What is Hyaluronic Acid and How Does it Slow Aging?
Hyaluronic acid seems to be the go-to product for glowing youthful skin. It’s an ingredient in serums, supplements, facial masks, eye drops, and arthritis-relieving injections—so, what exactly, is hyaluronic acid (HA), and does it help reduce the signs and symptoms of aging?
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a clear fluid substance, made from sugars, that’s found naturally in our bodies. It’s highly concentrated in the fluids found in our eyes and joints and about 50% is found in our skin. It binds to water to help attract and retain moisture, protect collagen, and provide lubrication and flexibility to the skin and joints. However, as we age, its levels decline and so does its benefits… which could be the reason why aged skin starts to look dryer and wrinkles become more pronounced.
The hyaluronic acid that’s used in supplements and anti-aging products used to be extracted from the combs of roosters. This method has steadily declined and the preferred method is now plant-based. Modern HA is manufactured in a laboratory by using specific hyaluronic acid-producing bacteria to ferment grains. The fermentation is finally purified and precipitated so that the result is pure hyaluronic acid.
Is hyaluronic acid anti-aging?
Yes, hyaluronic acid has shown to be anti-aging because it allows the skin and connective tissues to retain moisture and remain hydrated. It also helps maintain collagen levels which tend to decline as we age so hyaluronic acid also protects our joints, ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissues. Supplementing with an effective hyaluronic acid product can potentially slow down and even prevent the deterioration that comes with age.
For more on aging, you might also like to read our article: The Three Factors That Cause Premature Aging.
What are the benefits of hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid was first discovered in the early 1940s. Since then, it has become a topic for thousands of research papers. Here are a few of its major benefits.
It keeps bones and joints lubricated which can help improve joint pain and stiffness
Our bones, cartilage, and joints all contain hyaluronic acid. The cartilage and synovial fluid (a jelly-like substance in the joint) protect and cushion the bones. Because HA absorbs water, it helps hydrate bones, maintain collagen, and protect the cartilage and joints. And, as a result, it’s highly effective at reducing the symptoms associated with arthritis and other degenerative joint conditions.
For example, one of the many studies found it to help people, aged 70 and younger, with knee pain (osteoarthritis) after receiving 80-200mg of HA daily for two months.
Hyaluronic acid nourishes and hydrates aged, dry skin
This water-loving molecule can retain to 1 000 times its weight in water, it naturally hydrates dry skin and makes it look softer and smoother. The extra moisture also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Numerous studies have found that it reduces these aging skin signs and improves the suppleness and firmness of the skin.
It helps repair damaged skin and heals wounds
Hyaluronic acid also helps with tissue regeneration which makes it particularly effective at healing wounds and other skin damage, including sunburn. This is due to its ability to keep the tissue moist, manage inflammation, and stimulate the body to produce more blood vessels in the damaged area. This helps nutrients get to the damaged tissue and also helps the body remove waste from those areas.
May help maintain bone strength and health
Hyaluronic acid also seems to play a vital role in keeping our bones strong and healthy. Studies have found that HA may help slow down bone loss during the beginning stages of osteoporosis and another test-tube study found that HA helped bone cells grow.
Although more research is needed on HA and bone health, the studies are indicating that it can help our bones stay strong and delay bone loss due to aging.
Relieves dry eyes and associated discomfort
The eye socket contains a fluid that is almost entirely made out of hyaluronic acid. A lack of this fluid can lead to chronic dry eyes because the body is not able to produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. Chronic dry eyes are extremely uncomfortable.
A study found out that 1 out of 7 older adults (aged 65 to 84 years) suffer from dry eye. The research noted the prevalence of the condition doubled after the age of 59, which seems to indicate that we become more susceptible to this condition as we age. Using eye drops that contain hyaluronic acid can bring relief to this condition. Interestingly, researchers have found NMN to be beneficial in treating dry eye and improving eye function. You can find out more about NMN in our article What is NMN and Are There Any Side Effects?
Hyaluronic acid is also used in eye surgery to hydrate, reduce inflammation, and speed up wound healing. It’s been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help replace natural fluids in procedures like cataract removal, repairing detached retina and corneal transplants.
What foods contain hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid is produced naturally by our bodies and is found in certain foods. There are also foods that you can eat to help your body produce and preserve HA. These include the following:
Including the above foods into your diet will only benefit your natural hyaluronic acid levels. However, supplementing in a form that has high bioavailability is one of the most effective ways to restore your levels and prevent the natural decline in HA that comes with age.
Which is the best hyaluronic acid supplement?
Hyaluronic acid comes in many forms such as serums, creams, oral supplements, eye drops, and injections. If you have a specific condition, and your health practitioner recommends hyaluronic acid, he or she will most likely give you the supplement that will be most effective. For example, if you struggle with osteoarthritis in the knee, he or she might well administer an HA injection.
Serums are widely used in beauty products and anti-aging creams, however these work from the outside in. Also, some oral supplements have a low bioavailability because HA has a naturally high molecular weight which means that you experience fewer health benefits.
At Youth & Earth, we have developed two products that will help restore your hyaluronic levels. INJUV works from the inside out to combat the signs of aging, and to hydrate and rejuvenate your skin. We’ve formulated this product with low molecular weight hyaluronic acid to improve oral bioavailability so that you experience the maximum health benefits from our products.
Our Liposomal Hyaluronic Acid has high bioavailability and allows HA to be absorbed directly into the cells and tissues where it's needed the most. This revolutionary product gets to work deep within the skin and cells, allowing you to look and feel younger.
For more on liposomal supplements and why they are so effective, read What are Liposomal Supplements and How Do They Work?
What are the side effects of taking hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid supplements are generally considered safe and allergic reactions are rare because it’s naturally produced by the body. However, as with most supplements, there are always a few individuals who may experience side effects and we recommend that you consult with your health care practitioner before trying out a new supplement, particularly if you suffer from a chronic condition or are on medication.
Breastfeeding or pregnant women should also seek medical advice before considering supplementing with hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic injections to the skin or joints present a higher risk of side effects. However, the concern is with a reaction to the injection procedure rather than with the substance itself. Side effects that may occur include pain in the joint that’s injected, swelling, and stiffness, redness, itching, or tingling. Individuals might also experience headaches and dizziness. If you are going to undergo HA injections, it’s best to seek medical advice about the known side effects.
If you are struggling with joint pain and stiffness, and your skin is feeling dry and dehydrated, then supplementing with hyaluronic acid will potentially help ease many of these symptoms. For further relief and to help inflammation, you can also try supplementing with our Krill Oil that has shown to be beneficial in providing relief to inflamed joints and many other conditions. You can read more on Krill Oil and its benefits in What is Krill Oil and Why Is It Good for You? As with all health supplements, the most benefit is found when taken in conjunction with a healthy diet and active lifestyle.
Aging does not necessarily mean deteriorating. By supplementing wisely, living an active and healthy life with purpose, you can actively work towards staying younger for longer.
Aging is not ‘lost youth’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength.
- Betty Friedan
The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or health provider before starting a new health regime or program. Do not ignore medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you’ve read on this site or any Youth & Earth product.