Body Care Feature March Update

hyaluronic acid

While no one has yet found the fountain of youth, hyaluronic acid (HA) is one anti-aging ingredient that can make a difference in the way you look and feel. This naturally occurring molecule helps to not only support gorgeous, younger-looking skin but also joint mobility and healthy vision. In Yuzurihara, Japan, people live healthfully into their eighties and nineties while exhibiting excellent mobility, vision and younger-looking skin. It is theorized that their magnesium-rich diet, which stimulates HA synthesis in the body, may be the cause.

HA and the Body
Our bodies are actually loaded with HA. HA is a carbohydrate found within most of our body’s cells and has hydrophilic or “water loving” properties–the secret to its moisturizing and joint-lubricating effects. About half of our body’s HA is found in the skin, where it nourishes collagen and gives skin its bounce and elasticity. Vital to healthy joints and movement, HA is also found in hyaline cartilage (also known as “gristle cartilage”), where it covers and supports the ends of long bones, and synovial fluid, where it helps support joint lubrication. And finally, HA is found in the insides of our eyes, where it carries nutrients and cushions the retina.

Our bodies regularly synthesize, break down and excrete HA. But here’s the rub: even in young adulthood, our production of HA starts to slow down, and the decrease accelerates with age. But there is good news–despite our body’s natural decrease in HA production, we can supplement with HA either orally or topically in order to support youthful skin, healthy joints and eye health.

When you supplement with HA it acts as space filler by binding to the water, as a result, keeping the skin wrinkle-free. Imagine going from a raisin to a grape instead of the other way around!

With loss of HA in the joints (like elbows and knees), the joint fluid becomes thin and cannot cushion the joint cartilage properly. This creates increased friction and wear and tear on the cartilage surfaces of the joints. Supplementing with HA helps to maintain the normal viscosity of the joint fluid. HA is the motor oil for the joints.

It has been said that after the fifth decade of life, our eyes stop producing HA, resulting in various eye concerns and vision problems. An eye health supplement formulated with HA and other essential ingredients, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, can help support healthy eyes and vision.

Choosing an HA Source
For oral supplementation, be sure to choose high-molecular-weight pure HA. A clinical study presented at the April 2004 Experimental Biology Conference, conducted by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, examined the absorption, excretion and distribution of high-molecular-weight HA. After a single oral dose, the study found that a whopping 4.5 billion molecules of HA may reach each knee joint.

For the highest probability of success, take an oral HA lozenge which dissolves slowly, giving it more time to provide its benefits after it’s swallowed. A lozenge can make joint and eye health support really simple and easy. To revitalize your skin with a youthful glow, try serums and lotions. You can apply lotions directly to wrinkles and dry spots to moisturize, soften, and tone aged skin. Finally, make sure to choose a vegan-friendly HA supplement. They may be more beneficial than those derived from animal sources (most often from rooster combs).