What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a clear and odorless liquid which is often used by podiatrists and veterinarians to lubricate joints, strengthen meridians, melt hardened scar tissue and shorten injury recovery periods. It is used heavily by professional athletes.
Hyaluronic acid is one of the more heavily researched substances in medicine with literally thousands of clinical trials focusing on it.
The reason that Hyaluronic acid is so effective is because it is a water soluble oil that can selectively bond to water molecules or aqueous ions such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium, providing firmness in limp, soft tissue. It acts as a lubricant by allowing fibers to pass over each other smoothly, thus making the tissue softer. This is the reason that Hyaluronic acid is used to treat scarred tissue. Being a lubricant, HA allows the fibers of the scar tissue to slide past each other, making what used to feel hard become soft and flexible. It can also strengthen other structures like nerves and blood vessels.
Hyaluronic acid is capable of creating meridians by forming non-conducting tubes filled with highly conductive fluid. In other words, HA simply creates a pathway of high electrical conductivity by withdrawing from an area and leaving a high concentration of free aqueous ions. When we are tense or uptight the Hyaluronic acid in our body is tightly coiled, making our muscles and skin tense. This substantially slows down our ability to heal. But as we relax the Hyaluronic acid unwinds, allowing our muscles and skin to relax, which promotes healing.
Hyaluronic Acid, Could it Prevent Arthritis?
According to a February 2003 press release, Hyaluronic acid, a natural lubricant of the body, has been modified into an oral supplement and now its effects are being studied. In addition to being a lubricant, it “surrounds cells and acts like a sieve where almost everything that affects our cells needs to interact with it,” according to Dr. K. Dean Reeves, M.D., a Kansas City physiatrist.
Dr. Reeves went on to explain that the Hyaluronic Acid in our joints is a long molecule and makes a ball shape which resists compression. Arthritis is a condition where those molecules have been reduced to smaller pieces and have lost their ability to keep a ball shape. When this happens, a patient may recieve injections of hyaluronic acid in his or her joints. But this is a painful and expensive process. In addition, infection is a possibilty.
On the flip side of the coin, Hyaluronic acid that is taken orally is often degraded by stomach acid. However, HA has recently been modified to prevent this and its effects are now being studied. Although this study is not completed, Dr. Reeves says that oral hyaluronic acid has been in use for quite some time without any harmful effects noted. This is good news for the 40 million people who are estimated to suffer from Osteoarthritis by the year 2020.
Hyaluronic Acid – The Fountain of Youth?
Hyaluronic acid has been called The fountain of youth in the media because groups of people who consume a lot of it in their diets seem to live longer than average. Hyaluronic acid, which is also known as hyaluron, is found throughout the body in areas like joints and heart valves. Hyaluronic acid is a part of the connective tissue that cushions and lubricates. It is being studied as a treatment for connective system disorders such as Glaucoma, Keratoconus, muscle contractures and wrinkled skin, among other things.
Hyaluronic acid may indeed be a sort of fountain of youth since one of the main features of premature aging syndromes are hyaluronic acid abnormalities. Zinc or magnesium deficiencies may be involved in hyaluronic acid abnormalities. Magnesium, in particular, is needed for hyaluronic acid synthesis in the body. One thing that can degrade Hyaluronic acid is Vitamin C. Strep and staph are known to break down Hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic Acid May Reduce Osteoarthritis Knee Pains:
According to a recent article, osteoarthritis involves inflammation, and Inflammation is a complex immune response the body makes to injury, infection or other damage. One possible treatment for osteoarthritis, however, is an injection of hyaluronic acid into the affected area. Hyaluronic acid is a natural part of the joint cartilage of the body.
A study completed at the University of Cincinnati involved 61 patients with osteoarthritis of one or both knees. They received three weekly injections of hyaluronic acid into their painful knees. Most of them reported an improvement in function that lasted up to six months after the completion of the treatment.
