MEN’S HEALTH: Can Hyaluronic Acid Keep You Feeling and Looking Younger?

april-_4-mh.jpgAsk anyone with stiff, creaking joints if they feel like the Tin-Man in the Wizard of Oz. They may tell you need “ooooil!” What they really need is adequate amounts of joint-lubricating synovial fluid and flexible cartilage. Hyaluronic acid is an important part of cartilage, and the lubrication necessary to maintain its natural health.

One of the prime substances for maintaining men’s health is hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid promotes the fluidity of our joints, the retaining of vital water in our body tissues, and a youthful, wrinkle-free appearance of our skin. How exactly does it work this magic for men’s health?

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring component found in most of the tissues in the body, particularly in the skin, cartilage of the joints and in the fluid-like vitreous humor (the clear, gelatinous substance in the eye between the retina and the lens). The name derives from the Greek word for vitreous — Hyalos.

When you’re young and growing, you produce large amounts of HA and collagen to build joints, tendons and skin. After your body stops growing, in your twenties and thirties, it becomes harder to replace cartilage and connective tissue. To encourage the natural health and healing of these tissues, you can supplement your diet with vitamin C, glucosamine sulfate and hyaluronic acid. These are especially needed in cases of musculoskeletal injuries or damage to the skin from sunburn.

Short term exposure to UVB rays is beneficial for your body’s natural ability to manufacture vitamin D, but excessive sun exposure causes inflammation (the redness of sunburn) and slows or stops your skin cell’s production of HA. This accelerates your skin’s degeneration and aging. The result is wrinkles and dry, aged skin!

When hyaluronic acid attaches to elastin and collagen, together they form the cartilage in our joints. HA is what is responsible for the life-long flexibility and resilient strength of your joint cartilage, and is also a part of synovial fluid production. Without enough HA, your joints slowly disintegrate, as in cases of inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and in degenerative joint disease (DJD), also known as osteoarthritis (OA). Hyaluronic acid has become an effective treatment for both conditions.

Since people with various connective tissue disorders like arthritis, TMJ, faulty mitral valves, poor wound healing, excessive scarring or prematurely-aged, wrinkled skin, virtually always have lower levels of HA, it’s possible that deficiencies of HA may be contributing to the onset of these problems. Results of HA supplementation are usually seen within a few months and no serious side effects have been reported.

Want to look better, feel younger and be more flexible? Drinking enough water, supplementing with vitamin C, fish oils (for omega-3 fats), glucosamine sulfate and hyaluronic acid may help. Men’s health depends on you giving your body what it needs, not only to survive, but to function at your best.

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