Hyaluronic acid (HA) could be one the most important compounds in the human body. HA is present in cartilage, ligaments, tendons, bone, in the cornea of the eye, skin, tendons, lungs, blood vessels, and heart valves. The largest concentration of HA is found around the joints, in the vitreous humor of the eye, and in between the cells of the body.
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring compound made by all cells. Present in every tissue, it performs many important functions. HA helps deliver nutrients to cells and carry toxins from cells that do not have a blood supply, like cartilage. HA not only keeps the cartilage that cushions joints strong and flexible, but also helps increase supplies of joint-lubricating synovial fluid. Without adequate amounts of HA – and the production of HA by the body declines with age – the joints become brittle and deteriorate.
Hyaluronic acid is a primary component of synovial fluid. This fluid acts as a lubricant, like the oil used to lubricate moving parts in a machine. In the human body, hyaluronic acid helps to lubricate all the membranes around the heart, lungs, muscles, fascia and eyes – as well as the cartilage inside the joint capsule.
Not only does it keep the machinery of the body lubricated, HA is a large hydrophilic molecule that attracts and holds water in bodily tissues to prevent dehydration. It is found in large concentrations in the extracellular matrix, the fluid-filled space between cells. HA locks moisture into the matrix, promoting a youthful appearance. Plastic surgeons and dermatologists often inject HA into the lines of the face to plump aging skin.
Early HA studies showed improvement for most oral hyaluronic acid pill users after 2 to 4 months of oral supplementation. The most recent randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study of oral, liquid hyaluronic acid in the Journal of Medicinal Food shows that many people who take a specific formulation of high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid daily see results in as little as 7 to 14 days. Your next step to staying active and combatting whole body stiffness and soreness may well be oral, liquid, high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid.