Hyaluronic Acid: More Than Just a Cosmetic Ingredient

You may have noticed that many skincare products contain hyaluronic acid. When applied to the skin, hyaluronic can give an immediate, visible boost. HA can hold upto 1000 times its own weight in water, and because of this it makes the skin instantly smoother, plumper and hydrated and it diminishes fine lines.

It makes sense to use skincare products that contain HA. But hyaluronic acid is also present inside the body. It makes our lips rounder and fuller, our gums healthy, and even makes up our eyeballs. Upto 50% of your skin is made of HA. Therefore, if you want good skin it makes sense to not only to apply it to the skin, but to also boost HA levels internally through supplementation and good nutrition. Combining both approaches can have a significant, visible and long lasting effect.

What Does Hyaluronic Acid Do in the Body?

About 15 grams of hyaluronic acid are present in the average human body, and the body degrades and synthesizes new HA on a daily basis. One of HA’s functions is moisturizing the skin, and when skin is low in HA, it can become dry. Therefore, lotions for the treatment of eczema often contain HA. HA aids in the healing of damaged skin, and it is believed to have anti-aging properties and prevent wrinkles. It also hydrates the eyes and helps them to keep their shape. Additionally, HA lubricates joints and prevents friction. Low levels of HA can result in joint pain, so HA injections are used as a treatment for osteoarthritis. As the body grows older, it produces less HA, but this effect can be counteracted by consuming foods that contain HA or aid its production.

What Foods Contain Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced by the bodies of many animals including mammals and fish. It is especially prevalent in the organ meats of livestock. Livers, hearts and kidneys are examples of sources of HA. Though they may not seem palatable, eyeballs contain high levels of HA as well. Bone broths made from chicken, beef, and other meats are also rich in HA.

What Other Nutrients Boost Hyaluronic Acid?

Many foods do not contain hyaluronic acid but will support the body to produce more of the substance. In particular, foods rich in vitamin C and magnesium help to boost HA. This includes many fruits such as apples, bananas and citrus fruits. Vegetables like spinach and kale also support production of HA. Various Japanese sweet potatoes and other root vegetables, such as satsumaimo, satoimo and imoji, are famed for their anti-aging properties. The starches in these root vegetables contribute to HA production. Fermented soy products also increase levels of HA and promote healthy skin.