HA & EYE HEALTH

Eyes: It is all about the water.

Eyes need water to be healthy and comfortable. The eye is 99% water (Gaffney, et al., 2009). However, something must hold water in the eye. That is where HA comes in. HA holds the water in the eye to lubricate and protect the eye. In fact, in 1934, HA was first isolated from the fluid inside eyes (Gupta, et al., 2019).

If there’s not enough HA in your eyes, your eyes will start to lose water. One problem with maintaining sufficient HA concentration in the eye is that HA in the eye is replaced frequently (Gaffney, et al., 2009). Consequently, a large amount of continuously replenished HA is required to maintain the water balance of the eye. If our bodies can’t synthesize enough HA, then we have to supplement HA with eye drops or oral HA supplements.

Most often, HA supplements for eyes occur in the form of sterile ophthalmic HA drops.1 There are a multitude of clinical studies that indicate that sterile ophthalmic HA drops are beneficial to eyes (Gaffney, et al., 2009). However, a recent clinical study suggests that oral HA supplements also improve dry eyes (Kim, et al., 2019). These clinicians observed that, in patients who also were using sterile eye drops, supplementing the patients’ diets with high molecular weight HA improved the symptoms of dry eye more than did using eye drops alone. This study suggests that the benefits of

Ha & Eye Health

adding a high quality, high molecular weight HA supplement do not rest solely in the eye of the beholder.

We have come to the end of our sections on the benefits of HA in specific organ systems. Believe it or not, there is more information out there that we have not included in this book. We encourage you to continue your study of the benefits of HA, but we strongly urge you to be vigilant about the quality and validity of what you read. Think critically about what you read. Insist on reading only data-based accounts of HA benefits. HA is very popular as an oral supplement right now. Anyone can say anything about HA without having to prove that what they say is accurate and based in science. In our discussions of HA and HA-TOPSHELF, the HA team has focused on only those claims of benefits that we could substantiate with peer-reviewed clinical and basic science research reports. We urge you to apply the same rigor and critical thinking to your own
studies of HA and selection of an HA product.