The Amazing Health Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid
Otherwise known as hyaluronan or hyaluronate, hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the body called a glycosaminoglycan. Characterized as gooey and slippery, this substance can be found all throughout the body, particularly in the eyes, joints, and skin. Naturally, it is highly concentrated in body areas where it helps retain collagen, increase moisture, and provide elasticity and flexibility. When we are younger, we tend to produce higher levels ofhyaluronic acid. As we age, production reduces considerably.
If the name rings a bell, it’s because hyaluronic acid can be found in anti-aging skin serums and other healthcare products. It is, in fact, dermatologically recommended to improve skin texture and appearance. Eye drops, wrinkle creams, lip balms, cold sore treatments, and joint-supporting formulas may contain hyaluronan.
Hyaluronic acid was originally taken from the rooster comb. This process is still done now, but hyaluronic acid can already be derived through a fermentation process in the laboratory. It is sold either in liquid, powder, or capsule form. Since the liquid form may contains preservatives or alcohol, I recommend checking the label to help you pick the best option for yourself.
Over the years, research has supported that hyaluronic acid has great water retention capacity. That’s why it functions to hydrate the body and lubricate the joints. It is also part of the fluid between cells (extracellular fluid) where tissue repair occurs.
Health Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
Joint lubrication – hyaluronic acid by nature is slippery; thus, it helps body parts where it is present to move smoothly. Thus it is found in all bones, connecting tissues, joints, tendons, and cartilage all over the body. It provides resistance to wear and tear and serves as a cushion for bones in the joints.
Hydration — a quarter teaspoon of hyaluronic acid holds approximately one and a half gallons of water! Hence, it is used as an ingredient in moisturizing creams and lotions. Its ability to prevent water loss naturally reduces the signs of aging due to exposure to sunlight, skin dryness, and flakiness.
Dry eye treatment — Doctors also use lubricating hyaluronic acid formulas to treat eye conditions such as cataracts.
Gut health — Naturally occurring hyaluronic acid (produced by your body or found in chicken collagen) are larger particles than synthetic forms and function in the gut to prevent inflammation and/or help you heal from inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Natural hyaluronic acid encourages the healing process in the gut and may prevent the development of a leaky gut. Important to note here that overuse of synthetic hyaluronic acid (isolated particles) can be inflammatory to the gut–they are smaller particles than natural ones and can potentially cause GI inflammation.
Increase your hyaluronic acid naturally
Natural forms of HA are found in bone broth (bone broth protein powder) and collagen. Kale, oranges, tofu and edamame, sweet potatoes, and almonds are rich in nutrients that support HA production.
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