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Hyaluronic Acid

7 Surprising Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan, is a clear, gooey substance that is naturally produced by your body.

The largest amounts of it are found in your skin, connective tissue and eyes.

Its main function is to retain water to keep your tissues well lubricated and moist.

Hyaluronic acid has a variety of uses. Many people take it as a supplement, but it’s also used in topical serums, eye drops and injections.

Here are 7 scientifically backed benefits of taking hyaluronic acid.

1. Promotes Healthier, More Supple Skin

Hyaluronic acid supplements can help your skin look and feel more supple.

Roughly half of the hyaluronic acid in your body is present in your skin, where it binds to water to help retain moisture (1Trusted Source).

However, the natural aging process and exposure to things like ultraviolet radiation from the sun, tobacco smoke and pollution can decrease its amounts in the skin (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).

Taking hyaluronic acid supplements may prevent this decline by giving your body extra amounts to incorporate into the skin (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).

Doses of 120–240 mg per day for at least one month have been shown to significantly increase skin moisture and reduce dry skin in adults (3Trusted Source).

Hydrated skin also reduces the appearance of wrinkles, which may explain why several studies show that supplementing with it can make skin appear smoother (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).

When applied to the surface of the skin, hyaluronic acid serums can reduce wrinkles, redness and dermatitis (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).

Some dermatologists even inject hyaluronic acid fillers to keep skin looking firm and youthful (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).

SUMMARYHyaluronic acid supplements can help increase skin moisture and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Topical treatments can soothe redness and dermatitis, while injections can make skin appear firmer.

2. Can Speed Wound Healing

Hyaluronic acid also plays a key role in wound healing.

It’s naturally present in the skin, but its concentrations increase when there is damage in need of repair.

Hyaluronic acid helps wounds heal faster by regulating inflammation levels and signaling the body to build more blood vessels in the damaged area (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).

Applying it to skin wounds has been shown to reduce the size of wounds and decrease pain faster than a placebo or no treatment at all (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).

Hyaluronic acid also has antibacterial properties, so it can help reduce the risk of infection when applied directly to open wounds (19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source).

What’s more, it’s effective at combating gum disease, speeding up healing after tooth surgery and eliminating ulcers when used topically in the mouth (21Trusted Source).

While the research on hyaluronic acid serums and gels is promising, there has been no research to determine whether hyaluronic acid supplements can provide the same benefits.

However, since oral supplements boost the levels of hyaluronic acid found in the skin, it’s reasonable to suspect they may provide some benefit.

SUMMARY Applying hyaluronic acid directly to an open wound can help speed up the recovery process.

3. Relieve Joint Pain by Keeping Bones Well Lubricated

Hyaluronic acid is also found in the joints, where it keeps the space between your bones well lubricated (22Trusted Source).

When the joints are lubricated, the bones are less likely to grind against each other and cause uncomfortable pain.

Hyaluronic acid supplements are very helpful for people suffering from osteoarthritis, a type of degenerative joint disease caused by wear and tear on the joints over time.

Taking 80–200 mg daily for at least two months has been shown to significantly reduce knee pain in people with osteoarthritis, especially those between the ages of 40 and 70 years old (23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source).

Hyaluronic acid can also be injected directly into the joints for pain relief. However, an analysis of over 12,000 adults found only a modest reduction in pain and a greater risk of adverse effects (27Trusted Source).

Some research shows that pairing oral hyaluronic acid supplements with injections can help extend pain-relieving benefits and increase the amount of time between shots (28Trusted Source).

SUMMARYHyaluronic acid supplements are effective at reducing joint pain in people with osteoarthritis. Injections can also be used but may come with risks.

4. Soothe Acid Reflux Symptoms

New research shows hyaluronic acid supplements may help reduce symptoms of acid reflux.

When acid reflux occurs, the contents of the stomach are regurgitated up into the throat, causing pain and damage to the lining of the esophagus.

