5 Reasons to use Hyaluronic Acid

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5 Reasons to use Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid is important to your skin, hair, nails, joints, tendons and so much more!

1. Healthy lifestyle 2. Hydration for skin, joints, hair, tendons, eye and bones 3. Healthy Mobility 4. Youthful skin appearance 5. Healthy eyesight

Hyaluronic Acid, live a healthier lifestyle

In late 2002, the ABC News show Primetime sent correspondent Connie Chung to the small farming village of Yuzuri Hara, located in a hilly region just two hours outside of Tokyo, Japan. Curiously, the townspeople of Yuzuri Hara were living well into their 90s without the usual signs of aging. When Chung introduced the world to this small town and the remarkable longevity and health its people were experiencing, of course, the world wanted to know the town’s age-defying secret.

In Yuzuri Hara, roughly ten percent of the villagers are aged 85 or older. That figure might not sound like much, but if you compare it to the national average here in the United States, where it is one percent, it is indeed curiously high.

Even more remarkable, the elderly population of Yuzuri Hara enjoys unusually good health compared to what one observes elsewhere in the world. Even those who have a lifetime of unhealthy habits, such as smoking or unprotected sun exposure, are in good health. Men and women well into their 80’s and 90’s still have smooth, beautiful skin. They are active, oftentimes able to perform physically demanding work in the fields that requires strength and flexibility. They also demonstrate excellent eyesight and seldom get sick. Doctors, farmers, innkeepers, all routinely practice their professions into their 80’s.

Japanese researchers believe that one major factor in the health and longevity of the villagers is their diet. Because the village is in a particularly hilly region, they rely on a variety of starchy root vegetables rather than rice cultivation. Staple foods include satsumaimo, a type of sweet potato; satoimo, a sticky white potato; konyaku, a gelatinous root vegetable concoction; and imoji, a potato root.

These particular vegetables contain nutrients that stimulate Hyaluronic Acid (HA) production in the body, which normally slows as the body ages. Comparatively, the people of Yuzuri Hara have higher levels of HA in their body than most. The increased levels of HA may ward off the aging process by helping the cells of the body thrive and retain moisture, keeping joints lubricated, protecting the retina in eyes, and keeping skin smooth and elastic.

Dr. Toyosuke Komori, the town doctor who has studied and written books on longevity in Yuzuri Hara, is interviewed in the Primetime segment and attributes the diet and increased HA production in the body as a probable factor. Komori, 80, who himself follows the local diet of very little meat and a lot of homegrown sticky starches, tells Chung, “I feel very strongly that if I had not come here to Yuzuri Hara, I would not have lived this long and healthy of a life.

I probably would have died from some adult disease.” Sadly, Komori also mentions statistics showing that since Western-style processed food infiltrated the village, heart disease doubled. With the younger generation falling prey to unhealthy foods, an upside-down death pyramid has emerged in which adults die before their elderly parents.

Regardless of the more recent statistical changes in Yuzuri Hara, the story of the Village of Long Life triggered widespread interest in hyaluronic acid and its age-defying effects.

Improve levels of Hydration in Body

Hyaluronic Acid, also known as hyaluronan or hyaluronate, is a hydrophilic (waterloving) carbohydrate found naturally throughout the human body. First isolated by Karl Meyer in 1934, HA is comprised of the molecules N-acetyl glucosamine and glucuronic acid. Its linear, rope-like structure allows it to bind up to 1,000 times its weight in water. As

HA seeks out and binds to water, it becomes a viscous, Jell-O-like substance that serves as the body’s natural lubricant and provider of cushioning and elasticity. Hyaluronic Acid is found in our bodies’ connective tissues (tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, ground substance/matrix or extra cellular matrix fluid) and synovial fluid between the joints and eyes.

Hyaluronic Acid’s Molecular Structure

Hyaluronic Acid’s Rope Structure

Hyaluronic Acid was first used commercially in 1942 when Endre Balazs applied for a patent to use it as a substitute for egg whites in baked goods. Its discovery was very unique. No other molecule had ever been examined with such unusual properties in the human body. Balazs went on to be-come the leading expert on Hyaluronic Acid, and made the majority of findings concerning hyaluronic acid benefits. However, Hyaluronic Acid was not commonly used medically until the 1990’s.

