- Aging & Longevity
Best Anti-aging and Joint Inflammation Supplements: Hyaluronic Acid
In the western world there has been much debate over the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid supplements as treatments for anti-aging, premature aging and joint inflammation. The popularity of these supplements have been increasing in recent years and are found in many skin care products and pill formulations. Very few studies have been done and therefore evidence of effectiveness is based mostly on user testimonies. On the other hand, hyaluronic injections have been proven to be effective in temporarily rejuvenating the youthful appearance of skin and at improving function and eliminating pain in the joints.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a complex carbohydrate found in connective, neural and other tissues throughout the body. Its job is to cushion and lubricate. It coats the cells in cartilage that lines the bony surfaces of joints. It is the key component in a process that absorbs water, making cartilage resilient to compression. Hyaluronic acid deficiencies are linked to connective tissue disorders.
Hyaluronic acid is also a major ingredient found in skin. It is highly active in skin damage repair. If the skin is over-exposed to the sun's UVB rays, it burns and decreases the amount of hyaluronic acid being produced, causing it to degrade more rapidly.
Evidence has shown that when there is a hyaluronic acid deficiency, premature aging and connective tissue problems occur. Injections have proven to be effective in temporarily compensating for the shortage, but the controversy remains over whether oral supplementation can restore this deficiency.
Hyaluronic Acid Injection
Since 2003, hyaluronic acid injections have been used to repair skin defects such as wrinkles on the face. The acid does this by increasing the volume under the skin and usually lasts about 6 months.
It is also used to treat osteoarthritus in the knee. Injections are given in several applications. It is believed that hyaluronic acid aids in lubricating and cushioning the joints resulting in pain relief.
Increasing Hyaluronic Acid Body Levels through Supplementation
Although their is limited research to prove the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid supplements, an interesting news report was done by ABC news called the "The Village of Long Life." It involves a Japanese village called Yuzuri Hara where the diet consists mostly of highly nutritious local root starches and vegetables. The doctors in the area say that these starches increase the body's ability to generate hyaluronic acid allowing the inhabitants to slow down the aging process.
The percentage of people over the age of 85 is ten times greater than in America. Not only do the villagers live longer but they are much healthier. Diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's are nearly non-existent. The diet in the village is unlike the rest of Japan where rice is the staple diet. The villages hilly land is better suited to the vegetable farming they practice. Some of the vegetables they produce are satsumaimo, satoimo, konyaku and imoji.
As a result of the findings from this village, a large Japanese pharmaceutical company began to research and develop a hyaluronic acid supplement. Through studies done, it was found that about fifty percent of people using the supplement had improved the quality of their skin and no side effect were found.
It is interesting to note that when the western processed diet began to develop in the Japanese village in recent years, the incidences of heart disease doubled. Since the young are the ones consuming this western diet it has been found that many of them are dying before their parents.
There has been much reseach done proving the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid injections, however the results are temporary. The controversy over the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid supplements continues but they continue to increase in popularity. Most support for the effectiveness of supplements comes from user testimonies and the research done in the Japanese village called Yuzuri Hara. The advantage of supplementation would be in on going health benefits.