Then a larger study was conducted in Indianapolis involving 226 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee to assess the efficacy of injected hyaluronic acid. As reported in Clinical Orthopedics(April 2001), it was reported that 58% of the subjects who received the injections of hyaluronic acid experienced an improvement in their pain levels, compared with 40% of those who had received injections of salt water.
One of the reasons that Hyluronic acid is such a promising treatment for osteoarthritis is that injecting it causes very few negative side effects.
Hyaluronic Acid-The Moisturizer of the Future:
According to “The Moisturizer of the Future” by Rebecca James, applying Hyaluronic acid to the skin may help prevent wrinkles from forming. That is because Hyaluronic acid, which the body produces in certain qualities on it’s own, helps to keep the skin moist, pliable, smooth and generally youthful looking.
Hyaluronic acid, also known Hyaluron, binds with skin and moisture, according to James. Furthermore, it can hold a thousand times its weight in water! While conventional lotions with oil hold water in place to feed the skin from the outside, Hyaluronic acid works from the inside out.
In fact, a lack of hyaluronic acid can contribute to premature wrinkling. In general, many people who take HA notice a definite improvement in their facial and body skin. Studies involving lamb fetuses helps explain why babies have such smooth skin. The amniotic fluid in which they are bathed is very rich in Hyaluronic acid.
There are several properties of hyaluronic acid that make attractive for clinical and commercial use. It is so mild that surgeons inject it into the eye during surgery, so tissues can be separated without damage. It is also one of the safe treatments for dry eye. Furthermore, it can be either injected or taken orally.
While attempting to find compounds that heal the skin without scarring, researchers found that rapidly healing and non-scarring wounds in lambs contain generous amounts of Hyaluronic acid for 21 days. But on the other hand slower healing wounds in older sheep that invariably scar contain similar levels of Hyaluronic acid for only 3 days, according to “Scarless Skin Wound Repair in the Fetus,” by Pete H. Lorenz in the Western Journal of Medicine Sept. 1993.
Hyaluronic Acid Discovered to Reduce Joint Inflammation:
There may be a new weapon in the fight against Osteoarthritis, according to a major cooperative research study between Calvin College and the Spectrum Health Flow Cytometry Laboratory. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that affects about 90% of people age 65 and older. David Deheer, a Calvin biology professor, and Calvin graduate Kyle Sheehan have spent 3 years studying the reasons why a compound known as Hyaluronic Acid helps to relieve osteoarthritis.
Hyaluronic acid, also known as Hyaluron is injected straight into affected the joint and is typically administered once weekly for five weeks. DeHeer and Sheehan have found that hyaluronic acid, a natural chemical found in the body in especially large quantities in the joint tissue, is a particularly efficient anti-inflammatory compound. Their findings are being reported in the papers of 3 medical journals: The Journal of Biological Chemistry and the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.
DeHeer and Sheehan discovered that Hyaluronic Acid interacts with a cell called a macrophage. This interaction apparently decreases inflamation, as HA signals the macrophage to settle down. In order to conduct their research, Deheer and Sheenan grew macrophage cell cultures, then studied the effects of clinical preparations of hyaluronic acid on those cell cultures, using an advanced piece of equipment called a flow cytometer. Macrophage cell cultures treated with the acid were dramatically affected, while those that were not treated thrived.
Obviously, if they had been in the body they would have caused inflammation. That is why Hyaluronic acid causes a reduction of inflammation and a reduction of pain, according to Deheer.
The Positive Effects of Hyaluronic Acid on Degenerative Arthritis:
Hyaluronic acid, or Hyaluronan, was initially used to treat degenerative arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis, in the 1960’s. In 1997, two brands of hyaluronan were approved by the FDA as devices to treat osteoarthritis of the knee.
Hyaluronic acid is normally part of the cartilage and synovial fluid. In the cartilage, hyaluronic acid merges with other molecules, thus helping the cartilage to handle the force of weight-bearing and movement in the joint. In synovial fluid, hyaluronic acid acts as a lubricant of the cartilage against lining of the joint and may have “shock absorber” properties. Although Hyaluronic acid is not a cure for osteoarthritis, it may improve pain and stiffness on a temporary basis. Upwards of 80% of the patients receiving hyaluronic acid are improved.
