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 in the body
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.
At the very bottom layer of our skin is the subcutaneous tissue or hypodermis. This tissue consists mainly of fat that keeps the body warm, stores energy, and protects inner organs. The subcutaneous tissue houses sweat glands as well as a system of tiny muscles connected to our hair follicles. As we age and the subcutaneous tissue thins, our skin begins to sag and the epidermis contracts, causing wrinkles to appear.
Hyaluronic Acid and the Dermis
HA of the skin is found in both the deep underlying dermal areas as well as the visible epidermal top layers. The dermal layer of the skin and lips is composed of collagen and HA, which contribute to the structure and shape. While collagen makes up the majority of the dry weight of the dermis, HA provides the moisture. It hydrates the dermis, which is roughly 70 percent water.
HA’s affinity to water is akin to a sponge. HA binds to water creating a viscous fluid that hydrates the surrounding tissue and keeps the collagen nourished and healthy. HA allows the skin to retain its supple and firm tone and youthful appearance.
Hyaluronic Acid and the Lips
The lips are a core of skeletal muscle covered by skin tissue. The dermal layer of the lips is composed primarily of connective tissue (made up of HA and collagen), which gives the lips structure (shape) and plumpness. The HA binds to water creating a gelatinous fluid that hydrates the surrounding tissue and keeps the collagen (the rubber bands responsible for keeping the skin tight) nourished and healthy.
The result is healthy, well-hydrated and plump lips that are protected from the environment.
Hyaluronic Acid and the Scalp
Structurally the scalp is identical to the skin tissue located throughout the body except it also contains about 100,000 hair follicles that give rise to hair. The hair and the hair follicle are a derivative of skin tissue. The dermis is where the hair follicle is located. The dermal layer is composed of connective tissue and is rich with HA. It nourishes and hydrates as well as supports the deep layers of the scalp. The result is healthy lustrous hair and a moisturized scalp. Again, all of this is made possible because of the presence of HA in the scalp.
HHyaluronic Acid for Gorgeous Skin
Today, Hyaluronic Acid injections are a common cosmetic procedure to safely enliven, plump and smooth wrinkles and improve elasticity of aging skin. HA is also used topically to hydrate and smooth skin in serums and moisturizers. Additionally, its used in shampoos and conditions for lustrous hair and lip balms for shapely, smooth lips.
Topical Hyaluronic Acid provides a great convenient and affordable way to provide HA to the skin.
Findings shows that topical HA makes its way to the dermis where it hydrates and nourishes the collagen and helps to smooth and plump the skin. In a study published in 1999 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, HA made its way to the dermis of test subjects within a relatively short period after application.
The best news about Hyaluronic Acid is that it really can work. In a study published in the May 2008 issue of Dermatologic Surgery, researchers made note of HA’s ability to rejuvenate facial skin.
Hyaluronic Acid for better eyesight
The very substance that nourishes the collagen in our Eye Diagram skin and provides the cushion in our joints, also makes up a large percentage of our eyes’ vitreous humor gel fluid. We need an abundance of HA for healthy eye function.
The vitreous humor is the clear substrate that light shines through until hitting the back of the eye to form an image on the retina. The HA in the vitreous humor cushions the structures of the eye and helps maintain its shape as we play contact sports, run, or just move about throughout the day. Think of how different it feels to walk or run barefoot on a hard surface—you can feel the shock in your legs and hips—versus walking with soft shoes or cushioned insoles. Most of this skeletal shock from our movement is transferred up the vertebral column to the skull and the eyes and brain. In its infinite wisdom, the body supplies an abundance of HA to act as a shock absorber within the eyes to stabilize vision and protect delicate eye tissues.
It has become a common practice for eye surgeons to inject Hyaluronic Acid directly into the eye in order to maintain the shape of the eye during surgery. The hydrating, viscous properties of HA support not only eye shape and resilience, but also transport nutrients into the eye. Thus, HA helps play a major role in maintaining the health of other ocular tissues like the cornea and retina. It is believed that after the fifth decade of life, our eyes may stop producing Hyaluronic Acid which may result in various eye problems such as poor vision, dry eyes and floaters. Healthy levels of HA in the eyes is important to their proper functioning and longevity.
Hyaluronic Acid and Gum Health
Our bodies’ connective tissue is composed of fibrous tissue surrounded by HA. HA is also known as the extra-cellular matrix, acting much like mortar between the bricks.
The gums (gingivae) are composed of dense fibrous connective tissue (ligaments), which secure the teeth to the alveolar bone (jaw bone). Without enough hyaluronic acid, the gums connective tissue becomes unhealthy. When an abundance of HA is present, it helps to provide the tensile strength of the ligaments that secure the tooth in place by providing hydration and nourishment. Having adequate amounts of HA in the connective tissue is integral to maintaining the health and longevity of your gums.
Of course, as we age and our bodies are not able to produce enough HA to replace what is bro-ken down. Our gum health is at risk too.
An overall HA supplement or toothpaste may help bring needed HA to the gums as well as to the joints, skin, eyes and other areas of the body.