Hyaluronic Acid in the body

Today, thousands of clinical trials exist that examine the use of Hyaluronic Acid mostly in the fields of eye surgery and orthopedics. Orthopedic injections are now commonly used to support healthy joint movement. HA oral supplementation is used for eye and joint health support. HA is often used to support the eye during eye surgery. Since the airing of Prime time’s segment on Yuzuri Hara in 2002, Hyaluronic Acid has been widely studied for its age-defying properties for beautiful, youthful-looking skin. Cosmetic injections under the skin have become increasingly popular for smoothing wrinkles. HA is also applied topically to hydrate, moisturize and enliven aging skin.

HA and Aging

The human body degrades about one-third of its Hyaluronic Acid stores each day. Normally, this Hyaluronic Acid is simply replaced with new Hyaluronic Acid that the body synthesizes, but beginning as early as young adulthood, our production of HA begins to decrease, and this decrease accelerates with age. By middle age, our bodies can no longer make up the amount of HA they lose, and the telltale signs of aging become apparent. Joints lose their ability to maintain proper cushion, and there is a need to support healthy movement. The collagen in our skin loses its moisture, and the skin sags and wrinkles. Around age 50, it’s estimated that we can have as little as half the amount of Hyaluronic Acid in our skin that we did in our 20’s. Put simply: without enough Hyaluronic Acid, we look and feel old!

Better Mobility with improved levels of Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid plays a critical role in healthy movement throughout our lifetime. As we grow older, discomfort begins and the joints experience limitations in movement. Maintaining healthy levels of Hyaluronic Acid in our joints and bodies is one way to ensure healthy joints and flexibility as we age.

Our joints are surrounded by a synovial membrane, which forms a capsule around the ends of two articulating bones, and Hyaluronic Acid is a major component of the synovial fluid that lubricates this joint capsule and provides cushion.

Hyaluronic Acid is to our joints what motor oil is to a car’s engine: it provides lubrication to keep the parts running smoothly without grinding against each other. Similarly, as we age, the viscosity of synovial joint fluid lessens. We need to maintain healthy levels of HA in the body, just as we might top off our car’s oil pan.

This long complex molecule forms a ball shape, which resists compression and provides cushion. However, with inflammation or other conditions the complex hyaluronic acid molecule breaks down to smaller pieces and is unable to maintain a ball shape. In this broken down state, HA can no longer provide cushioning in the joint. The fluid becomes water like and unable to cushion the joints.

Hyaluronic Acid in Cartilage

In addition to Hyaluronic Acid’s rich synovial fluid’s elastic, shock-absorbing and lubricating properties, it carries nutrients to the cartilage and removes waste from the joint capsule. As cartilage is without blood flow, the synovial fluid’s HA helps perform these functions in the body.

Since we lose Hyaluronic Acid as we age, it’s not surprising that research has shown that the joint fluid of consumers with joint health issues have reduced levels of HA. Stimulating the body’s production of Hyaluronic Acid or increasing the presence of Hyaluronic Acid through injection or supplementation appears to be a logical means to support joint health. Multiple studies show that those with joint health concerns benefit from Hyaluronic Acid as it supports proper joint cushioning. Fortunately, Hyaluronic Acid is available to everyone who wishes to support joint health.

Individuals wishing to maintain healthy joints can do so easily, conveniently and afford-ably by supplementing with HA. Findings have shown that after a single oral dose of HA, ample HA may find its way to the joints.

Glucosamine and Hyaluronic Acid

Glucosamine is a well-known joint health supplement. Interestingly, studies have found that the effectiveness of glucosamine supplementation may be largely due to its ability to boost synthesis of HA in the joint fluid. Glucosamine is only a piece of the joint-health puzzle, and in fact, a molecular component in HA. Glucosamine is a modified sugar, whereas HA is a complex molecule that, when broken down, releases a glucosamine molecule. There are proper-ties related to Hyaluronic Acid’s complexity that aren’t present in glucosamine—mainly that HA is the key ingredient in joint fluid lubrication. Supplementing with Hyaluronic Acid and glucosamine together is a great strategy for overall joint health support.

