HYALURONAN IS AN ESSENTIAL BODY MOLECULE

Taking responsibility for our health.

Our health and wellness are our personal responsibility. We cannot change our genetic makeup, but we can control some aspects of our health by making informed choices. Good health and wellness begin with understanding our family medical histories, screening for treatable diseases, and making early decisions on diagnosis and treatment plans.

Prevention is very important to maintaining good health and preventing illness. Prevention choices that improve our health include exercising regularly, drinking enough water, avoiding smoking, drinking alcohol moderately, avoiding risky activity (Listen up, men!), managing stress, getting regular checkups and vaccinations, getting adequate sleep, and using medications and supplements appropriately.

Good health also depends on proper nutrition. Dr. Andrew Weill, an authority in holist, integrative medicine, suggests making food choices that contribute to controlling inflammation.3, 4 Additional peer-reviewed scientific research shows that HA supplements can be part of a well-balanced, anti-inflammatory diet that contributes to controlling inflammation and to achieving a balanced microbiome in our gut (Jiang, et al., 2011).

Hyaluronan.

molecule diagram

HA’s chemical structure. (Karl Harrison. 3DChem.com, http://www.3dchem.com/Hyaluronan.asp. Image used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.)

HA is a profoundly important molecule for nearly every cell in our bodies. In science terms, HA is a “dynamic glycosaminoglycan”. Glycosaminoglycans5 are long chains of molecules linked together. “Dynamic” means that enzymes in the body are constantly adding molecules to HA and subtracting molecules from HA in response to changes in health and environment. This helps our body to maintain optimum health.


3Andrew Weil, MD. Healthy Lifestyle Brands, LLC. Used for informational purposes, only. HATOPSHELF is not associated in any way with Andrew Weil, MD or Healthy Lifestyle Brands, LLC. For
additional information on Dr. Weil’s teachings and products, visit his website:
https://bit.ly/37U2zMM and https://bit.ly/2TYyzcC.
4Whole Health: Change the Conversation. Advancing Skills in the Delivery of Personalized, Proactive,
Patient-Driven Care. The Anti-Inflammatory Diet Clinical Tool. https://bit.ly/314uSqd
5See the YouTube video at https://bit.ly/3fHFdMT for more information on dynamic
glycosaminoglycans

HA was discovered nearly 100 years ago (Gupta, et al., 2019). Since then, peer-reviewed scientific research, conducted over decades, has shown that HA is a crucial contributor to the health and longevity of many parts of our bodies, including our joints, bones, eyes, spine, and skin, just to mention a few.

HA has not always been considered important to health by clinicians who practice western-style medicine. However, appreciation of HA’s benefits is growing because of a growing awareness in the United States medical community of integrative medical techniques to improve overall human health (Gannotta, et al., 2018). Integrative medicine is “care that is patient centered, healing oriented, emphasizes the therapeutic relationship, and uses therapeutic approaches originating from conventional and alternative medicine” (Maizes, et al., 2009). Integrative medicine focuses on making all body systems function together harmoniously. For example, research indicates that the health of the gut, brain, and skin are linked (Salem, et al., 2018; Galland, 2014) One of the benefits of HA is that it promotes holistic health by improving hydration and maintaining healthy gut microbiome (the bacteria that naturally live in the gut) and leads to overall feelings of well-being (Bellar, et al., 2019; de la Motte & Kessler, 2015; Fallacara, et al., 2018; Gupta, et al., 2019; Jensen, et al., 2015). A healthy body shows in our outward appearance, as well, by improving the look and feel of our skin (Göllner, et al., 2017).

A good indicator of whether there is interest in whether a drug or other biologically active molecule, such as HA, improves human health is the number of human clinical trials being conducted to research using that substance. For a substance to be approved to be used in a human clinical trial, there must be solid preliminary evidence from studies conducted in cultured cells and in increasingly complex animal models that the substance is safe and has demonstrated potential to improve human health. On the United States registry of current and former clinical trials, ClinicalTrials.gov, 866 current or former clinical studies have investigated using HA6 (or the closely related hyaluronic acid or sodium hyaluronate) to improve human health. This is a relatively low number of clinical studies compared to the 3347 clinical studies of treatments for dementia7 or 7984 clinical studies of treatments for hypertension,8 but 866 clinical trials are sufficient to indicate that the medical community is aware of HA as being important to human health.

HA lubricates our joints and relieves joint pain; supports a healthy, functioning immune system; helps us to have healthy, comfortable eyes; fights the oxidants that cause cancer and damage to our skin and tissues; helps us to maintain a healthy microbiome in our gut; and helps wounds to heal. The list of the processes and parts of the body that HA protects and renews is endless.

HA Bodies


6ClinicalTrials.gov. https://bit.ly/2YIqnPk. Retrieved June 13, 2020
7ClinicalTrials.gov. https://bit.ly/2AwmW6t. Retrieved June 13, 2020
8ClinicalTrials.gov. https://bit.ly/2UPakhA. Retrieved June 13, 2020

 

HA is about as close to a wonder molecule as you ever will find. However, there is some bad news: Our bodies’ supply of HA starts to decrease in our twenties. Starting in our 20’s but noticeably in our 60’s, HA has decreased to the point that “old age aches and pain” start to creep in due to having insufficient HA to keep our bodies healthy and supple. Also, HA in our body “turns over” one third of our endogenous HA daily and, because the degradation of HA exceeds the production of HA, there is a net loss of this vital molecule. (Gupta, 2019). Both these characteristics—age-related loss and rapid turnover—make it very important to supplement our diets with high-quality HA. Peer-reviewed scientific research has shown that taking HA orally is safe (Bellar, et al., 2019) and, as we will describe later in this book, research indicates that HA is
effective to maintain the health of several organ systems.