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Hyaluronic acid – not only in the service of beauty

# Micronutrients | 23. August 2018

Hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan, is chemically a glycosaminoglycan, which is a large molecule composed of a chain of disaccharides, which are composed of two glucose derivatives. The transparent substance has the ability, in very large amounts (up to six litres per gram), to bind water, and so for example, provides the vitreous body of the eye, the vertebral discs and cartilage with the necessary elasticity and flexibility. It is an important component of the connective tissue and joint fluid, which is responsible for ensuring that everything runs smoothly.

Due to the excellent water binding capacity of hyaluronan, it is often used to moisten dry mucous membranes and is found for example in eye drops and nasal sprays, or used in other lubricants.

Another field of application is in degenerative joint diseases, in which it has come to a breakdown of cartilage or a lack of joint fluid, which one tries to compensate by dietary supplements and injections.

It is well known that hyaluronic acid does not only care for moisture and elasticity in the joints or mucous membranes, but also ensures a firm and wrinkle-free skin. With age, the hyaluronic acid content in the skin decreases, and as early as 50 years of age, we only have about half of the initial reserves. It is no wonder that our skin goes flabby and wrinkled.

What could be more sensible than to incorporate hyaluronic acid in anti-aging creams and to use its water-binding capacity to fill wrinkles? There are now a wide range of cosmetic products on the market, from  eye contour cream to night cream. Injected under the skin, hyaluronic acid may produce a stronger effect than the sole application of a cream, and so reduces wrinkles or models facial structures. The most common and often most prominent field of application is certainly the padding or pumping of the lips, which enjoys immense popularity among stars and starlets. But here, care is needed in the quality of the products used, and to stop before a sensual mouth turns into a bloated frog pout!

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