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What is Hyaluronic Acid?

What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Claire Muszalski
Writer and expert3 years ago
View Claire Muszalski's profile
You’re probably hearing about Hyaluronic Acid in lots of places - especially when it comes to skin care. Did you know our bodies actually make it on their own? As we age, we could benefit from the properties of Hyaluronic Acid. Read on to find out the best way to optimize the potential of Hyaluronic Acid for your needs.

What is hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring substance found in our joints, eyes, and nails. It provides structure and helps keep moisture in the tissues where it is found. It also helps to lubricate and cushion our joints thanks to its elastic chemical properties.1

Where does it come from?

HA occurs naturally in our bodies but can also be manufactured into many forms - like creams, serums, injectables, and supplements.2 Because of its firming and moisturizing power, there is great interest in the role that hyaluronic acid can play in anti-aging.

Hyaluronic acid benefits:

1. Hyaluronic acid can slow down skin aging

Research has shown that the levels of HA in our skin decrease as we age. For this reason, boosting the amount in our skin can help slow down the signs of aging. You’ll see many topical creams and serums with HA on the market, but only some have the right concentration and molecule size to be effective.2 For this reason, oral supplements are available to support skin benefits.

2. It may help with eye health

Hyaluronic acid has been shown to support successful cataract surgery procedures. As this is a common issue for many in later stages of life, it can play a role in successful surgeries to preserve vision and quality of life.1

what is hyaluronic acid?

3. It has been proven to help with wound healing

When our skin has an open wound that needs to heal, we need the newly forming skin to be healthy, elastic, and moisturized - all things that HA can support.1 While wound healing can be very serious in those with other conditions, like diabetes, this is a crucial application for HA.

4. It could help with joint pain

Because hyaluronic acid has been approved for cosmetic procedures (like wrinkle injections), there is interest in using it as an injected treatment for knee pain and other osteoarthritis. Some research indicates that HA can have overall anti-inflammatory properties.1 While logical supports that joint injections could be beneficial, additional study is needed before this becomes a recommended treatment.2

Hyaluronic acid dosage and when to take

HA has been studied mostly in dosages of 100-200mg per day. Injections are only done by health care providers and dosage of creams/topicals should be followed based on label instructions. It does not matter what time of day you take HA.

Are there any side effects?

Anytime you take a supplement or use a topical substance on your skin, you could have an allergy or reaction to any of the ingredients. You might want to test a small area of your skin especially if it is sensitive. However, there has not been any negative side effects shown in HA supplementation.2 Side effects from injections still need to be studied.

Take Home Message

HA occurs naturally in the body and comes with a wide array of anti-aging benefits related to skin and joint health. It's even been shown to have positive effects related to eyesight!

If you are going to supplement your routine with HA then 100 to 200mg per day is recommended.

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

1. Goa, K.L., Benfield, P. Hyaluronic Acid. Drugs 47, 536–566 (1994).

2. Papakonstantinou, E., Roth, M., & Karakiulakis, G. (2012). Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Dermato-endocrinology, 4(3), 253–258.

Claire Muszalski
Writer and expert
View Claire Muszalski's profile

Claire is a Registered Dietitian through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a board-certified Health and Wellness Coach through the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master’s degree in Clinical Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Pittsburgh.

Talking and writing about food and fitness is at the heart of Claire’s ethos as she loves to use her experience to help others meet their health and wellness goals.

Claire is also a certified indoor cycling instructor and loves the mental and physical boost she gets from regular runs and yoga classes. When she’s not keeping fit herself, she’s cheering on her hometown’s sports teams in Pittsburgh, or cooking for her family in the kitchen.

Find out more about Claire’s experience here.