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You might have seen hyaluronic acid on the label of cosmetic products, especially facial creams. It is advertised as an antiwrinkle agent that can bring back lustrous skin and improve general skin health, and these claims would be right.
Hyaluronic acid is found within the cells of the skin, eyes, and connective tissues around the bone. Its structure allows it to absorb water, swell, and provide structural support. (1)
Natural aging processes cause a decrease in the production of hyaluronic acid and collagen in the skin, causing it to lose its elasticity and increasing the appearance of wrinkles. In this case, topical application of hyaluronic acid can increase collagen production and improve the overall appearance of the skin. (1)
How to Take Oral Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is available in pills and as a liquid that can be taken mixed with water. The supplement is safe to take and adverse effects are rare.
Studies have also shown hyaluronic acid to also relieve symptoms of acid reflux as well as treat damage to the throat tissues from acid. (4) For this reason, hyaluronic acid can be taken on an empty stomach.
However, do consult your doctor and follow package instructions.
Benefits of Oral Hyaluronic Acid Supplement
In addition to being a topical agent, hyaluronic acid is also available for oral consumption. Here are some science-backed benefits oral hyaluronic acid can offer.
1. Reduces the appearance of wrinkles
Multiple studies have reported that the use of oral hyaluronic acid increases skin elasticity and reduces the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes. It improves skin density and hydration and has a benefit on aging skin.
In a Japanese study, oral hyaluronic improved the moisture content of the skin in women who complained of dry and sagging skin. (5)
In a more recent study of Asian men and women, 12 weeks of oral hyaluronic acid reduced the appearance of wrinkles and improved skin elasticity. (2)
2. Reduces knee pain
Hyaluronic acid is an important component in the fluid around the joints that aids in motility and maintains the health of joints. Studies have found oral hyaluronic acid to reduce symptoms of knee pain, reduce inflammation, and improve knee strength. (3)
Thus, hyaluronic acid may prove to be an effective remedy against knee pain in arthritis, though more specific research is needed.
3. Lubricates the eyes
Oral hyaluronic acid is also used in the management of dry eye disease that is caused by loss of tears. This condition results in extreme discomfort and some loss of vision that is restored with hydration. (6)
Many topical eye drops contain hyaluronic acid to restore hydration, and studies have shown a combination of topical and oral ingestion of hyaluronic acid to be an effective remedy against dry eyes. (6)
4. Helps in menopausal dryness
Changes with menopause include vaginal atrophy that can cause dryness and discomfort. Oral hyaluronic acid can be used to manage this vaginal dryness. (7)
Side Effects of Hyaluronic Acid Supplements
Since hyaluronic acid is naturally present in the body, side effects are unlikely. However, recent studies have shown some types of cancer cells to be sensitive to hyaluronic acid. (8) It may cause their growth and spread. Thus, it is highly recommended for people with a history of cancer to avoid its use.
Most-Asked Questions About Hyaluronic Acid
Can I take hyaluronic acid through food?
Some foods such as bone broths, soy and its products, orange, almonds, and root vegetables such as potatoes contain good amounts of hyaluronic acid. While it is a good idea to consume these foods, supplements may be required to treat additional concerns.
Is it okay to take collagen and hyaluronic acid together?
Collagen and hyaluronic acid complement each other very well. Taking these supplements together can be a good idea.
How long does it take to see results with hyaluronic acid?
It may take 1–2 months of regular use to see results.
When should I stop using hyaluronic acid supplements?
There are no known side effects of using hyaluronic acid supplement in recommended doses.
What cannot be paired with hyaluronic acid supplements?
Avoid taking vitamin C with hyaluronic acid.
What is the best form of hyaluronic acid to take?
Some types of supplements come along with added collagen in either liquid or capsulated form. Consult your doctor to identify what type of hyaluronic acid supplement is the best fit for you.
What is the best time to take hyaluronic acid supplement: day or night?
Hyaluronic acid supplement can be taken during the day or at night.
Does hyaluronic acid cause sun sensitivity?
Hyaluronic acid serum may be broken down by UV when applied to the skin. It does not cause sun sensitivity by itself. For this reason, SPF use is recommended with products containing hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic acid – a naturally occurring compound within our cells – has many health benefits including improving skin health, reducing wrinkles and the appearance of aging, reducing knee pain, lubricating the eyes, and managing vaginal dryness experienced by postmenopausal women.
Oral hyaluronic supplements are safe to take and can be taken both on an empty stomach and after meals.