Also known as hyaluronan, hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide molecule that makes up a significant amount of the connective tissue in your body. While the human body naturally produces hyaluronic acid, concentrations of this important molecule can be reduced by ageing and other factors. Nevertheless, hyaluronic acid remains an essential component of human connective tissue, so supplementation with this substance may be useful in a variety of different situations.
Hyaluronic acid is highly soluble in water, which means that it absorbs into your system rapidly when you take it orally. Like all water-soluble compounds, your body also excretes hyaluronic acid relatively quickly.
The only known natural source of hyaluronic acid is rooster combs. Thankfully, it is very rare to derive hyaluronic acid from this source these days, and instead, this substance is usually synthesised in laboratory environments using bacteria.
While it is an essential component of your body’s connective tissues, hyaluronic acid is not recognised as an essential vitamin or mineral. Therefore, there is no nutrient reference value (NRV) for hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic acid is not present in food. It is, therefore, impossible to derive the hyaluronic acid your skin and connective tissues need from food sources.
In most cases, your body produces all the hyaluronic acid it needs using natural processes. In the event that your body does not produce enough hyaluronic acid or increased concentrations of this substance are desired, supplementing with hyaluronic acid may be deemed necessary to maintain basic lubrication functions in the body.
Whether it is naturally produced by your body or ingested in supplements, hyaluronic acid is most concentrated in the fluids that keep your eyes and joints lubricated. Your body also uses hyaluronic acid to redirect blood flow during the wound healing process, and this substance binds with water in the skin to promote proper moisture flow through dermal layers.
Hyaluronic acid is not considered to be an essential nutrient, so there is no definitive answer regarding when you should consider yourself deficient in this substance. Since hyaluronic acid is necessary for proper connective tissue maintenance and regeneration, however, decreased levels of this substance could lead to joint-related conditions. Low levels of hyaluronic acid could also increase wound healing time and lead to decreased moisture levels in your skin.
Since hyaluronic acid is a water-soluble compound, it absorbs into your system relatively quickly. Except in cases of extreme deficiency, you should start noticing the beneficial effects of orally ingested hyaluronic acid within 2-3 days.
As a water-soluble molecule, hyaluronic acid should fully absorb into your system around 24 hours after ingestion.
Since hyaluronic acid is water-soluble, your body will excrete this substance within 2-3 days. Therefore, it is necessary to continue ingesting hyaluronic acid regularly to enjoy this compound’s beneficial effects.
According to limited research, hyaluronic acid may exert direct antioxidant activity in the body. Moreover, by promoting proper joint health and lubrication, hyaluronic acid may also improve the effectiveness of other antioxidants.
There are no data indicating that it’s possible to overdose on hyaluronic acid. Your body naturally produces this compound, and hyaluronic acid is generally considered to be safe.
After dissolving in water and spreading throughout your system, any excess hyaluronic acid that you ingest orally will be flushed out of your body within 2-3 days.
Since botanical (bacteria-synthesised) hyaluronic acid is vegan and cruelty-free, this compound does not conflict with any dietary restrictions.
The vast majority of hyaluronic acid products on the market are synthesised from bacteria in laboratory environments.
When ingested orally, synthetic hyaluronic acid appears to have the same absorption rate as animal-derived forms of this compound.
There are no advantages to animal-derived forms of hyaluronic acid. On the contrary, harvesting hyaluronic acid from natural sources harms or kills animals without offering any additional benefits.
Hyaluronic acid can be taken orally or applied topically to the skin. Evidence suggests that hyaluronic acid has higher bioavailability when ingested orally.
In a 2017 study, researchers found that orally-ingested hyaluronic acid reduced wrinkles better than a placebo during a 12-week clinical research period. A 2019 study involving 156 test subjects showed similar results by reporting that participants who received hyaluronic acid experienced better knee arthritis recovery than participants in the control group.