Hyaluronic Acid is involved in numerous processes that take place in our body; Plays a key role in wound healing, cell regeneration and lubrication of the joints and connective system. It is also essential to help hydrate the skin and therefore maintain its properties. Hyaluronic Acid is a powerful anti-aging product.
What is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) found throughout the body but is mainly concentrated in the synovial fluid, the vitreous humor of the eye, cartilage, blood vessels, and umbilical cord. Since it is present in all tissues of the body, the importance of hyaluronic acid cannot be underestimated. It is also abundant in the skin, in fact, HA is one of the main components of the extracellular matrix, the key component in all connective tissues, including collagen and cartilage.
The hyaluronic acid is a gelatinous substance that occurs naturally in the body, with high concentrations in soft connective tissue. Sometimes the amount of this compound decreases, which can lead to health problems such as osteoarthritis. Hyaluronic acid is necessary to bind the collagen and elastin fibers, which is also important for healthy skin. In addition, hyaluronic acid is a basic component of the synovial fluid that lubricates the joint capsules.
The body produces less HA as we age, which contributes to sagging skin, wrinkles, and deterioration of cartilage. Some foods contain HA naturally, while others contain nutrients that stimulate their synthesis. Among these are those of animal origin, especially if we ingest the parts with skin and other connective tissues, which are loaded with HA. The liver is a good source of hyaluronic acid as well as iron. Within plant roots, roots and tubers, such as potato and sweet potato, are fundamentally the options with which to add more amount of HA.
The main drawback of limiting the consumption of HA to these foods will be added calories, as will be the case of consuming meat-based foods with skin. If we look for an improvement of the body composition, and in that, we establish a hypocaloric diet, with caloric restriction, perhaps it will not be the most convenient, and we could, therefore, opt for the route of hyaluronic acid supplementation
Properties of Hyaluronic Acid
It plays an essential role in:
- The hydration of the tissues, especially our skin,
- It works as an antioxidant,
- Promotes lubrication of the joint and connective system, and
- It produces an anti-inflammatory response.
One of the main properties of hyaluronic acid is its ability to hydrate since its molecules are hydrophilic (water lovers). In sense, they can absorb up to 1000 times their own weight in water. The process of aging progressively leads to a reduction in the synthesis of hyaluronic acid, and thus the ability of our body to retain water in the cells and tissues. In addition to age, there are other factors that can modify hyaluronic acid levels such as genetic, environmental and nutritional factors, including magnesium and zinc deficiency.
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for Skin
The skin is our largest organ of the body and comprises approximately 15% of body weight. Approximately 50% of the hyaluronic acid in the body is found in the skin. HA and collagen are vital to maintaining the layers and structure of the skin:
- Collagen gives the skin its firmness
- Hyaluronic acid nourishes and moisturizes collagen
The dermis (our skin) has a network of collagen fibers that move easily within a viscous substance consisting of hyaluronic acid that keeps the collagen moist and hydrated. This lubrication process allows the skin to adjust to changes in shape and volume that occur when bones and ligaments move. The skin will remain young, soft and elastic while it contains high concentrations of hyaluronic acid, which helps to maintain healthy skin; hence it is widely used in beauty treatments and cosmetic medicine.
Factors that decrease Hyaluronic Acid
- The passage of age,
- The effects of UV radiation,
- Environmental contaminants.
These factors are associated with the reduction in the amount of this acid in the skin since the cutaneous cells are losing their capacity of production. In addition, the molecular weight of the hyaluronic acid also decreases, so that it no longer conserves the water, as it did previously. The skin becomes drier and loses its ability to maintain its hydration so that wrinkles appear. Due to the properties of HA, there is no other biological substance that can retain so much water and result in such a level of hydration, manifesting itself in a greater softness and reduction of wrinkles. In addition, the hyaluronic acid skin also nullifies the movements of foreign particles, such as bacteria,
The skin of a baby always shines with a special delicacy, a texture and a soft and comfortable touch. Newborns are born with a high percentage of hyaluronic acid, which allows maintaining this smooth appearance. However, as mentioned, the ability to synthesize HA decreases with age
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for Joints
Our joints (such as elbows and knees) are surrounded by a membrane called the synovial membrane, which forms a capsule around the ends of the bones. This membrane secretes a liquid called synovial fluid. Basically, the synovial fluid is found in the joint cavities. Among its many functions, they serve as a lubricant, shock absorber, and a nutrient carrier vehicle.
What is Synovial Liquid?
Hyaluronic acid is the most active form of GAG (glycosaminoglycans, a type of polysaccharide) and functions as a buffer i.e. help absorb the continuous blows. Similarly, it allows maintaining lubricated joint. The synovial fluid is formed by hyaluronic acid, is a viscous substance and protects the joints and bones. Cartilage is immersed in the synovial fluid and is a fibrous connective tissue. Because the cartilage is avascular, meaning that it does not contain blood vessels, using the synovial fluid will be the only way that nutrients can be carried to such cartilage.
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The synovial fluid also allows the elimination of waste products, often of an acidic nature, which derives from the destruction of the cartilage matrix and therefore relieves joint pain; also acts as a potent antioxidant, neutralizing the detrimental effect of free radicals on the joint.
As we age, fluid viscosity decreases and joint problems such as pain, stiffness, lack of mobility, injury, infection, arthritis, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, tendonitis, etc. can decrease. Taking a hyaluronic acid supplement can help and avoid or minimize these problems as it is essential for the health of the synovial fluid that supports the bones and joints and provides a cushioning of the joints and helps transport nutrients to nourish and replenish cartilage.
If we make a comparison between the joints of the human body with the maintenance of an automobile engine, the liquid of the joint in the body imitates the engine oil. At regular intervals, the oil is replaced in the engines of our cars since the heat and the friction modifies the viscosity of the oils. The oil becomes thinner and loses ability to protect metal surfaces from excessive wear.
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for Lips
The lips are a skeletal muscle nucleus covered by epithelial tissue. The dermal layer of the lips is composed primarily of connective tissue and its components hyaluronic acid and collagen, which provide structure (shape) and roundness to the lips. HA binds to water to create a gelatinous fluid that hydrates the surrounding tissue and keeps the collagen hydrated (responsible for keeping skin tight).
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for Hair
Structurally, the scalp is identical to the skin tissue throughout the body except that it also contains approximately 100,000 hair follicles that give rise to hair. Actually, the hair and the hair follicle are a derivative of the skin tissue. Mainly, we can distinguish two layers of the skin, the epidermis (outer layer) that gives rise to the protection screen of the body and the other, the dermal layer (deep layer), which constitutes the greater part of the skin and is where Finds the hair follicle.
That dermal layer is composed of connective tissue, which with its gelatinous liquid, provides, nourishes and moisturizes the deep layers of the scalp. The result is bright healthy hair and a hydrated scalp. Again, all this is made possible by the presence of HA in the scalp.
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for Gums
The properties of hyaluronic acid to maintain oral health are not well known. The gums are composed of a dense fibrous connective tissue (ligaments) that fix the teeth to the alveolar bone (jaw bone). Again, the connective tissue is composed of a fibrous tissue surrounded by hyaluronic acid (extracellular matrix). Without the presence of HA, the gum tissue deteriorates. If present helps to provide the tensile strength of the ligaments that hold the tooth, providing hydration and nutrition. The result is healthy gums.
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for Eye Health
Hyaluronic acid is very concentrated inside the eyeball. The fluid inside the eye called the vitreous humor is composed almost entirely of hyaluronic acid. The HA acts like a viscous gel inside the eye and acts as a buffer and also serves to transport the nutrients in the eye.