It is a carbohydrate that is found naturally in the body, a jello like substance that binds and lubricates movable parts of the body, such as joints and muscles. It’s described as “nature’s moisturizer”.
Where is Hyaluronic Acid located in the body?
Hyaluronic Acid is found naturally in most every cell in the body and occurs in high concentrations in specific body locations. In each body location, it serves a different function. The downside is that the molecule gets broken down and has a life span of about 3 days. So, it’s imperative that the body continually replenish itself with HA.
Hyaluronic Acid in Bones and Cartilage
Hyaluronic Acid is found in all bones and cartilage structures throughout the body.
Hyaluronic Acid in Synovial fluid
Our joints (like the elbows and knees) are surrounded by a membrane called the synovial membrane and this membrane secretes synovial fluid. You could compare it to motor oil in a car. To a joint it’s a shock absorber and it also removes waste from the joint.
Hyaluronic Acid in Tendons and Ligaments/Connective tissue
Connective tissue is found everywhere in the body. The hyaluronic acid separates and cushions the living cells of the connective tissue. The separation and cushioning allow the tissue to bear weight, withstand great tension and endure abuse that no other body tissue could. All of this is made possible because of the presence of the HA and its ability to form that jello like substance.
Where else is it found?
Lips, Eyes, Gum Tissue, and the Skin!
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) can be found naturally in most every cell in the body, it is found in the greatest concentrations in the skin tissue. Young skin is smooth and elastic and contains large amounts of HA that helps keep the skin stay young and healthy. The HA provides continuous moisture to the skin by binding up to 1000 times its weight in water.
Roughly 50% of the Hyaluronic Acid in our body is found in the skin. HA and Collagen are vital to maintaining the skin’s layers and structure. Hyaluronic Acid is like the water that keeps the collagen moist and elastic. Collagen is continuously surrounded and nourished by the gelatinous HA substance. As we grow older, the body loses its ability to maintain this same concentration in the skin. With decreasing levels of HA in the skin, so goes the ability of the skin to hold water. The result, the skin becomes drier and loses its ability to maintain its hydration. Hyaluronic acid acts as a space filler by binding to water and thus keeping the skin wrinkle-free.
How to Retain HA in your body:
You can use specific foods and supplements to increase the amount of hyaluronic acid in your body.
Eat foods high in hyaluronic acid, especially potatoes and other root vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes. Also consume leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach.
Eat vegetables raw. Hyaluronic acid is sensitive to heat and will be destroyed by cooking. You can eat carrots, kale and spinach leaves as part of a salad or by themselves as a snack.
Drink plenty of water. Hyaluronic acid is more effective when it has an abundant amount of water with which to bind.
Take oral supplements of hyaluronic acid. You can commonly find capsules of hyaluronic acid in grocery stores and health food stores. The Food and Drug Administration hasn’t established a minimum daily requirement for hyaluronic acid, but a common recommended dosage is 200 milligrams twice a day.
Use topical supplements of hyaluronic acid. These are available in creams and gels from health stores and spas. Topical forms of hyaluronic acid typically contain a 2.5 percent concentration of hyaluronic acid. Rub this preparation of hyaluronic acid onto rough parts of your skin to make them smoother and suppler.
Take Yin Yoga
Modern meridian theory says that the connective tissue provides the routes for energy to flow around the body (the meridian system). How well this functions is due to dependent on the presence of sufficient hyaluronic acid which holds liquid in the tissues, helping with flexibility.
Yoga postures, particularly deep stretching of the connective tissue helps stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid, so helping to re-enliven the body.
The postures also help work against the forces of contraction and the resulting fixation of joints. This can be particularly beneficial for helping relieve lower back pain and in reversing degeneration of the joints.
Due to its gentle nature yin yoga it can be practiced by practically anyone regardless of past experience and can be a great help to you if are already doing another style of yoga.
Hyaluronic acid has been nicknamed by the press as the “key to the fountain of youth” because it has been noted that at least some people who ingest a lot of Hyaluronan in their diets tend to live to ripe old ages.