Hyaluronic acid, also referred to as hyaluronan or simply HA, is a mucopolysaccharide found in the body. It binds with water to produce a gel that lubricates parts of the body that move. Here are some frequently asked questions about hyaluronic acid.
Where is it found in the body? It is found in most of the cells and certain areas of the body have higher concentration than others. For example, hyaline cartilage is found at the end of major bones to cushion them and support motion. About half of the HA that is in the body is found in the skin, which is the largest organ in the body.
What is hyaluronic acid's purpose? HA is a component of articular cartilage and facilitates the sliding motion between layers of connective tissue.
What are some sources of HA? It can be found in hyaluronic acid cream or other skin care products and can be injected. Supplements are also available for purchase. Some foods are high inhyaluronic acid, like leafy greens, soy products, red wine, root vegetables, citrus fruits and bone broth.
What are its benefits? As a topical product, it benefits skin by increasing the smoothness of the skin and improving the look of wrinkles. It also makes the skin more elastic, helps wounds repair, and offers protection from dry air and UVB rays; as a supplement it aides the production of collagen which raises the level of collagen in the body.
Does the body store hyaluronic acid? No, the body has to make a few grams of it every day since HA breaks down within one day in some parts of the body and within three weeks in cartilage.
What does the body need to make more? Certain substances are essential to the production of HA and others help break it down so more can be made. Magnesium, sulfur, and zinc help make HA and vitamin C and iron are required to break it down.