Hyaluronic acid, called the youth molecule, is naturally present in the skin. It hydrates skin, reduces wrinkles, accelerates healing of skin, and hydrates eyes for a clearer sight. It has positive effects on hair growth and regeneration after colouring. It is advisable as supplemental treatment of joint and locomotor issues.
Hyaluronic acid caused a revolution in the global market of cosmetic skin care products. Additives containing hyaluronic acid are currently bestsellers in the market of cosmetic, nutrition and medicinal products. Hyaluronic acid can be found naturally in all living organisms; in the human body, it is located in higher concentrations in the areas of joints, vitreous humour and mostly skin.
As a protein, hyaluronic acid can absorb up to 1000 times its own weight of water, and it is known to play an important role in the ageing process. Low intake of hyaluronic acid, be it from food or by other means, leads to occurrence of wrinkles caused by dehydration and general ageing.
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally present glycosaminoglycan, or a linear polysaccharide, of big molecular weight. It is formed by repeating disaccharide units (D-glucuronic acid and N-acetylglucosamine). Despite its simple primary structure, hyaluronic acid shows largely varying biological effects depending on the molecule size and spatial arrangement. As it is known to be found in the human body rather in the form of sodium or other salt, the term hyaluronan or hyaluronate is preferred.
Hyaluronic acid is one the main components of the intercellular substance. It is part of connective, epithelial and neural tissues. Its high concentrations can be found in the vitreous humour, synovial fluid and skin. Also, it forms mucous covers of eggs of certain organisms.
- bonds with water (it absorbs about a thousand times more water)
- prevents passage of viruses and bacteria through the extracellular matrix to the cell
- modulates inflammation by induction, release of cytokines and chemokines, extinguishes free oxygen radicals, influences cell proliferation and differentiation
- its analgesic effects are described as well
- in the synovial fluid, hyaluronic acid benefits of its viscoelastic features as a lubricant and bumper
As early as in the 60’s of the 20th century, hyaluronic acid was used for local treatment of burns and rodent ulcers. Since 1979, hyaluronic acid has been present in the market for use in ocular surgery. It protects fine tissues of the eye, mostly endothelium of the cornea, against damage during surgery; it is also used to substitute vitreous humour during cataract removal or lens implant surgery. The second widest application of hyaluronic acid is intraarticular administration (viscosupplementation) to patients suffering from osteoarthritis. Also, hyaluronic acid plays a significant role in augmentations in plastic surgery (filler of wrinkles, recessed scars, breast augmentations).
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