Hyaluronic Acid: More than Just Joint Support

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Hyaluronic Acid: More than Just Joint Support
Hyalu – what?! While hyaluronic acid doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, it may very well be the most important compound for the healthy structure of your body! Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in most every cell in the body and occurs in high concentrations in specific body locations, serving a different function in each.

Hyaluronic acid is classified as one type of glucosaminoglycan (GAG). Its unique structure enables it to hold water in tissues, giving it a, goo-like consistency which provides cushioning, moisture and resiliency. These qualities make hyaluronic acid not only a great compound for joint support, but also for skin and eyes. Below are a few ways in which hyaluronic acid can help support your overall body structure.

Tendon Health: Tendons connect muscle to bone and assist with smooth body movements during muscular contractions. Problems can occur when tendons start to lose their elasticity or when the layer of tissue encasing the tendon becomes compromised. When the surrounding tissue layer is injured, adhesions begin to form leading to inflammation and ‘sticky,’ painful movement. To further complicate things, tendons have poor blood supply, meaning that the nutrients necessary for healing are slow in getting to the injured area.

However, a low molecular weight form of hyaluronic acids allows for easy transport to the inflamed area with poor circulation. Since hyaluronic acid is the foundation for the formation of any new collagen or connective tissue-based structure, it helps repair the tendon. Additionally, hyaluronic acid has highly lubricating properties, allowing it to also assist with the rejuvenation of the encasing tissue.

Cartilage: Hyaluronic acid makes up the backbone structure of cartilage. Without the adequate hyaluronic acid backbone, cartilage will more readily fall apart and deteriorate. The primary type of cartilage compose of hyaluronic acid is hyaline cartilage. This type of cartilage covers the ends of the long bones where they meet and where bending occurs, providing a cushioning effect for the bones.

Synovial Fluid and Joints: Our joints are surrounded by a capsule known as the synovial membrane. This membrane secretes a liquid called the synovial fluid. This viscous fluid has two primary functions, to provide lubrication for the joints, allowing ease of movement, as well to offer a means of nutrient transport to the cartilage within the joint. Hyaluronic acid is the primary component of synovial fluid, helping joints to maintain resiliency and providing a cushion to help distribute mechanical force.

Eyes: Hyaluronic acid is highly concentrated inside the eyeball. It makes up a large part of the fluid cushioning behind the eyes, known as the vitreous humor, which helps protect against impact and acts like a shock absorber. Hyaluronic acid may also help reduce dry eyes.

Skin: Hyaluronic acid is a primary component of healthy skin. In fact, about 50 percent of the structural hyaluronic acid in the body can be found in the skin matrix! Young skin is smooth and elastic due to its high amount of hyaluronic acid that helps keep the skin looking healthy. Hyaluronic acid provides continuous moisture to the skin by binding and retaining water in the tissue. Unfortunately, the ability of the skin to produce hyaluronic decreases as we age. Declining skin levels of hyaluronic acid are associated with dryness, reduced flexibility, and wrinkles.

Hyaluronic acid is obviously a very important compound to many basic structures within the body. Quality of hyaluronic acid supplements is an important factor to consider when selecting a form to supplement with. Avoid low quality sodium hyaluronate, which does not provide the same benefits as natural hyaluronic acid. To make sure you are getting the most out of supplementation, a low molecular weight hyaluronic acid is best. This natural form of hyaluronic acid is extracted from rooster comb, purified and enzymatically split into smaller pieces, making it easy for the body to absorb. Start building a better body today with the help of hyaluronic acid!

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