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Is Oral Hyaluronic Acid really Effective for Joint and Muscle Pain?

A study published in the November 2008 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that a specific oral supplement of Hyaluronan (also known as Hyaluronic acid) does in fact reach skin and joint tissues.

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is your body's chief moisturizer. It is used to product synovial fluid, which lubricates your joints much like motor oil lubricates your engine. It also helps prevent skin from wrinkling and provides relief for dry eyes.

As hyaluronic acid levels in your body drop, your joints lose their cushion and lubrication. This often results in painful bone on bone grinding.

Hyaluronic acid is gaining popularity as an oral supplement for joint, bone, eye and skin health. But the increase in products on the market has not come without controversy. The main concern is that the molecules are too large to be absorbed by your body when taken orally, so injections are typically used to boost HA levels.

For this recent study, researchers from the American Institute for Biosocial and Medical Research in Washington and the National Centre of Health in Hungary sought to explore that concern. They wanted to find out whether or not oral HA supplements could be absorbed and used by skin and joint tissues.

To answer that question, researchers fed rats and beagles doses of a well known and widely used hyaluronic acid product called Hyamax. Hyamax is produced through microbial fermentation - which is thought to give it superior bio-availability when compared to other HA products.

The Hyamax was tagged with the element Technetium (Tc) so that researchers could track it once ingested. Using a gamma ray camera, they were able to see that all of the joint and skin tissues analyzed showed the presence of hyaluronic acid. It was observable only 15 minutes after ingestion and lasted up to 48 hours.

These findings seem to show that oral supplements of hyaluronic acid, in the form of Hyamax, can in fact be absorbed by the body and used by joints and tissues.

Given that hyaluronic acid is essential for joint, bone, eye, skin and oral health supplements may be particularly useful for seniors because production declines with age. According to this study, Hyamax may be an effective way to increase hyaluronic acid levels and improve overall joint health.
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