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Best Anti-aging and Joint Inflammation Supplements: Hyaluronic Acid

Updated on February 28, 2012

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.


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    • profile image

      Sara 6 years ago

      Do you have any recommendations for brands of oral HA?

    • fred allen profile image

      fred allen 7 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

      Very interesting. Have any new studies been done on this since you wrote the hub? Voted up and useful

    • profile image

      Adela 7 years ago

      Thanks for all these information, Steve!

      Hyaluonic acid injection is a good way for serious wrinkles though it stays in tissues too short.

    • revitawellness profile image

      revitawellness 7 years ago from Mecklenburg

      Hyaluronic acid is cushion & lubricate joints, eyes, skin and heart valves. Good Hub

    • TheDreamArena profile image

      TheDreamArena 8 years ago

      More and more the use of powerful antioxidants is showing to have dramatic effects on eliminating inflammation. Rain Nutrition

    • joecseko profile image

      Joe Cseko jr 8 years ago from New York, USA, Earth

      Oh, and Constant Walker- subscribe to CL does independent testing of (non FDA regulated, which NONE are) supplements to determine potency, toxicity and any sneaky stuff.

    • joecseko profile image

      Joe Cseko jr 8 years ago from New York, USA, Earth

      Steve continues to post scholar calibre hubs for us to enjoy!

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 8 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      Hy stevemark122000,

      Many thanks for an interesting hub here. The japanese village of Yuzuri Hara is most interesting, though not that unusual. My girlfriend is part asian and I don't think she will ever look old. It seems to be that "peter pan" thing. I know other women my age and they have wrinkles around their eyes. For mid 20's, that's way too early to be getting them. (Maybe they hit the sauce too much!) I know women are obsessed with anti-aging creams and treatments, yeah, like 99% of us! Would I go as far as injections and treatments like you mention here? H'mm. That's a good one. I do wonder at what age should a woman think about going for the more serious treatments. Or should it be a case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Always interesting and thought provoking. Thanks! Count me as a fan here! Thanks for becoming one for me too!

    • kawendie profile image

      kawendie 8 years ago

      Interesting, you have made a fan of me. I wonder how it would affect a person with inflammitory issues as a result of systemic or auto-immune processes going on in the body. Imagine taking one pill that helps with inflammation, and keeps you healthier. (Younger looking is good though I will not admit to looking a day over 25.)

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 9 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks for your comment Constant Walker. Those little details are important. It's always a good idea to do your homework before purchasing.

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 9 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      My first concern would be, what else is in the supplements?  Even, or especially, the micorscopic stuff, like fillers, holders-together (English Lit major!), and how affective they are.  If the bi-products are safe and they really do make the skin look younger, I'd see no problem in taking one every day with a vitamin.

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 9 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks for your comment Cheryl. That's a great testimony!

    • CherylTheWriter profile image

      CherylTheWriter 9 years ago from Humble, Texas (the ultimate oxymoron)

      Would you believe my DOG gets these injections for canine arthritis but my MOTHER is scared of the needle, even though she needs them at least as much? In any event, the DOG is doing very well with them and has started bouncing around again like a puppy!