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Want Healthy Joints? Hydrate!

Healthy joints move smoothly and silently because they have plenty of synovial fluid.

Without this lubricant joints become stiff and creaky. Enter hyaluronic acid (HA). A gooey, viscous carbohydrate molecule, HA is an important component of synovial fluid and also cartilage and is one of a scant few such molecules responsible for keeping your joints plump and pain-free.

HA works by forming a matrix that attracts and holds onto water.

For decades, doctors have injected hyaluronic acid directly into arthritic joints to alleviate arthritis symptoms and restore joint function. More recently, supplementation with oral hyaluronic acid has become a growing trend with arthritis sufferers who seek a less invasive, self-care option.

Oral HA Improves Outcomes

Combined therapy using both injected and oral hyaluronic acid produced favorable results in a clinical trial of patients with knee osteoarthritis [3].

All measured outcomes improved more in the group that received oral HA in addition to HA injections, including three objective measurement scales of pain and joint function, as well as the quantity of painkillers participants consumed.

Anti-inflammatory Benefits

In addition to its hydrating effects, hyaluronic acid may also directly inhibit inflammation and resultant tissue damage.

A tissue culture study of human cartilage cells treated with HA demonstrated that it reduced inflammation at the genetic level by suppressing activity of several genes that lead to the production of pro-inflammatory molecules [2].

This means that hyaluronic acid supplementation may help stop osteoarthritis from progressing by protecting cartilage cells from damage that arises from chronic inflammation.

Glutathione and HA – A Perfect Pairing

Want to make your HA supplement even more effective? Take it together with glutathione, say researchers of a tissue culture study [4].

When glutathione, a high-powered antioxidant and anti-inflammatory was combined with HA, effects on human synovial fluid-producing cells showed an increase in antioxidant activity and a decrease in levels of pro-inflammatory molecules in the cells compared to supplementation with HA by itself.

Less Pain Equals Better Sociability

In a clinical trial, participants with knee osteoarthritis, all of whom were at least 40 years of age, took oral hyaluronic acid supplements for 8 weeks1.

By the halfway mark in the double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the majority were showing significant increase in joint function and reporting decreased pain. Researchers also noted that participants’ social and emotional function improved significantly as the burden of pain and joint dysfunction decreased.

Have a Shot

Four weeks of a liquid oral HA supplement, in a study of chronic pain sufferers between the ages of 19 and 71 years led to significant pain relief, resulted in improved sleep quality, increased energy levels and decreased need for pain medication [5].

Increased Strength in Men

HA supplementation improved muscle strength in men with indicators of early stage knee osteoarthritis in a study in which participants daily consumed HA-enhanced yoghurt for 12 weeks [6].

At the end of the study, strength tests showed about 11% improvement over baseline. However; the supplement did not seem to provide similar strength-improving benefits for women participants, leading researchers to call for further studies to better elucidate the reasons for the observed difference.

Safety Note

Patients with autoimmune arthritis involving a reaction to hyaluronic acid may respond poorly to taking HA supplements. Additionally, HA can affect blood pressure in some individuals [7].

If you take diuretics or other blood pressure medication or, if you have impaired lymphatic circulation consult your doctor for guidance in the appropriate use and dosage of hyaluronic acid for your health needs.

Testimonial / Case Study Legal Disclaimer: The story, testimonials, and case studies discussed on this page may be unique. You may or may not enjoy similar results from using the methods discussed. We neither make any claims nor offer any guarantees regarding the health improvements or specific results you may enjoy from following our guidance. Always consult your doctor before taking any actions regarding your health.