Benefits Of Taking Hyaluronic Acid Supplements

· 6 min read
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Otherwise known as hyaluronan, hyaluronic acid is a clear substance naturally created in the human body. The majority of this substance thrives in your body’s connective tissues, skin, and eyes. It’s responsible for retaining water, keeping your tissues moist and well-hydrated.

While most people associate hyaluronic acid with the cosmetics world and injectable dermal (facial)  fillers such as Juvéderm, hyaluronic acid is actually an extremely versatile substance for humans.

Hyaluronic acid is a very valuable substance for a range of reasons. It can help hydrate the skin, cushion and lubricate the joints so you can move freely each day, and it even helps fight acid reflux and dry eyes.

Unfortunately, as we get older, our body’s ability to naturally produce hyaluronic acid begins to diminish. This is why so many people consider embracing supplementary solutions, reaching for hyaluronic acid supplements.

Advantages of Hyaluronic Acid

As we age, the natural production of various substances in our body begin to decrease, including hyaluronic acid. The less of this substance you have in your body, the more likely you are to suffer from a range of conditions, from slow wound healing, to dry eyes and skin, to increased wrinkle visibility.

Various forms of hyaluronic acid are used for cosmetic purposes, as well as supporting the body’s natural response to injury. Injections of this natural substance are approved by the FDA for cataracts and osteoarthritis, as this condition can be worsened by a body’s inability to retain moisture.

While research into all of the uses of hyaluronic acid today is ongoing, experts believe taking hyaluronic acid supplements can help with:

  • Inflammation and sores: Applying FDA-approved hyaluronic acid gels to sores in your mouth can help to accelerate healing.
  • Eye issues: hyaluronic acid into the eye can improve recovery from cataracts surgery. This substance can also help with relieving dry eye syndromes.
  • Aging skin: Injecting hyaluronic acid into facial wrinkles can help to reduce their appearance and create a “plumper” appearance for some time. However, your body will naturally process this substance after a while, so it’s not a permanent solution.
  • Osteoarthritis: hyaluronic acid injections reduce joint pain and stiffness in people suffering from osteoarthritis.

Many skincare products also use hyaluronic acid as a primary ingredient, to help promote the improved retention of moisture. The more your skin can hold onto moisture, the less likely it is to show wrinkles and signs of aging.

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Primary Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid Supplements

When your body’s natural production of hyaluronic acid decreases, taking a supplement can be an excellent way to counteract some of the side effects,such as signs of aging, or dry eyes. Some of the biggest benefits of supplementation with hyaluronic acid include:

1.   Improved skin health

Hyaluronic acid is one of the world’s most popular skincare ingredients. Around half of the hyaluronic acid naturally produced in your body is present in your skin, where it’s responsible for binding to water to retain moisture.

The natural aging process, exposure to radiation from the sun, and even pollution can all drain levels of hyaluronic acid in the epidermis, making the skin appear dry, lined, and even discolored.

Taking hyaluronic acid supplements can help with repairing skin and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Most anti-aging creams include hyaluronic acid. When used topically, hyaluronic acid serums are ideal for minimizing redness and dermatitis, while injections of hyaluronic can make skin appear firmer, and more youthful.

2.   Rapid wound healing

Our wounds need moisture to heal correctly, which is why hyaluronic acid is so important in rapid healing. If you’ve ever noticed it often takes longer for an older person’s wounds to heal than a younger person’s this is in part due to an absence of hyaluronic acid.

The right amount of hyaluronic acid in your body regulates inflammation and signals the body to build more blood vessels within the wound. Applying hyaluronic acid to skin wounds also reduces the size of wounds and minimizes pain much faster.

Because hyaluronic acid has antibacterial properties, it’s excellent for reducing the risk of infection when applied directly to open wounds. It’s also effective at combatting gum disease, speeding healing after surgery, and eliminating ulcers when used topically.

