A naturally occurring polysaccharide, hyaluronic acid is used in cosmetic products and arthritis treatment. For therapeutic applications, hyaluronic acid is taken orally or administered via injections.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring substance, and the epithelial, connective and neural cells have it in them. Its main role is concentrated upon controlling cell growth and replenishment. So, you can predict the importance of this polysaccharide in the overall functioning of the body. Colloquially referred to as glycosaminoglycan, hyaluronate or hyaluronan, hyaluronic acid uses and applications are common topics of interest in the medical field.
What does Hyaluronic Acid Do?
While hyaluronic acid is present in all parts of the body, it is present in high percentage in the eyes, heart valves and the joints. When this acid comes in contact with water, it binds to water molecules and gives a filling effect in the area. Thus, it is definitely a water-loving polysaccharide. It provides lubrication and cushioning effect to joints and other parts of the body. Also, hyaluronic acid plays a significant role in supplying nutrients to bodily cells, and collecting wastes from them. For therapeutic uses, HA is derived by means of bacterial culture, and from rooster combs.
Uses of Hyaluronic Acid
Actually what is hyaluronic acid used for? Can you use hyaluronic acid when pregnant? Well, considering the many functions of hyaluronic acid, it is used as a base ingredient in moisturizing creams, anti wrinkle creams and arthritis medications. People who have very dry skin benefit from using moisturizers containing this polysaccharide. When applied to skin, it locks water molecules and gives a smoothing effect. Thus, it serves as a very good moisturizing agent for extremely dry skin.
Another application of HA is treating unsightly wrinkles and fine lines. It reduces the likeliness of forming new skin scars and wrinkles. For existing skin injuries and wounds, it speeds up the healing processes and rejuvenates the skin within a short time. Hyaluronic acid not only possesses a strong anti aging property, but is tolerable for the skin tissues. Effectual for gradual fading of both old and new scars, hyaluronic acid uses in anti wrinkle products is known to most of us.
Upon medical researches, it is found that hyaluronic acid benefits for soothing painful arthritis symptoms (rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis). In the study, about 80 percent of arthritis patients report reduction in pain symptoms after receiving hyaluronic acid via injections. The positive effect of HA treatment may last for about a year or less than that. Following this, further injections of specific dosage are required for arthritis pain relief.
A serum product based on HA is formulated for ease in application. However, using hyaluronic acid serum and other product forms is not approved by the FDA (Food and drug Administration), except for the injectable ones. So, do not go by the publicity hype and promises claimed by the manufacturers regarding hyaluronic acid serum. Rather, one should seek advice from an experienced dermatologist to discuss the benefits and side effects of such a product, before using it.
Hyaluronic acid is available in various forms, such as pills, serum product and injections. However, the safety of these products is a debatable issue in medical science. Presence of HA in every tissue doesn’t mean that all the body cells are friendly towards it. One thing is for sure, i.e. any kind of hyaluronic acid treatment is temporary. This polysaccharide is broken down and gets assimilated in the body. The effects usually last for 6 – 9 months, and repeated administration of HA is required for patients.
Fortunately, there is no major side effect of hyaluronic acid. People who receive HA injections show mild irritation at the injection site, while some having oral pills complain of skin allergy symptoms. Regarding the safety of HA in pregnancy, there is no scientific evidence about the dangers of dermal fillers containing hyaluronic acid. However, it is always better to take the doctor’s opinion concerning use of HA products during pregnancy to avoid adverse effects (if any) to the baby.
In a nutshell, hyaluronic acid uses are primarily attributed to cosmetology for treating skin problems and also, in addressing osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. But, taking into consideration the probable side effects of taking hyaluronic acid based supplements and formulations, it is always better to provide this essential polysaccharide through regular diet. People who follow the same are healthier and less likely to develop joint related problems than others.