Hyaluronic Acid: Deeper Than Skin
In two previous newsletters on Collagen and MSM we maintained that beauty is not really “skin deep” as the saying goes, but it goes deeper than skin. For without inner health — joints, muscles, bones, cardiovascular system, etc. — we will not radiate the vitality and grace that is the origin of outer beauty. In this newsletter, we introduce you to one of the most hydrophilic (water loving) substances in nature, hyaluronic acid, and show how it can help create beauty from within.
Hyaluronic acid (also known as hyaluronan, hyaluronate or simply HA) is a naturally occurring carbohydrate made from glucuronic acid and N-acetyl-glucosamine. It is found in nearly every cell of our bodies, but is concentrated in the synovial fluid of joints, the vitreous and aqueous humors of the eyes and in the matrix of our connective tissues. Its rope-like structure gives it the impressive ability to bind with up to 1,000 times its weight in water creating a compression-resistant “gel” that provides structure for the eyes and lubricates joints and muscles. HA also moisturizes our tissues, including the fascia which enables our muscles to glide smoothly over nearby muscles and connective tissues so HA may offer relief to those suffering from myofascial pain. However, as we get older, we make less HA resulting in diminished mobility, dry, sagging, wrinkled skin and other signs of aging.
Hyaluronic acid is secreted by synovial membranes to create shock absorption for movable joints. It also brings nutrients to and waste from cartilage which has no blood supply (or nerves) of its own. HA is also present in bone and cartilage, especially hyaline cartilage that covers and cushions the ends of long, articulating bones. Hyaline cartilage is extremely durable making our bones and joints strong as well as resilient.
Hyaluronic acid may be helpful for those with fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. Aging and inflammation can cause deterioration of HA’s structure thereby diminishing the function of this amazing molecule, so, for people suffering from joint pain, HA supplementation can help get you moving freely again.
The skin, our largest organ, contains about half of our total hyaluronic acid. HA is part of the skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factor and can slow premature aging. Both HA and collagen are responsible for the skin’s structure: collagen keeps the skin firm yet elastic while HA moisturizes the skin and its collagen. HA can be taken internally and/or applied topically to remedy dry skin and speed the healing of wounds as well as plantar and skin ulcers. Hyaluronic acid helps protect the skin from ultra-violet (and other) radiation and, when used topically, it creates a film on the skin’s outer layer to help prevent water loss making it a wise choice in dry environments.
The skin of the scalp has a high concentration of hair follicles in the dermal layer. This layer contains connective tissues rich in hyaluronic acid that nourishes and hydrates the follicles which can result in healthy, lustrous hair.
And More ...
Eye Health: Our eyes contain a very high concentration of HA in the vitreous humor, the fluid in the eyeball, that protects and nourishes the eyes and helps them keep their shape. Taking HA supplements like Hyalogic's HylaVision can help maintain the health of the cornea and retina as well and may help improve floaters, dry eyes and poor eyesight.
Oral Health: Hyaluronic acid's moisturizing property makes it an ideal choice for dry mouth and Hyalogic's HylaMints HA lozenges offer a great delivery method. And hyaluronic acid enhances oral health in another way, too. Our gums are made of connective tissue (ligaments) that holds the teeth to the jawbone. HA keeps these ligaments strong by nourishing and hydrating them. Taking hyaluronic acid can help maintain your beautiful smile for years to come.
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