What is Hyaluronic Acid (HA)?
HA is a high molecular weight polysaccharide composed of alternating molecules of N-acetyl glucosamine and D-glucuronic acid. It is a member of the glycosaminoglycan family that is found within collagen throughout the body. Unlike other types of connective tissue, HA is not linked to other proteins or sulfur. As the most important space-filling substance in the human body, HA holds more water than any other molecule in the body and is necessary to keep collagen hydrated and tissues youthful.
As the most important space filling substance in the human body HA holds more water than any other molecule in the body and is necessary to keep collagen hydrated and youthful.
What does HA do in the body?
HA supports the structure of connective tissue by acting as a water magnet to maintain extra-cellular fluidity. HA forms a viscous fluid with exceptional lubricating properties necessary for the vital functions of many parts of the human body including the skin, heart valves, aqueous/vitreous portion of the eye and synovial fluid (joint cushion and lubricant). The skin contains over 50% of the body’s HA. Considering that skin is over 70% water and renews itself more frequently than most other bodily tissues, HA is absolutely vital for its structure and daily maintenance. Skin is constantly involved in cellular renewal and repair because of daily exposure to solar radiation, pressure, heat, trauma and minor wounds.
What is HA made from?
HA is made by human fibroblast cells. Commercial natural sources may be from rooster comb, chicken cartilage or microbial fermentation. NOW’s HA comes from a vegetarian source produced by microbial fermentation.
How much HA should I take?
Our bodies are in a continual state of rebuilding. New skin cells replace old ones about every 20 to 30 days. Normally, HA in skin tissue is broken down by an enzyme called Hyaluronidase at a precise rate. The rate of HA degradation can be increased by excess intake of riboflavin (B-2), ultraviolet radiation exposure and viruses. Any long-term overexposure to any of these may result in premature connective tissue breakdown, resulting in skin damage.
Considering that 10-150 mgs of HA is normally metabolized or excreted daily, with a higher rate of loss in persons over 50, it may make sense for older adults to begin supplementing with one 50 mg capsule three times daily to maintain equilibrium.