Hyaluronic Acid

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Uses

Hyaluronic acid is a member of the family of molecules known as glycosaminoglycans. This family also includes chondroitin sulfate and some other large carbohydrate-containing molecules. Hyaluronic acid is an important component of the connective tissue that fills the spaces between cells of the skin and other tissues, and is a major ingredient of the synovial fluid that lubricates and cushions joints as well as the vitreous humor that fills the inner chamber of the eye.1

What Are Star Ratings?

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for Why
2 Stars
Gingivitis
Apply five times per day for one week or twice per day for three weeks
Gels and sprays containing hyaluronic acid, an important connective tissue component in the gums, have been shown to help reduce bleeding tendency and other indicators of gingivitis.

Hyaluronic acid is an important connective tissue component in the gums. Double-blind studies of topical hyaluronic acid treatments have shown that applying either a gel twice a day or a spray five times per day to the gum tissues helps reduce bleeding tendency and other indicators of gingivitis. However, plaque removal is still necessary for best results, and one study found that adding weekly topical hyaluronic acid treatments to a single session of scaling and root planing did not make a significant difference in healing. No research has investigated whether hyaluronic acid supplements that are swallowed are effective for treating gingivitis.

2 Stars
Skin Ulcers
Apply a gel containing a partial benzyl ester derivative of hyaluronan under compression bandaging daily
A trial found that topical application of a hyaluronic acid compound with compression bandaging was significantly better than bandaging alone for healing chronic venous skin ulcers.

A controlled trial found that topical application of a hyaluronic acid compound with compression bandaging was significantly better than bandaging alone for healing chronic venous skin ulcers.No research has investigated whether oral hyaluronic acid supplements might be similarly effective.

2 Stars
Wound Healing
1% solution for ears
Topically applied hyaluronic acid is sometimes used in skin wound dressings to improve healing.

Topical application of hyaluronic acid and related compounds is sometimes used in skin wound dressings to improve healing. One controlled trial found a hyaluronic acid compound helpful for healing skin ulcers associated with chronic venous insufficiency. Improved healing of nasal surgery wounds with topical hyaluronic acid was reported in one controlled study, but not in another. A double-blind study found improved healing of perforated eardrums in patients using drops of 1% sodium hyaluronate. Whether oral hyaluronic acid supplements might improve wound healing has not been investigated.

1 Star
Osteoarthritis
Refer to label instructions
Injection of hyaluronic acid compounds into osteoarthritic joints, primarily the knee, has been shown to improve symptoms.

Hyaluronic acid is a normal component of joint fluid, but its amount and molecular structure are altered in osteoarthritic joints. Injection of hyaluronic acid compounds into osteoarthritic joints, primarily the knee, has been investigated in many double-blind trials with some improvement demonstrated. However, no research has been done to determine whether oral supplementation with hyaluronic acid is an effective treatment for osteoarthritis.

How It Works

How to Use It

Amounts for oral supplementation have not been established, due to lack of research, and it is unknown whether hyaluronic acid can be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Topical products are applied in the mouth two or more times per day, to the nose three to four times per day, or with bandaging for skin ulcers. Eye drops containing 0.1 to 0.4% sodium hyaluronate are used three or more times per day, and ear drops containing 1% sodium hyaluronate are used once a day.

Where to Find It

Hyaluronic acid is produced in the human body and is found in the tissues of all animals. A nonanimal source of hyaluronic acid can be synthesized by bacterial fermentation.

Possible Deficiencies

Hyaluronic acid is produced naturally in the human body and is not considered an essential nutrient. However, hyaluronic acid levels in osteoarthritic joints are below normal.2

Interactions

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

Interactions with Medicines

As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers' package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

Side Effects

Side Effects

A controlled study reported that males taking 600 mg per day of hyaluronic acid for four weeks had higher blood levels of the enzyme alkaline phosphatase.3 The significance of this finding is unclear.

There have been anecdotal reports of skin rash following oral supplementation with hyaluronic acid.4

References

1. Laurent TC, Fraser JR. Hyaluronan. FASEB J 1992;6:2397-404.

2. Tehranzadeh J, Booya F, Root J. Cartilage metabolism in osteoarthritis and the influence of viscosupplementation and steroid: a review. Acta Radiol2005;46:288-96 [review].

3. Bates B. Supplements trigger potassium, alkaline phosphatase changes. Skin and Allergy News 2003;July:43.

4. Sahelian R. Hyaluronic acid supplement side effects, benefit, allergy, toxicity, adverse events, and medical benefits for joint health information. [Cited 2006 May 13]. Available from URL: http://www.raysahelian.com/hyaluronic-acid.html.