If So What Is It and What Does It Do?
In Yuzuri Hara, a village in Japan, ten percent of the population is 85 or older. Diseases of aging, such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's, are virtually unknown. People rarely see a doctor and their skin rarely shows signs of aging. They live long, healthy active lives.
As reported on the ABC News program 20/20, researchers have discovered the 'magical' ingredient that appears to keep people in Yuzuri Hara young. It is hyaluronic acid, which is found naturally in the carbohydrate foods that are unique to the hilly terrain of this village.
The Times Newspaper (UK) reported 'New LIFE in OLD BONES: Researchers are looking for the genes involved with osteo-arthritis, which may lead to more effective, targeted therapies. Some studies have also shown positive results from injections into arthritic joints of hyaluronic acid, a component of the bodies own lubricant fluid, which seems to delay the need for a joint replacement.'
What Is It?
Hyaluronic Acid; or HA is a natural substance that is plentiful in our bodies when we are born.
It is found in all human connective tissue.
What Does It Do?
HA occurs naturally in the deeper layers of our skin (the dermis). It helps to keep skin smooth and "plump" through its ability to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water.
It lubricates the joints.
HA plays a critical role in the rapid repair of wounds and other skin conditions.
1. Moisture Retention
The ability to retain and hold moisture is the secret to youthful, healthy, vibrant skin.
Aging robs us of this innate ability to hold in moisture. As we get older our bodies produce less and less HA. The drop in HA starts at around the age of 18-20 years. But after the age of 40 the down slide becomes apparent. Skin starts to lose its elasticity and lines and wrinkles appear.
HA also supports the formation and maintenance of collagen, an important connective tissue. Collagen degradation is believed to cause a decrease in skin tone and elasticity.
Healthy, youthful skin comes from the inside. By replacing the components that naturally deplete with age, we can reverse the signs associated with aging.
HA supplementation puts back in what is naturally lost to restore radiance and youth.
2. Joint Lubrication
HA occurs throughout the body in abundant amounts in many of the places people with hereditary connective tissue disorders have problems such as joints, heart valves and eyes. Hyaluronic acid abnormalities are a common thread in connective tissue disorders e.g osteoarthritis
3. Wound repair
Another important part of good skin is the ability to quickly heal wounds. This ability is slowly degraded with age. In part, it is due to the slowing down of cell mitosis, crucial aspect of cellular repair and regeneration. A possible contributing factor is also the decrease in the amount of HA available in the body.
HA makes up 80% of the human eye - it is present in the vitreous humor of the eye and assists in vision. HA is a shock absorber to the retina thus helping to prevent trauma to the eye.
Anti-aging products that use Hyaluronic Acid
There are two types of HA anti-aging products:
Those that are applied externally in cream form
Those that are taken as a health supplement and work internally, providing moisture to the inner layers of the epidermis. By reaching the corium layers of the epidermis, you penetrate, like no topical application is able to. This provides essential HA components to the cell level where it can work effectively, whilst still moisturizing the skin and reducing wrinkles