Hyaluronic Acid Review
Hyaluronic Acid is one of the hottest beauty product ingredients in the world today. Also called the body’s “lubricant”, hyaluronic acid plays a key role in the hydration of your skin as well as in treatments for the joints and eyes. Here’s our guide to everything you need to know about hyaluronic acid.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally-occurring compound in the human body, with particularly high concentrations in fluids in the eyes and joints.
When we use hyaluronic acid for medicinal or beauty product purposes, it typically comes from an animal or is made in a laboratory. “Natural” hyaluronic acid, for example, is extracted from rooster combs.
Uses for Hyaluronic Acid
The FDA has approved the use of hyaluronic acid during certain eye surgeries – like all of the following:
— Cataract Removal
— Corneal Transplantation
— Repair Of A Detached Retina
— Other Eye Injuries
During eye procedures, hyaluronic acid is injected directly into the eye. This helps it replace natural fluids that are lost during surgery.
Lip Filler in Plastic Surgery
Hyaluronic acid will sometimes be used to plump up the lips during plastic surgery procedures.
Moisturizer and Other Skin Treatments
Hyaluronic acid is considered a powerful moisturizer. As we mentioned at the top of this article, some people call it the body’s lubricant. In addition to being used as a moisturizer, hyaluronic acid can heal wounds, burns, and skin ulcers when applied to these regions topically.
Hyaluronic acid is one of the hottest ingredients in the anti-aging skin care product community. The compound has shown powerful effects as a moisturizing agent. However, as WebMD.com explains there is no proof to show that hyaluronic acid can lead to anti-aging effects on the skin:
“…there is no evidence to support the claim that taking it by mouth or applying it to the skin can prevent changes associated with aging.”
How Does Hyaluronic Acid Work?
Hyaluronic acid works like a cushion and lubricant between your joints and other tissues in the body. This helps to lessen the impact of say, physical activity. It can also flood to regions when your body suffers an injury.
The fluid that keeps our joints, tendons, and connective tissues connected is called synovial fluid. Hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient in this fluid. Without synovial fluid, our joints, tendons, and connective tissues would have trouble moving freely.
How does hyaluronic acid keep your joints and tissues moving freely? Basically, it coats your cartilage cells. After coating these cells, it engages in a chemical process that lets the acid absorb more water. This gives cartilage its valuable flexibility.
When our bodies don’t have enough moisture, the hydration in these cells dries out and we lose flexibility.
Chemically speaking, hyaluronic acid is actually a protein. This means hyaluronic acid helps to form the very structure of our bodies. Every one of our cells contains proteins and amino acids.
There are a couple other names for hyaluronic acid. Some people simply call it HA. Others call it sodium hyaluronate or hyaluronan.
Who Should Use Hyaluronic Acid Supplements?
Everybody needs hyaluronic acid. However, some groups can benefit from HA supplementation more than others. Some people’s bodies produce more than enough hyaluronic acid for their needs, while others can benefit from “topping up” their hyaluronic acid levels.
– Remember up above when I said that hyaluronic acid plays a key role in how your body recovers from injuries? Bodybuilders are basically injuring their muscles every day. That’s why bodybuilders are often found to have naturally low levels of hyaluronic acid. Their musculoskeletal systems deplete HA more quickly, which is why many bodybuilders can benefit from HA supplements for reduced recovery time.
For Osteoarthritis Sufferers – As the body ages, arthritis can begin to affect your body. When you keep your joints and tissues lubricated with hyaluronic acid, it can help delay the onset of arthritis and other diseases. This is particularly important for those who perform at high levels of physical activity, in which case your body breaks down more quickly.
– Some of those who suffer from severe joint pain will actually receive direct injections of hyaluronic acid, which stimulates new tissue production and repairs sustained damage.
For Immune System Support – Hyaluronic acid benefits those with suppressed immunity problems because it’s been observed to have infection-fighting properties.
– Hyaluronic acid promotes healthy eye tissue. As mentioned above, the FDA has approved the use of hyaluronic acid during eye surgeries, where it’s often injected directly into the eye to replenish fluids lost during surgery.
For Skin Health – Hyaluronic acid’s moisturization and hydration properties help to keep skin supple and make it a popular ingredient in anti-aging supplements and anti-aging skin creams.
– Even if you’re not a bodybuilder and you don’t suffer from arthritis, you may still benefit from the muscle, tissue, and joint health supporting properties of hyaluronic acid. HA enhances the hydration of every tissue in your body, which means it can have enormous effects on keeping your body working smoothly and feeling pain-free.
How to Use Hyaluronic Acid
Using hyaluronic acid is a little more complicated than taking other food and beauty products.
That’s primarily because the FDA does not regulate how hyaluronic acid products are made. Some hyaluronic acid makers pack their beauty products with unhealthy (and even toxic) fillers. Or, they may not keep their factories sterile and safe.
Some of the popular forms of hyaluronic acid available today include:
— Hyaluronic acid joint supplements, especially those that have combined HA with other substances that promote and maintain good joint health (glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM supplements are commonly combined with HA, for example)
— Hyaluronic acid moisturizers
— Hyaluronic acid injections (typically used for those with severe joint pain, who may receive injections directly into the painful areas)
— Hyaluronic acid nutritional supplements (contained in capsules)
Side Effects of Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is generally considered safe to take. Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before taking HA supplements.
Two things to remember when taking HA is that too much vitamin C can cause HA to break down. You should also consider taking a magnesium supplement while using HA to enhance the bioavailability of the compound.
Other side effects that may be caused by hyaluronic acid include:
— Pain, bruising, itching, and other problems as the injection site
— If you use products or medications that sometimes cause bleeding, you should stop taking them a week before your hyaluronic acid injection (i.e. aspirin, vitamin E, and NSAIDs) because these drugs contain anti-coagulant properties and there’s a risk of excessive bleeding
— Hyaluronic acid may not be safe for people with certain heart valve problems (talk to your doctor)
— Pregnant and nursing women should avoid hyaluronic acid until they get approval from their doctor or midwife (this is the case with all supplements and medication and not just hyaluronic acid in particular)
Whether you’re receiving hyaluronic acid injections in your knee for joint pain or taking HA supplements to complement a bodybuilding routine, hyaluronic acid is a proven way to heal pain in your joints, muscles, and tissues – just don’t expect hyaluronic acid to instantly remove your wrinkles overnight.