Hyaluronic Acid, also known as Hyaluron or HA, has been getting some positive press on it’s healthful benefits. ABC News did a story on a village in Japan named Yuzuri Hara where over 10% of the population is 85 years or older.

In the US, the percent of those over 85 years is 1.5%. Some studies believe this may be due to a unique diet of Hyaluron Acid rich root vegetables, being satsumaimo (a type of sweet potato); satoimo (a sticky white potato); konyaku (a gelatinous root vegetable concoction); and imoji (a potato).

A pharmaceutical company in Japan has started trials on a HA supplement to 1000 people, where 50% of those studied report smoother skin and improved eyesight. We all have HA when we are born but the levels decline with age, contributing to aging process. HA is present in the deeper layers of our skin, retaining water and keeping the skin smooth. Skin wounds and other skin problems have seen repair and improvement as well. HA is considered instrumental in maintaining collagen levels thus retaining or improving the elasticity of the skin. Hyaluronic Acid actually makes up approximately 80% of the human eye, aiding the protecting the retina.

Hyaluronic acid occurs in abundant amounts in many other connective tissue places such as the joints, the skin and heart valves. Studies have shown that there are lower HA levels in people with connective tissue disorders or related disorders. Nutrition and environmental factors greatly influence one’s HA levels. Synergistically, one nutritional deficiency leads to the deficiency of hyaluronic acid which leads to many symptoms of premature aging. For example, magnesium and zinc deficiencies cause the same symptoms that HA abnormalities have, such as mitral valve prolapse and poor wound healing and magnesium is required for HA synthesis. Individuals with fibromyalgia and contractures have been prescribed magnesium supplementation.

Cigarette smoking and Ascorbic Acid are known to degrade HA levels yet estrogen increases utilization of magnesium and zinc affecting HA levels as well.

At present, Hyaluronic Acid is used most often in anti-aging prodecures and arthritic joints. HA fluid gets thinner in the joint areas, providing less protection to the joint. HA injections have been proven beneficial in providing a cushioning for the joint and pain relief for 6 – 12 months. More pain relief that oral medicines. Which is a very plausible solution for someone who may be looking at postponing joint surgery. This procedure does not work for everyone. These injections are also quite expensive ($260.00 approx. per syringe), but sometimes covered on health insurance programs.

As an anti-aging procedure, HA is injected into facial lines and furrows. Available under the product names of Hylaform, Restylane, Perlane and Esthelis and considered a safer non-surgical procedure. HA injections are becoming a popular choice, treatment takes 20 – 40 minutes.

Indigo Earth Notes: I would definitely consider HA injections into an arthritic joint, thereby not having to take pain relievers, anti-inflammatorys or other pharmaceuticals that have extremely long side effect warnings compared to possible HA side effects. HA side effects are that the injection area may be red, swollen and tender. Rarely, allergic reactions such as red and/or thickened nodules arising from the injected sites that stay for several weeks or months.

Author's Bio: 

Courtney Findlay is a professional soapmaker, having had her own soap making business that manufactured, wholesaled and retailed soap and other bath products, all from the store's premises. Courtney received Chamber of Commerce nominations for Entrepreneur of the Year, New Business of the Year and Best Customer Service. Creating natural products and a love of research and writing has lead Courtney to produce a natural news and information website at www.natural-soap-making.com.