the damaged area.
3. Promote Healthy Joints.
One of the most researched benefits of hyaluronic acid is its ability to alleviate aching joints. Its effectiveness in this area isn’t surprising since hyaluronic acid is especially concentrated in the knees, hips, and other moving joints.
4. Soothe Acid Reflux Symptoms.
New research shows hyaluronic acid supplements may help reduce symptoms of
acid reflux. A combination supplement containing hyaluronic acid and chondroitin
sulfate may help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux in some people.Research in this
area is still relatively new, but these outcomes are promising.
5. Relieve Dry Eye and Discomfort.
Eye drops containing 0.2–0.4% hyaluronic acid have been shown to reduce dry eye symptoms and improve eye health.
How Does Hyaluronic Acid Compare to Other Supplements?
Having been active in sports and exercise most of my life has resulted in some joint pain and genetics has gifted me with arthritis in my right ringer finger. I’ve tried glucosamine supplements which is similar to hyaluronic acid, but never found it very effective. For the past couple months I’ve been experimenting with a new supplement that contains: 100mg of hyaluronic acid, 600mg BioCell Collagen, and 200 mg chondroitin sulfate. It also includes vitamins C and B12, magnesium, calcium, quercetin, and olive extract. The product is called H.A. Joint Formula by Purity Products. I really like this product. I no longer have any pain or swelling of the joints or finger. In addition, my skin, hair and nails are thriving and it also gives me a boost of energy.
You don’t necessarily have to purchase the Purity product as the BioCell Collagen ingredient is a patented joint and skin health supplement that can be found in different quality products. Just go to their website at biocellcollagen.com to learn which products contain it.
I’m really excited to have learned more about the benefits of hyaluronic acid to share with you. No doubt it’s great for promoting healthier skin, but who knew it could help with wound healing, acid reflux, joint pain and dry eye? This is only the beginning too, current animal studies suggest it can also help improve bone strength and bladder pain. We’ll have to wait for further human studies to confirm, though.