Hyaluronic acid, also called hyaluron (HA) has been called the fountain of youth. The benefits of hyaluronic acid were discovered when a reporter visited the Japanese village of Yuzuri Hara. He was amazed by how young the village elders appeared.
Studies found their youthfulness was due to oestrogen type molecules present in the tofu and soy in their diet. These molecules trigger cells to make more hyaluronic acid.
What is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the connective tissue in our bodies and 50% of it is found in skin. HA is a major component of the ECM, extra cellular matrix – the framework that gives our skin its structure. Other major components are collagen and elastin.
HA is a glycosaminoglycan, a polysaccharide which is a large sugar and a gel like molecule providing a cushioning agent in all mammals. HA cushions joints, nerves, skin, hair and even the eye. It has a unique ability to store large amounts of water and can in fact hold as much as 1000 times its own weight in water. However as with most things that keep us young, the levels of HA diminish with age.
Our bodies naturally contain 150 gms of hyaluronic acid, it is in every part of the body and has multiple functions. Scientific studies show that it is associated with skin hydration, stimulating the production of collagen and as an antioxidant to protect the body.
A third of the hyaluronic acid in our body turns over every day as it degrades and resynthesizes but as we age this process slows down. It is believed that levels fall to only 50% of our requirements by the mid-40’s. A supplement containing hyaluronic acid would help to reduce this fall in production.
What are the benefits of hyaluronic acid for the skin?
Because hyaluronic acid can hold high amounts of water it keeps the skin hydrated and gives it a plumper glowing appearance. HA acts as a sponge in between the collagen and elastin fibres to absorb water and plump out the skin.
It naturally reduces the signs of ageing by decreasing ‘epidermal water loss’ associated with sun exposure and skin dryness. One of the benefits of this hydrating action is to give a smoother appearance and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Other benefits of supplementing with hyaluronic acid
Joints: glucosamine is well known for its benefits to joint health, it is part of a group of compounds associated with strengthening the joints. This group of compounds is called called GAGS or glycosaminoglycans and hyaluronic acid is the most active amongst the group for lubricating and acting as a shock absorber.
Eye health: The fluid inside the eye socket is composed almost entirely from hyaluronic acid. Using hyaluronic eye drops and taking a supplement containing it can help to lubricate the eyes and protect from dry eye issues.
How can I improve the level of hyaluronic acid in my skin?
The hyaluronic acid molecule is too large to penetrate into the dermis tissue but applying it to the skin does give some benefits. It contains moisture attracting properties drawing water to the skin to keep it hydrated.
Hyaluronic acid can be used as dermal fillers to be injected into the dermis to fill out fine lines and wrinkles.
Taking a hyaluronic acid as a supplement is an excellent way to ensure that not only the skin but the whole body can benefit from its properties.
Is hyaluronic acid vegetarian?
Hyaluronic acid can be obtained from different sources. Traditionally it was made from rooster combs, however now there are vegan alternatives. The hyaluronic acid that we use in Rejuvenated Collagen Shots, our vegetarian collagen Veggiecol, H3O Hydration and H3O Night Repair is from corn.