Notably, while serums and gels have proven to be very effective at improving wound healing, there’s limited research available on the impact of supplements at this time.

3.   Better joint health

More than just a tool for healthy skin, hyaluronic acid can also be found in the joints and the cartilage between your joints. With the right level of lubrication in your joints, your bones are less likely to grind together causing discomfort.

Hyaluronic acid injections are an approved treatment for people experiencing osteoarthritis. However, studies also show that taking hyaluronic acid supplementation is useful too. Taking between 80 and 200 mg per day can reduce knee pain in people with osteoarthritis.

Some research also indicates pairing oral supplements with injections can improve the pain-relieving benefits of hyaluronic acid for those with joint conditions and increase the time between shots.

4.   Reduced acid reflux

Research now indicates hyaluronic acid supplements may significantly reduce symptoms of acid reflux, which is what happens when the contents of the stomach move up into the throat. Studies suggest hyaluronic acid can soothe the damaged lining of the esophagus and speed recovery.

According to the research, mixing chondroitin sulphate and hyaluronic acid helps to accelerate healing much faster compared to when no treatment was used. Additional research has also indicated a similar supplement was five times more effective than using a placebo.

Research into the potential of hyaluronic acid for acid reflex is still very limited, but the existing studies look promising.

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5.   Better eye health

If there’s one part of your body in desperate need of constant hydration, it’s your eyes. Around 1 in 7 older adults suffer from dry eye syndrome due to reduced tear production. Hyaluronic acid’s ability to retain moisture makes it a fantastic treatment for dry eye.

Eye drops containing around 0.2-0.4% hyaluronic acid are shown to reduce dry eye symptoms and improve eye health on a regular basis. There are even contact lenses available today with slow-release hyaluronic acid to help treat dry eye issues.

Frequently, drops of hyaluronic acid are often used during surgery to lower inflammation and help wounds heal. It’s common for surgeons to apply these drops during cataracts surgery to help the eyes heal faster.

Other Potential Benefits

Some of the possible benefits of hyaluronic acid are still in the very early stages of discovery. As experts continue to champion the potential of this substance for anti-aging and joint prevention, scientists are beginning to explore other uses, such as:

  • Stronger bones: Research into animals suggests hyaluronic acid supplements can be ideal for bone health. One study found these supplements slow the rate of bone loss in rats experiencing osteopenia. Additional research is also beginning to indicate hyaluronic acid can increase the activity of the osteoblasts in the body responsible for building bone tissue.
  • Reduced bladder pain: For around 3-6% of women suffering from interstitial cystitis, hyaluronic acid supplements could help to relieve pain, inflammation, and increased need to urinate. It’s still not certain how exactly the supplement helps with these symptoms.
  • Combats gum disease: One systematic review found hyaluronic acid could play an important role in the post-operative care of people having dental procedures. It could also have a positive impact on the management of gum disease.
  • Improves dermatitis: Aside from tackling wrinkles and dry eyes, hyaluronic acid may also help to improve the symptoms of mild and moderate eczema. According to a study from 2011, hyaluronic acid improved dermatitis symptoms more than a ceramide-containing cream.
  • Treats vaginal dryness: One 2016 study found a combination of both estrogen cream and hyaluronic acid helped to relieve the symptoms of vaginal dryness for women. Using the hyaluronic acid was also found to have a positive effect on its own.

Should You Try Hyaluronic Acid Supplements?

As something our body produces naturally already, hyaluronic acid is widely regarded as a safe supplement for most people, with very few reported side effects. Since the body produces this substance naturally already, allergic reactions are rare.

However, it’s always worth speaking to a medical professional before you start taking a supplement. The impact of this substance on people during pregnancy and breastfeeding still hasn’t been thoroughly studied. There is also some evidence cancer cells may be sensitive to hyaluronic acid.

Before you begin taking supplements, ask your doctor whether any of the current treatments or other medications you’re using may lead to negative side effects.