Your body could not survive long without being properly lubricated, and we don’t mean with engine oil. The key ingredient in that regard is what’s known as hyaluronic acid, which is a clear, syrupy type substance that is naturally produced by the body, most of which can be found in your skin, your body’s connective tissue, and eyes.
Hyaluronic Acid’s Chief Role
Hyaluronic acid is what’s known as a polysaccharide, a type of carbohydrate molecule, per verywellhealth.com, commonly used in supplements in combination with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate to treat osteoarthritis. But that’s not what hyaluronic acid is best known for.
Hyaluronic acid’s main purpose for your body is to retain water so as to keep your tissues properly lubricated and moist, per healthline.com. In other words, in terms of your skin, it helps to keep your body’s outer covering hydrated and, well, plump. Hyaluronic acid’s molecule is well-suited for that important role – it holds a thousand times its weight in water, allowing it to not only retain all of your skin’s moisture but to keep it from evaporating into the air, per harpersbazaar.com.
Those of us who are particularly keen to keeping our skin healthy and looking good need to be as aware of the role that hyaluronic acid plays in making all that possible, just as they would with other substances for the skin such as collagen and elastin. Hyaluronic acid, as a key ingredient used in skincare products, works well to hydrate and smooth dry skin.
Hyaluronic Acid Is an Anti-Aging Staple
Another thing to keep in mind, however: the amount of naturally-produced hyaluronic acid in your body decreases as you age (an age-old story, literally). Such production inside your body can still be stimulated if you put as much effort into planning your daily diet as you do time spent in front of the mirror.
“Diet affects the skin significantly,” New York City dermatologist Dr. Howard D. Sobel said, per harpersbazaar.com. “Eating fruits and veggies with lots of antioxidants protect the skin from inflammation (and) in turn helps the skin retain it.”
If anti-aging is on your mind, and why shouldn’t it be, then hyaluronic acid belongs on your list of must-haves to keep in your purse or wallet. It can help deal with aging skin over a lifetime, and even teens (and some adults) can keep it close by for dealing with acne.
Hyaluronic Acid’s Other Health Benefits
Now that we have piqued your interest in hyaluronic acid’s ability to make your skin of shiny, supple, and smooth while also doing a number on that nagging case of osteoarthritis, here are some other health benefits accorded by this nifty polysaccharide. As always, be sure to discuss any of this with your physician before diving in too deep:
- Hasten healing of wounds. Hyaluronic acid helps wounds heal faster by controlling levels of inflammation and signaling the body to build more blood vessels in the affected area, per healthline.com.
- Fibromyalgia. This is a condition characterized by chronic pain that affects the body’s connective tissues – mainly joints and the musculoskeletal system. Per conquerha.com, “hyaluronic acid reduces pain by subduing nerve sensitivity linked to joint pain, calming inflammation, and changing the behavior of immune cells.”
- Alleviate acid reflux. Acid reflux is accompanied by pain-producing stomach contents being regurgitated upward into the throat. Hyaluronic acid can help soothe the damaged esophagus lining and promote the recovery process, per healthline.com.
- Enhance sexual function. An added bonus for your reading pleasure. Per medivizor.com, studies have shown that hyaluronic acid is a useful treatment for overcoming sexual dysfunction in women beset with urinary tract infections.
- Maintain bone strength. Multiple animal studies have demonstrated that hyaluronic acid can assist your bones by slowing the rate of bone loss, which typically precedes the development of osteoporosis. Consider this another part of the anti-aging benefits of hyaluronic acid.
- Interstitial cystitis. Translated – painful bladder syndrome, a condition experienced by about one in 20 women and which causes abdominal pain and tenderness, per healthline.com, as well as a consistent urge to urinate. Hyaluronic acid can alleviate the pain and reduce the need to urinate frequently when injected straight into the bladder through a catheter.