Hyaluronic acid (also known as hyaluronan and commonly referred to as HA) is a natural compound that’s found in the body- mostly the skin, although it can also be found in other tissues. The body contains around 15 grams of hyaluronic acid, an amount that decreases as we age.
It is available in supplement form, and it has also become a key ingredient in skincare products. Its health benefits extend way beyond this, however. Read on to find out more and discover exactly why hyaluronic acid is seen as the ultimate answer to anti-aging.
Hyaluronic acid benefits
Because it has such a strong presence in your skin, this acid helps to keep the skin young and supple by ensuring that it retains moisture. However, the natural aging process and environmental exposures affect the amount of hyaluronic acid within the body. This decrease in hyaluronic acid leads to visible signs of aging, such as wrinkles and age spots. It is possible to reverse the damage, though. Studies have shown that we can help maintain this compound in our bodies by simply providing the body with more.
According to a clinical trial study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, participants stated that products they used containing hyaluronic acid helped to effectively decrease the appearance of wrinkles – as well as reduce skin sagging – within 30 days of use.
Due to the size of its molecules, this acid cannot be absorbed when applied topically. That said, sodium hyaluronate is the salt of hyaluronic acid, and its molecules are much smaller. As such, it is more readily absorbed by the skin. Because of this, you can find sodium hyaluronate listed as an ingredient in some skincare products. Although hyaluronic acid cannot penetrate the skin, it laying on the surface of the skin does keep the surface layers moisturized. Also, hyaluronic acid injections can be administrated by doctors.
2. Wound healing
It can also help speed up the recovery process of a wound or a sore. Studies have shown that when you apply this compound to a wound, it helps to both ease the pain and reduces the size of the wound. It does this by signaling to the body to build more blood vessels in the injured area, and it also regulates inflammation within the sore-spot. Click here to find out more about these studies.
Reducing the size of the wound helps to minimize the appearance of scars. Hyaluronic acid can also help to combat infections, as it contains antibacterial properties. Furthermore, it has also been credited with speeding up the recovery process after dental surgery. Gum disease is often a precursor to tooth loss. Studies have shown that this acid can actually help to stimulate the growth of healthy gum tissues.
3. Healthy joints
Aside from the skin, hyaluronic acid can also be found in the joints, where it keeps them well lubricated. Lubricated joints are less likely to grind against each other, lowering the risk of osteoarthritis – a type of joint disease caused by wear and tear on the joints over time.
The FDA has actually approved this compound for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Studies revealed that the consumption of hyaluronic acid supplements led to a noteworthy reduction in knee pain amongst individuals suffering from osteoarthritis.
Additionally, animal studies have found that hyaluronic acid supplements can help slow the rate of bone loss within rats.
4. Dry eye
Dry eye results from a reduction in tear production or an increased rate at which the tears evaporate. It’s mostly common in older adults.
Due to its ability to help retain moisture, this acid is often used to treat dry eyes. Eye drops that contain this ingredient have been proven to improve eye health. Furthermore, these eye drops are often used during eye surgery to help in regards to wound healing.
Hyaluronic food sources
Aside from visiting the doctor or beauty counter, you can obtain hyaluronic acid from several food sources while other foods help boost its production.
Meats such as beef, turkey, lamb, and chicken contain high levels of hyaluronic acid. On the other hand, Magnesium-rich foods such as bananas, apples, avocados, and foods rich in vitamin C can help to synthesize and optimize the production of hyaluronic acid in the body.
What about supplements?
If you’re planning on taking hyaluronic acid supplements, The Cleveland Clinic recommends that you be over the age of 18 and that you take 50 milligrams once or twice a day.
Also, it’s important that you research the product as most hyaluronic acid supplements come from chickens, so it’s best to ensure that said chickens are pasture-raised. This lowers your risk of developing side effects. Click here to find out more about these studies.