Hyaluronic acid is a major substance produced naturally by our bodies. It has many benefits and is used in cosmetics and medicine. It has received a lot of hype due to its versatility. This article will talk about its numerous benefits and uses.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid, a.k.a hyaluronan, is a natural substance produced by our bodies. The gooey substance is mainly found in the eyes and connective tissues.
According to a study, it’s a group of sugar molecules. These molecules act as cushions and lubricants in tissues and joints.  The primary function of hyaluronic acid is to keep the tissues in our bodies moisturized and lubricated.
The production of the substance decreases as one gets older.  Your environment also plays an important role in accelerating the process of the reduced hyaluronic acid production of your body.
Different Forms of Hyaluronic Acid
Though hyaluronic acid is a natural substance, it is applied in other ways. Many products containing this substance are used for topical application, injection, or ingestion.
Here are the different forms:
You can take the supplements orally. Many products with hyaluronic acid are available in the market for different purposes.
Medical practitioners inject the patients with the substance during surgeries.
You can apply them directly to the skin. A lot of skin products contain hyaluronic acid for moisturizing and hydration.
Hyaluronic Acid Benefits
Many industries use hyaluronic acid because of its benefits. It has become a staple in supplements and cosmetic products designed for different purposes.
Here are some of the benefits of hyaluronic acid:
1. Improve Skin Condition
Skin products for all intended purposes have many ingredients, but one seems to be a common denominator among many of them. Hyaluronic acid is an active ingredient in cosmetic or skin products due to its moisturizing and hydrating properties. Having hydrated skin smoothes out the wrinkles on the face and provides a more glowing appearance.
Aside from cream and gels, the substance can also be directly injected into facial wrinkles to smoothen them out. The products can fight the effects of aging and make the skin look firmer. Furthermore, topical treatments can decrease redness and treat dermatitis as well.
2. Accelerated Wound Healing
The concentration of hyaluronic acid increases when there is injury or damage to the body. Hence, it pinpoints the substance as a vital component in healing wounds due to its antibacterial properties.
Hyaluronic acid regulates the inflammation levels of the body, which signals it to start creating more blood vessels in the damaged area of the body.  According to a study, a gauze pad applied directly to a wound reduces its size  It can decrease the feeling of discomfort and pain. Moreover, the substance reduces the risks of infection for open wounds.
It also helps with fighting gum diseases. If you ever find yourself needing tooth surgery, hyaluronic acid can speed up the process of your healing as well. Applied to sores inside the mouth, a gel containing the substance may be quite effective, provided that the gel is FDA-approved.
3. Soothe Eye-Related Discomfort
FDA approves the use of hyaluronic acid during cataract surgeries. The eye surgeon injects it to facilitate the procedure and protect the corneal endothelium.  Additionally, eye drops that contain the substance are used in other eye surgeries post-op to reduce inflammation and speed up the healing of the surgical wound.
If you’re experiencing dry eye, hyaluronic acid eye drops can help treat it, considering its main function is to retain moisture. They can improve overall eye health as well. Researchers are exploring whether supplements can impact eye-related problems.
4. Improves Acid Reflux Symptoms
Acid reflux is uncomfortable and quite painful to experience. The content of the stomach comes up to the throat, which can be straining as it damages the lining of the esophagus. There have been numerous studies done to determine the type of supplement that reduces the symptoms.
Researchers have found that taking a hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate supplement with an acid-inducing medication can reduce symptoms by a staggering 60%. The results are higher compared to taking the medication alone.  The outcome of several studies conducted looks promising. Researchers are doing more to know the extent of the impact of the supplements.
5. Joint Pain Relief
Hyaluronic acid plays a role in relieving joint pains in the body. It is found in the spaces between the bones and keeps the joints lubricated. The lubrication plays a role in preventing the bones from grinding against each other and causing discomfort and, sometimes, pain.
The substance can be consumed either by supplements or direct injections. Those with osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, can benefit by taking hyaluronic acid supplements to reduce the swelling or pain caused by wear and tear. As for the injections, they can alleviate some of the pain as well, but it comes with more risks.
Hyaluronic Acid Side Effects
For all its benefits and varied uses, hyaluronic acid also comes with some risks. In general, it is considered very safe to use as needed. However, some have reported some side effects. Allergic reactions are quite rare, considering the body produces the substance naturally. There are studies based on specific diseases and certain situations of people.
