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Hyaluronic acid, also called hyaluronan, is a glycosaminoglycan - long unbranched polysaccharides consisting of repeated disaccharides (1).
Hyaluronic acid is found throughout the body and occurs in all tissues and fluids that serve vital functions in the body (2), is more concentrated in some parts of the body, but has the same role everywhere. As much as 50% of the body's hyaluronic acid is found in the skin, where it contributes to hydration, metabolic processes and skin repair. Hyaluronic acid has a dynamic rate of turnover that lasts less than a day in the skin, which means that it is important that the body has access to hyaluronic acid every day, in order for the body to function optimally (3).
In the body, the hyaluronic acid plays an important role in maintaining a healthy connective tissue, regulates skin elasticity, is involved in cell migration, wound healing and inflammation (4). Its other functions include the lubrication of joints, blood vessel formation and fibroblast migration - a connective tissue cell that produces procollagen which become collagen outside the cell (5).
Hyaluronic acid may have a synthetic or natural origin. But regardless of the source, its molecular structure is always the same - a sugar with hygroscopic properties (attracts and retains water). Hyaluronic acid can be formed in various ways. Biologically by synthesis of fibroblasts in the body, naturally from fermentation (fermentation) of various plant species, from animals, and synthetically. For example, fermentation of plants, the plant is fermented with specific bacteria, purified and then precipitated. This process extracts the hyaluronic acid naturally present in the plant, giving a naturally derived hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic acid, just like collagen, are used in fillers (injections) to make the skin look younger, as well as in various creams that can be applied to the skin! Hyaluronic acid can also be injected into the joints of the body to provide pain relief and improve the joints ability to move.
Author: Natalie Rovaniemi CEO & founder of Celloptimum, with a Master´s degree in nutrition