Hyaluronic Acid and the Connective Tissue Connection

Connective tissue is found everywhere in the body. It does much more than connect body parts; it has many forms and functions. Its major functions include binding, support, protection, and insulation. One such example of connective tissue is the cord-like structures that connect muscle to bone (tendons) and bone to bone (ligaments). In all connective tissue there are three structural elements. They are ground substance (Hyaluronic Acid), stretchy fibers (collagen and elastin) and a fundamental cell type.

Whereas all other primary tissues in the body are composed mainly of living cells, connective tissues are composed largely of a nonliving ground substance (HA), which separates and cushions the living cells of the connective tissue.

The separation and cushioning allow the tissue to bear weight, withstand great tension and endure abuses that no other body tissue could. All of this is made possible because of the presence of the Hyaluronic Acid and its ability to form the gelatinous ground substance fluid.

Ultimately, Hyaluronic Acid serves to keep tendons and ligaments hydrated and nourished—and the presence of Hyaluronic Acid helps lessen friction and is an important component in maintaining healthy mobility.

Methods of Increasing Hyaluronic Acid in the Body

To promote healthy aging, it makes perfect sense to do all we can to maintain adequate amounts of HA in the body. There are nutritional ways of supporting the body’s production of HA. While our western diet may not resemble that of the people of Yuzuri Hara, we can incorporate foods that are rich in magnesium, zinc, copper and silicon into our diet. These minerals are helpers in the preparation of HA.

Another nutritional strategy is to favor foods and herbs such as grape seed extract, horse chestnut and resveratrol may help the body prevent hyaluronidase, the enzyme that breaks down HA, from getting out of control and attacking our own increasingly scarce supplies.

HA skin injections to improve skin appearance and knee injections for joint health are com-mon procedures provided by medical doctors.

One of the easiest and most affordable ways to increase the amount of HA in our bodies is to supplement with HA orally or used topically in shampoos, conditioners, skin se-rums, scrubs, moisturizers, and other preparations. High molecular weight (HMW) HA is roughly the size of the body’s naturally formed HA, which may make it more beneficial as a supplement.

More youthful skin appearance with Hyaluronic Acid

When you understand how integral HA is to healthy, youthful skin, you’ll wonder why HA’s age-defying effects were not discovered sooner! Although HA can be found naturally in most every cell in the body, it is found in the greatest concentrations in the skin tissue and collagen. Roughly half our body’s HA is found in the skin, which is the largest organ in the body comprising about 15 percent of our body weight. While the half-life of HA in the body is estimated to be less than three days, it can be as little as one day in the skin.

Smooth, elastic young skin is naturally loaded with HA—as our young bodies produce HA abundantly and easily replace the HA that is lost. The HA provides continuous moisture to the skin by binding up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Unfortunately, the ability of our skin to produce HA decreases as we age and consequently, the amount of HA in our skin drops significantly. In addition to our body producing less water-loving HA as we age, over time free radicals, produced mostly through exposure to pollutants and sunlight, destroy the HA in the skin. Without enough HA in the skin, the skin loses its ability to hold water leaving a drier, thinner and wrinkled appearance. It’s similar to what happens to drying plums and grapes—as they lose moisture, they become dried and wrinkled. The skin consists of three main layers: the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis.

Less than a millimeter thick, the epidermis protects our bodies from heat and cold. The condition of the epidermis determines how the skin looks and also how well the skin absorbs and holds moisture.

The dermis is the middle layer of the skin and the skin’s support structure. It is the thickest layer and comprises a network of collagen and elastin fibers. The dermis represents the majority of the thickness of the skin (the epidermis above it makes up only a small percentage of the skin. The dermis gives the skin its elasticity and resilience.