A study found that cancer cells can be sensitive to hyaluronic acid, which causes them to grow or mutate faster.  Those who have cancer or have a history of it should seek the advice of a doctor before using supplements or injections with the substance.
The lack of studies involving kids, pregnant women, or those breastfeeding make the risks and side effects unknown. It is better to be cautious or seek professional help before using supplements or injections with hyaluronic acid. Those who have allergies should also be cautious as their bodies can react negatively.
For those with liver diseases, there has been no significant evidence that the substance has any significant negative impact. However, high hyaluronic levels in the body are used to indicate liver-related illnesses. It means that taking supplements that can increase the natural levels of the substance in your body can nullify test results due to affected samples.
Direct injections to the skin or joints have more risks. The reported side effects are redness, pain, bruising, and more. Although, some reports have suggested that the adverse reactions of the body to injection have more to do with the procedure than the hyaluronic acid. Still, it would be better to be upfront about your health conditions and other medications you’re taking before taking anything with the substance.
Best Hyaluronic Acid Supplements
There is a multitude of hyaluronic acid supplements for different kinds of purposes. Whether it’s for your skin or pain relief, something is available.
Here are some of our top picks:
- NatureBell Hyaluronic Acid Supplements
They come with vitamin C, amplifying the benefits. The added vitamin c can boost your immune system and moisturize your skin. In addition, they can reduce joint pains as well.
- Amazing Formulas Hyaluronic Acid
The supplements are beneficial to those with problems with joints and connective tissues. Additionally, they can help maintain skin health.
- Now Food Supplements
The combination of hyaluronic acid, grape seed extract, L-Proline, and alpha-lipoic acid creates a more complete formula to fight joint problems. Moreover, taking supplements can help in lubricating your joints.
Bottomline: Benefits And Side Effects of Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is a vital substance that the body produces and has numerous benefits and uses. Various supplements, skincare products, serums, and cosmetics contain it. For some situations, injections of the substance are also available, but only by medical professionals.
Through research, it was found to enhance skin quality, reduce joint pains, and much more. Generally, the substance is safe to consume. Although, some side effects have been reported. If needed, you can seek advice from doctors as a precaution. Different products with the substance are available for consumption. Some blend it with other ingredients to enhance results.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References And Fact-Checking
- Dicker, K. T., Gurski, L. A., Pradhan-Bhatt, S., Witt, R. L., Farach-Carson, M. C., & Jia, X. (2014). Hyaluronan: a simple polysaccharide with diverse biological functions. Acta biomaterialia, 10(4), 1558–1570. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2013.12.019
- Ghersetich, I., Lotti, T., Campanile, G., Grappone, C., & Dini, G. (1994). Hyaluronic acid in cutaneous intrinsic aging. International journal of dermatology, 33(2), 119–122. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-4362.1994.tb01540.x
- Litwiniuk, M., Krejner, A., Speyrer, M. S., Gauto, A. R., & Grzela, T. (2016). Hyaluronic Acid in Inflammation and Tissue Regeneration. Wounds : a compendium of clinical research and practice, 28(3), 78–88.
- Humbert, P., Mikosinki, J., Benchikhi, H., & Allaert, F. A. (2013). Efficacy and safety of a gauze pad containing hyaluronic acid in treatment of leg ulcers of venous or mixed origin: a double-blind, randomised, controlled trial. International wound journal, 10(2), 159–166. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-481X.2012.00957.x
- Goa, K. L., & Benfield, P. (1994). Hyaluronic acid. A review of its pharmacology and use as a surgical aid in ophthalmology, and its therapeutic potential in joint disease and wound healing. Drugs, 47(3), 536–566. https://doi.org/10.2165/00003495-199447030-00009
- Savarino, V., Pace, F., Scarpignato, C., & Esoxx Study Group (2017). Randomised clinical trial: mucosal protection combined with acid suppression in the treatment of non-erosive reflux disease – efficacy of Esoxx, a hyaluronic acid-chondroitin sulphate based bioadhesive formulation. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics, 45(5), 631–642. https://doi.org/10.1111/apt.13914
- Itano, N., Zhuo, L., & Kimata, K. (2008). Impact of the hyaluronan-rich tumor microenvironment on cancer initiation and progression. Cancer science, 99(9), 1720–1725. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1349-7006.2008.00885.x