What is it about hyaluronic acid so popular? This product is loved by every generation, gender, worldwide. Even Khloe Kardashian snaps about it on the regular basis. There are skincare blogs out there that list hundreds of reasons why hyaluronic acid is fabulous, (we’re being a little dramatic here), but we prefer to keep it simple for you. Here are the 13 benefits of hyaluronic acid.
Why Is Hyaluronic Acid Good For Your Skin?
Hyaluronic acid promotes healthier, more supple skin. It also reduces the appearance of wrinkles, which may explain why several studies show that supplementing with it can make skin appear smoother. When applied to the surface of the skin, hyaluronic acid serums can reduce wrinkles, redness, and dermatitis
What Is Hyaluronic Acid Used For?
Hyaluronic acid (hyaluronan), a naturally occurring polymer within the skin, has been extensively studied since its discovery in 1934. It has been used in a wide range of medical fields as diverse as orthopedics and cosmetic surgery, but it is in tissue engineering that it has been primarily advanced for treatment.
The breakdown products of this large macromolecule have a range of properties that lend it specifically to this setting and also to the field of wound healing. It is non-antigenic and may be manufactured in a number of forms, ranging from gels to sheets of solid material through to lightly woven meshes. Epidermal engraftment is superior to most of the available biotechnologies and, as such, the material shows great promise in both animal and clinical studies of tissue engineering. Ongoing work centers around the ability of the molecule to enhance angiogenesis and the conversion of chronic wounds into acute wounds.
Applying hyaluronic acid directly to an open wound can help speed up the recovery process. It’s unknown whether supplementing with it would have the same effect.
Relieve Joint Pain
HA acts as an antioxidant and modifies inflammation. In joints, it cushions and lubricates. Levels of HA in joint fluid can be significantly reduced in people with osteoarthritis. So the substance (extracted from rooster combs or made by bacteria in a lab) is sometimes injected into joints to reduce arthritis pain and improve function. The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database says that HA is “possibly effective” for osteoarthritis when injected, though results have been mixed. It’s also injected as a facial filler. Hyaluronic acid supplements are effective at reducing joint pain in people with osteoarthritis. Injections can also be used but may come with risks.
When acid reflux occurs, the contents of the stomach are regurgitated up into the throat, causing pain and damage to the lining of the esophagus. Hyaluronic acid may help soothe the damaged lining of the esophagus and speed up the recovery process.
One test-tube study found that applying a mixture of hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate to acid-damaged throat tissue helped it heal much faster than when no treatment was used (1). Human studies have also shown benefits. One study found that taking a hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate supplement along with an acid-reducing medication decreased reflux symptoms 60% more than taking acid-reducing medication alone (2).
A second study showed that the same type of supplement was five times more effective at reducing acid reflux symptoms than a placebo (3). Research in this area is still relatively new, and more studies are needed to replicate these results. Nevertheless, these outcomes are promising. A combination supplement containing hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate may help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux in some people.
The use of hyaluronic acid is an effective and safe method of treating dry eye. Especially severe cases of dry eye showed a significantly reduced count of epithelial lesions. Hyaluronic acid is known to interact with CD44 receptors of epithelial cells and to promote the wound healing by stimulation of cell migration, proliferation, and differentiation. Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in the eyes and often an ingredient in eye drops to relieve dry eye symptoms. It’s unknown whether supplementing with it would have the same effects.
Hyaluronic Acid is found in all bones and cartilage structures throughout the body. Both of these structures provide a resilient rigidity to the structure of the human body. HA is especially found in various forms of cartilage but none more than the hyaline cartilage. As you’ve probably guessed it, hyaline is short for hyaluronic acid. Hyaline cartilage covers the ends of the long bones where articulation (bending) occurs and provides a cushioning effect for the bones. The hyaline cartilage has been called the “gristle cartilage” because its resistance to wear and tear. Hyaline cartilage also supports the tip of the nose, connects the ribs to the sternum and forms most of the larynx and supporting cartilage of the trachea and bronchial tubes in the lungs.
The lips are a core of skeletal muscle covered by skin tissue. The dermal layer of the lips is composed primarily of connective tissue and its components hyaluronic acid and collagen that give the structure (shape) and plumpness to the lips. The HA binds to water creating a gelatinous fluid that hydrates the surrounding tissue and keeps the collagen (responsible for keeping the skin tight) nourished and healthy. The result is healthy well hydrated and plump lips that are well protected from the environment.
The Gums (gingivoe) are composed of dense fibrous connective tissue (ligaments) which secure the teeth to the alveolar bone (jaw bone). Once again, connective tissue is composed of a fibrous tissue surrounded by hyaluronic acid (extra-cellular matrix). Without the presence of HA, the gum tissue becomes unhealthy. If it is present it helps to provide the tensile strength of the ligaments that secure the tooth in place by providing hydration and nourishment. The result is a healthy set of gums.
Intravesical instillation of hyaluronic acid may be a safe and effective way to reduce the likelihood of recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) infertile women, Italian investigators reported at the International Continence Society annual meeting.
Stimulates Skin Cell Regeneration
While it won’t speed up the cell renewal process, hyaluronic acid does help promote skin cell regeneration by offering extra hydration and barrier protection to the skin. This naturally leads to healthier cells and a more vibrant complexion.
And there you go, the Top Ten Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid.