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Your body's natural lubricant (that also promotes healing)
WHAT IT IS
Hyaluronic (pronounced hi-ah-lew-ron-ic) acid — also known as hyaluronan or hyaluronate — is a gooey, slippery substance that your body produces naturally. Scientists have found hyaluronic acid throughout the body, especially in eyes, joints and skin.
Hyaluronic acid is also available by prescription in the following forms:
• By injection into your joints for arthritis relief. It can also be administered in higher doses through and IV.
• Under your skin: Fillers containing hyaluronic acid and collagen (a natural protein also found in your body) are approved for injection under your skin.
• By inhaler/nebulizer: Hyaluronic acid can treat respiratory (breathing) problems such as asthma or infections.
WHAT IT DOES
Hyaluronic acid belongs to a type of long chain-like molecules called polymers. The chain has plenty of spots on it where other chemical compounds (like water, for example) can latch on. That’s why a quarter-teaspoon of hyaluronic acid can hold about one and a half gallons of water, making it the best polymer — natural or artificial — for absorbing water (and a key ingredient in moisturizing products).
Because it has lots of space for other molecules to latch on, hyaluronic acid is great for transporting other molecules throughout your body. It can also attach to cells, which is why researchers are studying how to use it for targeted delivery of medications.
Hyaluronic acid’s chain-like structure also means it can act like a scaffold structure, allowing tissues to grow. This is a key step in how wounds heal on your body. Scientists have also found hyaluronic acid in human embryos and are studying what role hyaluronic acid plays in reproduction and development.
WHAT IT'S USED FOR
Hyaluronic acid is used throughout your body, including helping to:
• Improves movement by acting as the oil for your joints. It can reduce pain and injury from bones grinding against each other.
• Hydrate cells by helping them retain water. A quarter-teaspoon of hyaluronic acid holds about one and a half gallons of water. (That’s why hyaluronic acid is often used for treating dry eyes. It’s also used in moisturizing creams, lotions, ointments and serums).
• Improves flexibility by helping skin stretch and flex while reducing wrinkles and lines. Hyaluronic acid is also proven to help wounds heal faster and can reduce scarring.
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