Hyaluronic Acid: Nicknamed “The Key to the Fountain of Youth”
• May slow the signs of wrinkles and ageing
• May help even out skin tones
• Maintains eye health
• Helps correct problems found in connective tissues
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic Acid is a non-sulfated glycosaminoglycan distributed widely throughout connective, epithelial, and neural tissues. It is one of the chief components of the extracellular matrix, contributes significantly to cell proliferation and migration. The average 70 kg man has roughly 15 grams of hyaluronan in his body, one-third of which is turned over (degraded and synthesised) every day.
Hyaluronic acid has been nicknamed the “key to the fountain of youth” because it has been noted that at least some people who ingest a lot of it in their diets tend to live to ripe old ages. Could Hyaluronic Acid be an anti-ageing remedy?
Scientists have recently focused on the possible anti-ageing benefits of hyaluronic acid, also known as Hyaluron or HA. In a story entitled, “The Village of Long Life: Could Hyaluronic Acid Be an Anti-Ageing Remedy?”, the focus was on a villiage in Japan named Yuzuri Hara where people usually live a long time and often have perfect skin into their 80’s or even into their 90’s. More than 10 percent of the population of his village is 85 or older, which is about ten times the average person.
Some studies suggest that the reason that residents of Yuzuri Hara, known as “The Village of Long Life,” live such long and healthy lives is mainly due to the fact that the local diet that is unique to the village features a starchy vegetable which is particularly rich in HA. In fact a large pharmaceutical company in Japan began Research & Development on a pill supplement containing HA. When they tested the pills on one thousand individuals, around half of them reported smoother skin and even improved eyesight. Hyaluronic acid has also proven effective in lubricating arthritic joints as well, as certain studies have shown positive results from injections into the joints of Hyaluronic Acid, a component of the bodies own lubricant fluid, that may delay the need for a joint replacement.
How does Hyaluronic Acid work?
Hyaluronic Acid is plentiful in our bodies when we are born, but it’s levels gradually recede over time. This reduction in HA levels may be a big part of the ageing process which we see. Hyaluronic Acid occurs in the deeper layers of our skin known as the dermis and it appears to help keep the skin smooth because of it’s water retention qualities. Hyaluronic Acid also apparently helps to repair skin wounds and certain other problems.
Hyaluronic acid’s function is to cushion and lubricate. Hyaluronan occurs throughout the body in abundant amounts in many of the places people with hereditary connective tissue disorders have problems such as joints, heart valves and eyes. Hyaluronic acid abnormalities are a common thread in connective tissue disorders. Interestingly, they are also common biochemical anomalies in most of the individual features of connective tissue disorders such as mitral valve prolapse, TMJ, osteoarthritis, and keratoconus.
Why take Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic Acid appears to help maintain collagen levels. Under normal circumstances, collagen depletion is widely considered to be a prime factor in subpar skin tone as well as elasticity of the skin, something that is often associated with the visual ageing process.
Hyaluronic Acid makes up about eighty percent of the human eye, a fact that is surprising to some people. It is a sort of shock absorber to the retina, which helps to prevent trauma to the eye. It has only been recently that hyaluronic acid has been considered effective in oral form although it has long been used in injections into the joints.
Hyaluronic acid is being used experimentally to correct a large portion of the problems found in connective tissue disorders such as fractures, eye disorders, poor wound healing and prematurely wrinkled skin. It would be highly logical to consider the possibility that hyaluronic acid works to correct these problems because defects or deficiencies of hyaluronic acid are what cause these problems in the first place.