Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in our joints and eyes. It is referred to as 'nature's moisturizer' because of its of its lubricant effects and its efficiency as a natural hydrophilic molecule. Consequently, its primary job in the human body is to keep the joints well lubricated, so that the bones do not begin rubbing together during heavy exercise and cause damage within the joints. Therefore, if the body doesn't have enough hyaluronic acid, joint pain will rapidly increase, and inflammation will build up as a natural defense mechanism to offset the dryness.
Due to several health benefits, hyaluronic acid has become very popular among athletes who seek to avoid injuries (specifically joints related) and stay healthy.
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How it Works
Basically, hyaluronic acid acts as a cushion and lubricant in the joints and tissues. However, it also speeds up recovery from joint injuries. Therefore, hyaluronic acid is a necessary component of connective tissue, and it belongs to the class of proteins known as Glycosaminoglycans, which help the body retain water when it needs to be moisturized.
Research and Medical Uses
The FDA has approved the use of hyaluronic acid during eye surgery to help moisturize the eye. Moreover, it is also employed in plastic surgery, as a skin moisturizer and as a makeup ingredient.
Nevertheless, hyaluronic acid is mostly used by athletes who want to prevent or treat osteoarthritis because it is a very powerful substance, which can effectively help lubricate and protect the joints.
Other health benefits
Hyaluronic acid can also be used in anti aging treatments and to coat the bladder lining in interstitial cystitis treatment.
Athletes from all sports can benefit tremendously from hyaluronic acid. In sports where a lot of jumping and running is done, especially on hard surfaces (tennis, basketball, volleyball, running, etc.), hyaluronic acid can provide a blanket of protection against joint injuries. It does so by lubing up the area and providing help to the cartilages.
Therefore, hyaluronic acid can help prevent “bone on bone” injuries. It is a very important property, since “bone on bone” is a dreaded term, meaning that certain bones rub against each another because of a missing support within the joint. As a matter of fact, recently in the NFL draft, one of the most talented running backs fell all the way to the 5th round because doctors discovered he had a prior injury when he was younger, which has caused his knee joint to be 'bone on bone'. The reason for such a change in draft position is the fact that this type of health problem does not bode well for the long term performance of an athlete.
Certain anabolic steroids, especially those that are dihydrotestosterone (DHT) derivatives, as well as certain aromatase inhibitors (AI), will dry out the joints. Hence, arthritis and inflammation can develop very quickly if the bodybuilder fails to lubricate the joints, which can become chronic and long term in nature. For this reason, hyaluronic acid should be used when those compounds are cycled. Furthermore, its effects can be enhanced when hyaluronic acid is stacked with other joint supporting supplements like glucosamine and MSM.
Side effects are rare, but skin reactions can occur if you apply hyaluronic acid on an infected area of the skin. Hyaluronic acid is perfectly safe to stack with prescription drugs or other supplements, and there is no evidence of any harmful interactions. Moreover, it is safe for pregnant women as well.
Hyaluronic acid is found in powder form, topical form, and injectable form.
Only 5 milligrams (mgs) of the powder form should be taken in as part of a supplemental stack, usually with other ingredients, such as glucosamine and chondroitin. Topical versions are usually applied with one serving 1-3 times per day. Injections are dependent on your particular situation, but patients typically have a 4-8 week timeline of multiple injections.
Where to Find
Hyaluronic acid is mostly found online and in vet supply stores, where it is usually available in powder form or topical form. In fact, it is also popularly prescribed by medicinal doctors as an injectable liquid.
This supplement works best for athletes when taken as part of a complete supplemental stack in low dosages. Therefore, it would make more sense to buy one supplement that contains hyaluronic acid, as well as more than a dozen of other joint supporting ingredients. N2Joint Rx contains 5mgs per serving of hyaluronic acid, together with other ingredients, all of which are designed for the athlete, and it can be found at n2bm.com.
- Amo Vitrax (ocular)
- Amvisic Plus (ocular)
- Clinitas 0.4% Altacor (eye drop)
- Cystistar, Healon (ocular)
- Eyefill (ocular)
- Hylo-Comod (Eye Drop)
- I-Visc I-MED Pharma Inc.
- I-Drop Pharma Inc. (eye drop)
- Olixia Pure (Eye Drop)
- Polyfresh (Eye drop) Orchidia Pharmaceutical Ind
- Gonilert/Verisfield (UK)
- Hyalgan/Hyalart- Fidia
- Monovisc- Anika (USA)
Want to read about Hyaluronic acid on our forums? check out these threads:
- Hyaluronic acid, a promising skin rejuvenating biomedicine: A review of recent updates and pre-clinical and clinical investigations on cosmetic and nutricosmetic effects
- Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Hyaluronic Acid: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Trajectory
- Beneficial effects of hyaluronic acid
- Hyaluronic Acid in the Third Millennium
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