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Acid (HA) for Skin and Joints
Key Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid Supplementation
(HA) moisturizes skin from the inside out, smoothing out wrinkles
in the process. HA acts as an internal cosmetic to hydrate the skin.
Hyaluronic acid is for people who need to ease the flexing of
their joints, especially their knees, by restoring cushioning to
Hyaluronic acid is for men and women in their 30s and 40s who
are beginning to see the first signs of aging.
Hyaluronic acid is for seniors who have established joint conditions.
Basic Functions of Hyaluronic Acid
As Hyaluronic Acid is present
in every tissue of the body; hyaluronic acid’s
importance cannot be underestimated. Retention of water is one of the
most important biological functions of hyaluronic acid, 1 second only to providing
nutrients and removing waste from cells that do not have a direct blood supply,
such as cartilage cells. With a lower than adequate amount of hyaluronic
acid, nutrients cannot be moved into these cells and waste cannot be eliminated
from cells. Hyaluronic acid is sometimes abbreviated as HA.
Hyaluronic acid is found in the synovial joint fluid, the vitreous
humor of the eye, the cartilage, blood vessels, extracellular matrix,
skin and the umbilical
Hyaluronic Acid is Found in Synovial Joint Fluid
joints (like the elbows and knees) are surrounded by a membrane
called the synovial membrane, which forms a capsule around the
ends of the bones. This membrane secretes a liquid called
the synovial fluid. Basically, the synovial fluid is found
in joint cavities. It has many functions, including serving
as a lubricant, shock absorber and a nutrient carrier. The
fluid protects the joints and bones. Cartilage is immersed
in the synovial fluid and is a fibrous connective tissue. Cartilage
is avascular, meaning it contains no blood vessels. This
is why the synovial fluid is so important. Synovial fluid
is the only way in which nutrients can be carried into the cartilage
and waste can be removed.
Hyaluronic Acid is a Key Component of Cartilage
is a specialized form of connective tissue. Hyaline
cartilage is the most predominant form of cartilage in the body. It
lends strength and flexibility to the body. A key component
of cartilage is hyaluronic acid. Cartilage is also avascular – with
no blood vessels. Nutrients are brought by the synovial fluid,
which is rich in hyaluronic acid to the cartilage, which is also
Hyaluronic Acid is in the Extracellular Matrix
Acid is found in the extracellular matrix (ECM). The
ECM is composed of material (fibrous elements, including glycosamino-glycans)
produced by the cells and excreted to the extracellular space with
the tissues. All nutrients and metabolic waste are transported
through the ECM. Hyaluronic acid is a major constituent of
the ECM and serves as an essential structural element of the ECM. Hyaluronic
acid locks moisture into the ECM and hyaluronic acid supports the
structural integrity of the extracellular matrix.
Hyaluronic Acid in the Skin
In the skin, the extracellular
matrix is composed of hyaluronic acid and other sulfated GAGs,
combined with collagen and elastin. Large
amounts of water are held in the ECM. When elastin is not
bathed in water, it becomes dry and brittle, thus the look of dry,
brittle, wrinkled skin.1
Half-life is defined as the time required for one half of the
total amount of a particular substance to be consumed, broken down,
depleted. The half-life of hyaluronic acid in the cartilage
is 2-3 weeks. But the half-life of hyaluronic acid in the
skin is less than 1 day! Hyaluronic acid is present in both
the dermis and the epidermis. 50% of the body’s naturally
produced hyaluronic acid that is found in the epidermis is metabolized
and excreted in less than 24 hours. Like hyaluronic acid
produced in the body, hyleronic acid taken as a nutritional supplement
moisturizes from the dermis to the epidermis - from deeper layers
of the skin to the outer layer.
The extracellular matrix fills up the space between the skin
makes the skin soft, smooth and elastic. But as we age, hyaluronic
content in the skin changes due to two separate clinically proven
factors. There is a decrease in synthesis of hyaluronic acid.
Recompartmentalization – from the epidermis to the dermis. Both
changes leave the epidermis depleted in hyaluronic acid resulting
in thinning, aging, and decreased moisture in the skin.
Medical Treatment with Hyaluronic Acid
acid for use by humans has been derived from rooster combs. Rooster
combs provide the purest form of hyaluronic acid available.
Physicians have injected hyaluronic acid directly into the synovial
fluid in the knee as a treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee
for the past 20 years. There
are many peer-reviewed articles written on the use of hyaluronic acid extracted
from rooster combs for this purpose. Cost is a concern. The wholesale
cost for the hyaluronic acid treatment series is about $620, plus the cost
of the outpatient facility and the physician.
From the Leaflet “Treating Knee Osteoarthritis with Injections” published
by the American Academy of Family Physicians:
"Your doctor might inject an anesthetic agent. This is
a medicine that makes your knee numb. It can stop the pain for
a short time--maybe days or a few
weeks. Another medicine, called a corticosteroid, can be injected along
with the anesthetic. These medicines together might make your
pain stay away longer.
"In the past few years, a medicine called hyaluronic
acid has been used for knee injections. Some hyaluronic acid
is already in the fluid in your joints.
In people with osteoarthritis, the hyaluronic acid gets thinner. When
this happens, there isn't enough hyaluronic acid to protect the
joint like it used
to. Injections can put more hyaluronic acid into your knee joint to help
Hyaluronic acid injection can be used to improve the skin's contour
and reduce depressions in the skin due to acne, scars, injury
or lines. Immediately
or within a few hours after injection the site may be red and swollen. This
usually disappears within a week. Another one or two treatments (at least
a week apart) may be necessary to achieve the desired correction. Hyaluronic
acid implantation is not permanent. Like natural hyaluronic acid, manufactured
hyaluronic acid once injected into the skin will gradually break down and be
absorbed by the body. In most cases, the hyaluronic acid augmentation usually
lasts between 6-9 months. Compared to collagen implants hyaluronic acid appears
to have a longer augmentation effect, possibly lasting 2 to 3 times longer
than the average collagen implant. To maintain the initial results, repeat
hyaluronic acid injections or top-up treatments will be necessary. Most people
following this protocol have 2 to 3 treatments per year.
Alternative treatments which impact the hyaluronic acid in the
skin include Retinoids prescribed by physicians which increase
the natural synthesis of
hyaluronic acid and accelerate the shedding of the skin. Chemical peels
remove the top, dry layer(s) of the skin. Facials cleanse the pores and
superficially moisturize the skin.
Nutritional Supplementation with Hyaluronic Acid
acid extracted from rooster combs has too large a chemical size
for absorption by the intestinal tract. When directly
extracted from rooster combs, the molecular weight is 1.2 to 1.5
million Daltons (Da). For comparison, the average molecule weight
of an amino acid is approximately 110 Da. But, wouldn’t
you know it, Japanese scientists developed a proprietary enzyme-cleaving
technique to lower the molecular weight of hyaluronic acid without
altering its chemical nature. The final molecular weight
of hyaluronic acid processed by the Injuv™ process is 5,000
Daltons. This allows hyaluronic acid to be taken orally as
a nutritional supplement.