Also known as hyaluronate or hyaluronan, Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring carbohydrate in the human body. It’s a water holding molecule that cushions the joints and nerves, hydrates the skin and hair, and also fills the eye. It has been the subject of research for many years with trials in a range of fields such as eye surgery and orthopedics. Hyaluronic acid can be derived from multiple sources such as rooster combs. It can also made by bacteria in a laboratory.
Hyaluronic acid belongs to the mucopolysaccharide family and can be thousands and thousands of carbohydrates long. It contains several unique biochemical properties but is probably best known for its water-binding ability. When it binds to water, it forms a stiff viscous gel similar to “Jello”.
What are the benefits of taking Hyaluronic acid?
HA has been shown to have numerous health benefits and is actually one of the common ingredients in the world of skin care products.The benefits include:
1. Treatment for joint diseases
Several studies have found that HA can be an effective treatment for Osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and several other joint problems. This is actually the case if it’s administered via injections.
2. Promotes a healthier skin
It can also help slow down aging and maintain a healthy, youthful skin. It works by boosting collagen production and locking in water so that the skin is plumped up and moisturized. This unique ability may explain why it’s a common ingredient in cosmetic products.
3. Good for dry hair
Using products that contain more of it (such as conditioners) can benefit those who struggle with dry hair. Hyaluronic acid infuses moisture into the fiber, making the hair shinier, softer and hydrated. It can also help loosen any build-up as well as boost circulation.
What is the appropriate dosage of Hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid supplements can be taken orally or administered through injection. Osteoarthritis has often been treated with a combination of oral dose and injections ─ 80 mg of chicken comb extract (with 60-70% HA) taken daily for 8 weeks and 20 mg HA injected into the knee joint every week for a period of 3 weeks. Dry eye is treated with 0.2% eye HA drops, 3-4 times a day for 3 months.
Who should not take Hyaluronic acid?
Not everyone can take these beneficial supplements. Individuals with any type of allergy should not use them. If you’re taking medications that tend to affect blood clotting like aspirin, you should consult with a doctor as using HA may increase the risk of bleeding. Those taking blood thinning medications should also discuss their condition with a medical provider prior to taking these supplements.
What are the Hyaluronic acid side effects?
HA supplements are considered to be relatively safe and very few side effects have actually been reported. If misused, however, they can cause heightened pressure in the eyes and even allergic reactions in the skin (such as vesicle formation). Some users may also experience slight redness, pain and nausea among others. Most of these side effects can be treated with over-the-counter medications. Serious cases should be reported to a medical provider.
What other drugs will affect Hyaluronic acid?
There are several drugs that can interact with HA and possibly reduce its effectiveness for various conditions. These include: Blood thinning medications such as Pradaxa, Eliquis and Xarelto, Aspirin , Warfarin.