Should You Be Taking Hyaluronic Acid Supplements?

Hyaluronic acid is well known for being useful in beauty products. Typically, it's used in anti-aging and eye creams and is also found in lotions, serums, shampoos, gels, and ointments. However, the popular acid is also available in supplement form and is thought to help improve several conditions.

The first thing you should know about hyaluronic acid is that your body naturally produces it, so it's something your body is familiar with. It's not a substance that your body will deem foreign. Cleveland Clinic describes it as a "gooey, slippery substance" that is located in several areas of the body. It tends to be centralized in the eyes and joints, as well as in the skin.

"Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring type of sugar that is produced by the body and found in the highest concentrations in our skin, connective tissues, and eyes," board-certified dermatologist Jennifer Chwalek, M.D., tells MindBodyGreen. "It functions to retain water, keep our tissues well lubricated and our skin looking firm and youthful."

Since it decreases with age and you lose half of your supply by your 40s, supplements containing hyaluronic acid can prove beneficial.

Hyaluronic acid has healing effects inside the body

While there are many common causes of joint pain, hyaluronic acid can be a godsend for many of them. The supplement helps increase flexibility and movement while also decreasing pain. Hyaluronic acid's unique ability to keep joints lubricated helps lessen incidences of bone rubbing against bone, which is often the case in osteoarthritis (via Healthline).

In addition, the anti-inflammatory properties found in hyaluronic acid help reduce swelling, which is another primary cause of pain in arthritis. Hyaluronic acid can also help ease inflammation in the esophagus caused by acid reflux. It also helps the esophageal lining rebuild and repair.

Since hyaluronic acid helps alleviate inflammation, it also is useful in helping wounds heal more rapidly because it can boost blood vessel production at the wound site, which helps it to heal faster. Faster healing helps prevent infection. According to WebMD, it may also be effective in treating ulcers caused by varicose veins stemming from poor circulation.

How hyaluronic acid supplements can help in the beauty department

Though hyaluronic acid is most often applied on the skin, it can also help boost the skin when it is taken as a supplement. According to the National Library of Medicine, a 2021 study found that oral hyaluronic acid supplements improve dry skin and even wrinkles. After 12 weeks of use, participants were found to have fewer wrinkles, increased water content, and reduced water loss in the skin. Researchers also identified higher amounts of skin elasticity.

Another area that can be improved by hyaluronic acid is the eyes. For those with dry eyes, the supplement can help increase natural fluid and help ease the pain and irritation caused by having dry eyes, as per Verywell Health.

Beyond the health benefits provided for the bones, joints, skin, and eyes, hyaluronic acid has many other potential areas where it may be helpful, including helping to alleviate fibromyalgia, gingivitis, urinary tract infections, and vaginal dryness. Always check with your doctor before taking a new supplement.