5Elements of Hydration
Hyaluronic Acid is important to your skin, hair, nails, joints, tendons and so much more!
- Healthy lifestyle
- Hydration for skin, joints, hair, tendons, eye and bones
- Healthy Mobility
- Youthful skin appearance
- Healthy eyesight
Hyaluronic Acid, live a healthier lifestyle
In late 2002, the ABC News Primetime® show sent correspondent Connie Chung to the small farming village of Yuzuri Hara, Japan. Curiously, the townspeople of Yuzuri Hara were living well into their 90s without the usual signs of aging, and roughly ten percent of the villagers are aged 85 or older. Compare that to the national average of one percent here in the United States, and it is indeed curiously high.
Even more remarkable, even those who have a lifetime of unhealthy habits, such as smoking or unprotected sun exposure, are in good health. Men and women well into their 80’s and 90’s still have smooth, beautiful skin. They are active, oftentimes able to perform physically demanding work in the fields that requires strength and flexibility. They also demonstrate excellent eyesight and seldom get sick. Doctors, farmers, innkeepers, all routinely practice their professions into their 80’s.
Natural Health & Longevity
Japanese researchers believe that one major factor in the health and longevity of the villagers is their diet. Because the village is in a particularly hilly region, they rely on a variety of starchy root vegetables rather than rice cultivation. Staple foods include satsumaimo, a type of sweet potato; satoimo, a sticky white potato; konyaku, a gelatinous root vegetable concoction; and imoji, a potato root.
These particular vegetables contain nutrients that stimulate Hyaluronic Acid (HA) production in the body, which normally slows as the body ages, and the people of Yuzuri Hara have higher levels of HA in their bodies than most. The increased levels of HA may ward off the aging process by helping the cells of the body thrive and retain moisture, keeping joints cushioned, protecting the eyes, and keeping skin smooth and hydrated. The story of the Village of Long Life triggered widespread interest in Hyaluronic Acid and its age-defying effects.
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.
Application of HA
Hyaluronic Acid was first used commercially in 1942 when Endre Balazs applied for a patent to use it as a substitute for egg whites in baked goods. Its discovery was very unique. No other molecule had ever been examined with such unusual properties in the human body. Balazs went on to become the leading expert on Hyaluronic Acid, and made the majority of findings concerning Hyaluronic Acid benefits. However, Hyaluronic Acid was not commonly used medically until the 1990’s.
Today, thousands of scientific research exists that examine the use of Hyaluronic Acid, including support for the eyes and joints. HA oral supplementation is used for eye and joint health support. HA is often used to support the eye during eye surgery. Since the airing of Primetime’s segment on Yuzuri Hara in 2002, Hyaluronic Acid has been widely studied for its age-defying properties for beautiful, youthful-looking skin. HA is also applied topically to hydrate, moisturize and enliven aging skin.
Better Mobility with Improved Levels of Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic Acid plays a critical role in healthy movement throughout our lifetime. As we grow older, discomfort can begin and joints can experience limitations in movement. Maintaining healthy levels of Hyaluronic Acid in our joints and bodies is one way to support healthy joints and flexibility as we age.
Healthy Joint Mobility
Our joints are surrounded by a synovial membrane, which forms a capsule around the ends of two articulating bones, and Hyaluronic Acid is a major component of the synovial fluid that lubricates this joint capsule and provides cushion.
Hyaluronic Acid is to our joints as motor oil is to a car’s engine: it provides lubrication to keep the parts running smoothly without grinding against each other. Similarly, as we age, the viscosity of synovial joint fluid lessens. We need to maintain healthy levels of HA in the body, just as we might top off our car’s oil reservoir.
High molecular weight HA found in the body binds together to provide cushion and support for key areas of the body. But when the high molecular weight breaks down, or if the body tries to absorb lower molecular weight HA through supplementation, its ability to provide that support and cushion can lessen. The fluid becomes thinner and more water like, making it less able to cushion the joints.
In addition to Hyaluronic Acid’s rich synovial fluid’s elastic, shock-absorbing and lubricating properties, it carries nutrients to the cartilage and removes waste from the joint capsule. As cartilage is without blood flow, the synovial fluid’s HA helps perform these functions in the body.
Since we lose Hyaluronic Acid as we age, it’s not surprising that research has shown that the joint fluid of people with joint health needs have lower levels of HA. Supporting the body’s production of Hyaluronic Acid, or increasing the presence of Hyaluronic Acid through supplementation, appears to be a logical means to support joint health. Multiple studies show that those with joint health needs may benefit from Hyaluronic Acid as it supports normal joint cushioning. Fortunately, Hyaluronic Acid is available to everyone who wishes to support joint health.
Individuals wishing to maintain healthy joints can do so easily, conveniently and affordably by supplementing with HA.
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 of 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.
Natural Skin Moisturizer
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 for Better Eyesight
The very substance that nourishes the collagen in our 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.