The way hyaluronic acid works to aid sufferers of osteoarthritis is not completely known. It may help by having anti-inflammatory properties; having short-term lubricating properties; and as a pain reliever as Hyaluronic acid soothes irritated nerve endings. In addition, Hyaluronic acid may stimulate the production of normal hyaluronic acid by cells in the joint lining.
Because Hyaluronic acid is derived from rooster combs, people allergic to chickens or chicken products should not take it. Possible side effects of Hyalurinic acid include rash and skin iritation. As with any medication, it is possible to be allergic to hyaluronan.
Japanese Village Demonstrates Anti-Aging Properties of HA:
According to Health Journalist Bill Sardi, Hyaluronic acid may be a key to the real-life fountain of youth. Sardi came to this conclusion after a tour of Japan.
In the villiage of Yuzurihara, about two hours north of Tokyo there were 10 times more Japanese who had lived into their eighth decade of life than in anywhere in the United States. The older people of this village didn’t show the usual evidence of aging such as wrinkled skin, stiff joints or poor eyesight.
Dr. Komori, the village doctor, has never seen a case of skin cancer in Yuzurihara, even though many residents have worked outdoors and smoked cigarettes all their lives. The village is located on a slope where rice is not grown. The residents of Yuzurihara eat sticky vegetables such as Tamaji, sort of like a sweet potato, and other roots and plants. Health authorities believe these plants help to promote a compound in the body called hyaluronic acid, or HA.
Hyaluronic acid holds more water than any other molecule. It therefore retains moisture in the skin and prevents wrinkles, acts as a shock absorber between joints as well as being a space filler between living cells. The human body makes about 3000 mg of hyaluronic acid a day. But as we age we produce less and less. Factors that reduce HA are ultraviolet radiation, excessive coppoer and/or iron, viruses and tumors. This results in the collapse of tissues. Hyaluronic acid is now being used orally and by injection.
Hyaluronic Acid Review, can it reduce effects of aging and improve eyesight?
As reported on Primetime ABC News, there is a substance that may be the real Fountain of Youth, or at least close to it. In the Japanese village of Yuzuri Hara, people often live well into their 90’s with few visible signs of aging. Over 10% of the population of this special village is over 85 years old. That is about 10 times the American average! The older residents of this villiage tend to be very healthy, they rarely get any diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, their skin typically shows few signs of aging, despite being a farming community and being heavily exposed to the sun all their lives.
the town doctor believes that the key may be locally grown starches, which may help the body produce a substance called hyaluronic acid, or Hyaluran, which aging bodies often lose over time. Hyaluronic acid may help combat aging by increasing cellular hydration. Hyaluronic acid is also a free radical destroyer and antioxidant. Hyaluran is found in all of your bodily tissues, with about 50% of your bodily HA located in your skin organ.
Hyaluronic acid also acts to keep your joints lubricated and acts as a sort of shock absorber for your cells. It is sometimes used in eye surgury to protect the retina and has been successfully used for lubricating arthritic joints. The latest research into osteoarthritis has demonstrated good results in treating joint pain with HA. Hyaluronic acid must be continually restored in your body since, unfortunately, the amount of time the molecule decays is less than 24 hours in the skin.
A major Japanese company recently tested Hyaluronic acid on 1,000 subjects. About half of them said they had smoother skin and better eyesight. Why does HA apparently benefit the appearance of your skin so much? According to Aimo Niskanen, D.V.M., Ph.D., hyaluronic acid retains up to 1,000 times its own weight in moisture. And your skin’s ability to glow depends largely on its capacity to retain moisture within the cells of its dermis, or it’s inner layer. In fact, your skin’s dermis layer is made up of about 70% water. Dr. Clive Solomons, Ph.D., F.A.I.C., has also noted that HA acts as a gel to help keep your tissues hydrated.