The systems in your body are not all that different from the systems in your car. Like your body, your car is a collection of systems: The lubrication system, the braking system, the fuel system, and the chassis. Some systems are mechanical. In the engine, moving parts harvest energy from fuel to move the car forward. Other systems, like the fuel and lubrication systems, are pumps that move fluids from one place in the car to another to allow the car to function and to be lubricated appropriately. The exhaust system is designed to eliminate waste materials. If the exhaust system has holes or blockages, the heat and exhaust generated by the engine cannot escape. Finally, a car requires a support system to give it structural strength and to hold the other systems in the correct configuration to allow them to function in unison. That is the job of the chassis, sometimes called the frame. If the chassis is damaged, both systems. the structural integrity of the car and its ability to function are impaired.
Your car requires constant care to run well. All a car’s systems must be kept in tip-top shape. Sometimes, this upkeep is taking the car to a mechanic for new brakes. Other times, it is making sure that the fluids are replaced. When a car’s fluids are changed, it is important to replace the fluids with the correct type and quality of fluids. Diesel cannot be added to a gasoline engine because diesel fuel will clog a gas engine. Add diesel to a gasoline engine and you will be buying a new gasoline engine for your car. Your car requires a specific type and grade of motor oil to lubricate the moving parts of the engine so it can run efficiently over the long haul. Most of us trust our mechanics to put in the correct weight but our owner’s manuals also tell us what type of motor oil is best.
The human body also is made up of systems. Some of them are mechanical systems, like the cardiovascular system where the heart pumps fluids through arteries and veins to transport oxygen and nutrients to the cells in your body. Your muscles generate mechanical force to allow you to move, walk, and run. Your gastrointestinal system (stomach and intestines) functions like a hybrid of the car’s fuel and exhaust systems. The gastrointestinal system is where fuel is added, and wastes are transported out of the body. The skeleton functions like a car’s chassis to support and protect the body’s organs. If you break a leg, your body will not be able to move. Without treating the break, your body eventually will start to fail.
Just like our cars, our body’s systems—our joints and other moving parts—require high quality lubrication, too. High molecular weight HA is your joints’ high quality “motor oil”.
Dr. Kiburz sees many joints in his practice. Dr. Kiburz uses an apt analogy in the clinic with his patients. He tells his patients that their joints require a specific amount of sufficiently high grade “synovial fluid”, which is medical speak for “high quality motor oil for your joints”. (Believe it or not, Dr. Kiburz carries a grease zerk fitting in his lab coat to use as a prop to illustrate his analogy!) As we age or when we develop arthritis, our joints start to produce low quality lubrication. Our synovial fluid begins to degrade from “10W40 weight” synovial fluid to lower grade synovial fluid. Low grade synovial fluid is not what our bodies’ owner’s manuals calls for! Having enough high-grade synovial fluid is important. The articular cartilage (the cartilage in our joints that allows our joints to bend and twist) has no direct blood supply. The only nutrition that articular cartilage obtains to stay healthy is provided by synovial fluid. Too little or low-quality synovial fluid allows joints to degrade due to poor nutrition. Dr. Kiburz tells his patients that high molecular weight HA is high-quality “motor oil” for our bodies. Adding a high molecular weight HA helps to correct the viscosity of our joint fluid and sustain the nutrition of the cartilage.
Your body’s systems are made up of biological molecules and require other biological molecules to remain intact and to function appropriately. HA is one of the most important biological molecules that your body needs to remain intact and to function well. This book discusses how and why HA is important to various body systems.