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There is no proof that hyaluronic acid injection, topical treatment, or ingestion harms the liver.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a common agent found in several cosmetic and medical products. While it is most commonly used for topical application (on the surface; not ingested orally), it is also sometimes used in an injectable form. (1)(2)
Since the liver metabolizes waste products, there are some concerns about the effects of HA on the liver, but so far there is no evidence suggesting any unpleasant effects of the compound on the organ. In fact, its concentration in the body can help in predicting liver-related diseases.
Continue reading to know more about hyaluronic acid, its uses, and its side effects.
Uses of Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring substance in the body that acts as a lubricant and cushioning agent. It is present in high concentrations in the skin, joints, and eye fluids. It can also be derived from rooster combs or made synthetically.
Hyaluronic acid is commonly used in a variety of cosmetic and medical products, including:
- Skin care products such as creams, serums, and moisturizers that help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin hydration
- Dermal fillers that add volume to the skin, such as those used in the lips and cheeks to create a plumper appearance
- Injections for joint pain, such as osteoarthritis
- Eye drops for dry eyes
- Wound healing agents
- Injections for cosmetic purposes, such as nonsurgical facelifts (2)
Hyaluronic acid is also being studied for use in the treatment of osteoarthritis, dry eyes, and other conditions.
How Can Hyaluronic Acid Be a Diagnostic Measure for Liver-Related Diseases?
Hyaluronic acid is a carbohydrate that is found throughout the body.
The liver is the site of breakdown of most biomolecules and functions similarly for the degradation of hyaluronic acid. Research has shown that any injury to the liver can affect hyaluronic acid levels. (3)(4)
The clearance of degraded hyaluronic acid is impaired in the case of any liver injury or disease. Research has shown that people with viral hepatitis show elevated hyaluronic acid levels, which are associated with an increased risk of developing serious liver events.
No evidence suggests that hyaluronic acid has any negative impact on liver health. However, if you have a known liver condition or are taking any medications that may affect the liver, it is always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional before using any new product containing hyaluronic acid.
What is the importance of liver health and what are the potential consequences of liver damage?
Liver health is extremely important because the liver plays a vital role in many of the body’s important functions. Damage to the liver can lead to a variety of serious health problems, including:
- Cirrhosis: This is a condition where the liver becomes scarred and cannot function properly. It is often caused by chronic alcohol abuse, viral hepatitis, or other chronic liver diseases. (6)
- Hepatic encephalopathy: This is a condition where the liver is not able to remove toxins from the blood, leading to brain damage and other neurological problems. (7)
- Liver cancer: Chronic liver damage can increase the risk of developing liver cancer. (8)
- Jaundice: It’s a condition in which the skin, whites of the eyes, and mucous membranes turn yellowish due to high bilirubin levels in the blood. (9)
- Hemorrhage: Cirrhosis can also cause the blood vessels in the esophagus and stomach to bleed, leading to hemorrhage. (6)
Additionally, other issues such as fluid buildup in the abdomen, muscle wasting, and a weakened immune system can arise due to liver damage.
Proper liver health can be maintained by avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, practicing safe sex, and getting vaccinated against hepatitis A and B. Eating a healthy diet, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight can also help to keep the liver in good condition. (10)
Can hyaluronic acid cause stomach problems?
While there is minimal research on the effects of oral ingestion of hyaluronic acid in prescribed quantities on the stomach, there may be some side effects with the injectable form. (11)
These side effects can range from mild allergic reactions to swelling and may vary depending on the site of injection.
How long should hyaluronic acid be taken?
The dosage of hyaluronic acid, whether in oral or injectable form, varies from person to person and also depends on the person’s medical history. It is a good idea to consult your healthcare practitioner before trying any new supplement or treatment.
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the body that is involved in tissue repair and hydration. It is not known to have a specific effect on the liver.
In some studies, it has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which may benefit liver health. Additionally, hyaluronic acid may be used in the treatment of liver diseases such as liver fibrosis and liver cirrhosis, but more research is needed to confirm its efficacy in these areas.
Overall, hyaluronic acid is considered safe when used as a supplement or in medical treatments, but it is important to consult a healthcare professional before using it.