What is hyaluronic acid

Vad är     hyaluronsyra

Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule that gives synovial fluid its viscous consistency. Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in high concentrations in joint cartilage, synovial fluid, umbilical cord and in the eye of animals and humans, and normally in the connective tissue under the skin throughout the body.

In the articular cartilage, HA is formed by the cartilage cells and in the synovial fluid by the joint capsule cells, and is there an important component for the normal function of the joint.

How does hyaluronic acid work?

Hyaluronic acid can bind a large number of water molecules and is an important component of normal synovial fluid. It is viscous to the consistency, which acts as a lubricant on the joint. It also has a high viscosity, which thus acts as a shock absorber under load. Hyaluronic acid also has the task of contributing to the transport of nutrients to the cartilage and transporting waste products from there.

In a healthy joint, the synovial fluid and cartilage contain a high concentration of hyaluronic acid. It is composed of several sugar units and forms long chains that bind large amounts of water into a complex network. In the healthy joint, hyaluronic acid plays a major role in nutrient exchange and it also binds to the joint surface, which reduces friction between the joint surfaces. You can say that the hyaluronic acid is the joint's patch that protects the surfaces from damage.

The molecular weight is decisive for hyaluronic acid's effect. It has been shown that molecular weight from 1 million Daltons and above has positive effects in the joint and can contribute to the joint capsule cells forming new hyaluronic acid. By giving a daily supplement of high-molecular hyaluronic acid, the joint's content of high-quality synovial fluid can be maintained.

How is hyaluronic acid absorbed from the intestine?

In the intestine, there are specific receptors (CD44 receptors) that absorb hyaluronic acid into the blood.

How does hyaluronic acid reach the joint?

Via the blood, the hyaluronic acid molecule reaches the joint and attaches to specific CD 44 receptors in the joint capsule.

This makes it possible to give hyaluronic acid orally with good effect. On the one hand, HA reaches more joints than if it is given locally via injection and on the other hand the risk of infection that is always present when injecting into the joint is avoided.

How does hyaluronic acid affect the skin?

Hyaluronic acid is normally found in the connective tissue under the skin throughout the body. It contributes to having smooth and elastic skin. When the hyaluronic acid breaks down, it loses its water-bearing capacity and the skin becomes drier. When we reach around 45-50 years of age, the body can no longer regenerate hyaluronic acid at the same rate as it breaks down. It can then be good to eat supplements of HA to counteract dryness and wrinkles. Many take the supplement much earlier to maintain a youthful complexion. It is individual from person to person when the skin begins to age. It depends both on genes and how much you sunbathe and smoke, what food you eat and how much you exercise. It is therefore not possible to say a specific age when the body starts to need hyaluronic acid supplements.

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