The 5 Pillars Of Hydration: #2 – Eyes
In 1934, biochemist Karl Meyer and his colleague John Palmer, for the first time, described an unusual long-chain sugar molecule they isolated from the fluid of cow eyes. This molecule, they observed, had a high molecular weight and an almost unbelievable affinity for water. In fact, each molecule was able to bind up to 1000 times its weight in water!
Follow-up work by other scientists during the 1940s and ‘50s identified this molecule as hyaluronic acid (HA), a natural substance found not only in cows, but in humans as well.
As scientists and researchers set about exploring the ways in which hyaluronic acid functions in the human body, they made some surprising discoveries. In the first part of this series—The 5 Pillars of Hydration—we described the importance of HA to our joints and mobility. Here, we’ll look at some of the ways HA is vital to eye health and function. We will also explore the reasons that HA supplementation is so important for maintaining healthy eyes as we age.
Hyaluronic Acid and the Vitreous Humor
The eye is an amazing organ that relies on high levels of moisture to function at its best. About eighty percent of the eye’s overall volume is liquid, occupying the space between the lens and the retina. Called vitreous fluid, this clear, gel-like liquid serves several vital functions, including, but not limited to:
- Maintaining the shape of the eye (for proper focus and vision)
• Nourishing and lubricating structures such as the cornea and retina
• Cushioning and protecting the eye from shock
• Assisting in tear production
Science has shown that the vitreous fluid of the human eye is composed primarily of water. But how is this constant supply of vital hydration maintained and regulated? One of the answers is hyaluronic acid!
In the eye, hyaluronic acid (HA) binds sufficient water to maintain the eyeball’s plumpness, and remains cushioned and nourished. In fact, HA is what binds 95% of the fluid within the eye. Because HA can move freely through the intracellular space (the space between the cells), it is an essential mechanism of transport—a superhighway capable of delivering nutrients to the eye and removing the byproducts of your eye.
HA Supplementation and Eye Health
Hyaluronic acid is an amazing molecule with some unusual and vital properties. But where does it come from? HA is scarce in our food sources, synthesized by our bodies as building blocks.
When you are young, your body produces all the hyaluronic acid you need to support the health and function of your eyes, joints, skin, hair, and gums. But as you age, your body’s ability to produce HA decreases. A person age 50 may produce only half the HA they did at age 20. So as you age, you lose the ability to produce sufficient HA to fully protect, nourish, and lubricate our eyes.
That is why HA supplementation is so important to support overall eye health.
Hyalogic has spent two decades studying the science of human hydration and the ways hyaluronic acid supplementation can support eye health. Hyalogic supplement products use high-molecular-weight HA, the type your body already produces naturally. This helps the hyaluronic acid go to work quickly, helping to support and maintain your eye health.
Visit hyalogic.com for a complete list of Hyalogic products for eyes, including award-winning HylaVision, as well as products to support your joints, skin, hair, teeth, and gums!