Hyaluronic acid may help soothe the damaged lining of the esophagus and speed up the recovery process.

One test-tube study found that applying a mixture of hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate to acid-damaged throat tissue helped it heal much faster than when no treatment was used (29Trusted Source).

Human studies have also shown benefits.

One study found that taking a hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate supplement along with an acid-reducing medication decreased reflux symptoms 60% more than taking acid-reducing medication alone (30Trusted Source).

A second study showed that the same type of supplement was five times more effective at reducing acid reflux symptoms than a placebo (31Trusted Source).


SUMMARY A combination supplement containing hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate may help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux in some people.

5. Relieve Dry Eye and Discomfort

Approximately 1 out of 7 older adults suffer from symptoms of dry eye due to reduced tear production or tears evaporating too quickly (32Trusted Source).

Since hyaluronic acid is excellent at retaining moisture, it’s often used to treat dry eye.

Eye drops containing 0.2–0.4% hyaluronic acid have been shown to reduce dry eye symptoms and improve eye health (33Trusted Source, 34Trusted Source, 35Trusted Source).

Contact lenses that contain slow-release hyaluronic acid are also being developed as a possible treatment for dry eye (36Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source).

In addition, hyaluronic acid eye drops are frequently used during eye surgery to reduce inflammation and speed wound healing (38Trusted Source, 39Trusted Source).


SUMMARY Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in the eyes and often an ingredient in eye drops to relieve dry eye symptoms.

6. Preserve Bone Strength

New animal research has begun to investigate the effects of hyaluronic acid supplements on bone health.

Two studies have found that hyaluronic acid supplements can help slow the rate of bone loss in rats with osteopenia, the beginning stage of bone loss that precedes osteoporosis (40Trusted Source, 41Trusted Source).

Test-tube studies have also shown that high doses of hyaluronic acid can increase the activity of osteoblasts, the cells responsible for building new bone tissue (42Trusted Source, 43Trusted Source).

While its effects on human bone health have not yet been studied, early animal and test-tube studies are promising.

SUMMARY Animal and test-tube research suggests that high doses of hyaluronic acid may help prevent bone loss.

7. Could Prevent Bladder Pain

Approximately 3–6% of women suffer from a condition called interstitial cystitis, or painful bladder syndrome (44Trusted Source).

This disorder causes abdominal pain and tenderness, along with a strong and frequent urge to urinate (45Trusted Source).

While the causes of interstitial cystitis are unknown, hyaluronic acid has been found to help relieve the pain and urinary frequency associated with this condition when inserted directly into the bladder through a catheter (46Trusted Source, 47Trusted Source, 48Trusted Source).

It’s unclear why hyaluronic acid helps relieve these symptoms, but researchers hypothesize that it helps repair damage to bladder tissue, making it less sensitive to pain (49Trusted Source, 50Trusted Source).

SUMMARYHyaluronic acid can relieve bladder pain when inserted directly into the bladder through a catheter, but taking supplements by mouth may not have the same effects.

Hyaluronic acid is a substance found naturally in the body. Classified as a polysaccharide (a type of carbohydrate), hyaluronic acid occurs in high concentrations in the skin, joints, and eyes, where it provides lubrication and sustains tissue hydration.

Hyaluronic acid is also available as a dietary supplement using synthesized forms of the compound. Since hyaluronic acid levels decrease as you get older, hyaluronic acid supplements may help treat or prevent aging-related health conditions.

Health Benefits

One of the most common uses of hyaluronic acid is the treatment and management of osteoarthritis (also known as “wear-and-tear arthritis”).1 The oral supplement is believed by some to offer the same benefits as hyaluronic acid injections in the knee or hyaluronic acid serums on the face.

Practitioners of alternative medicine contend that hyaluronic acid supplements can also prevent or treat an array of other health concerns, including:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Chronic pain
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Insomnia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Skin wrinkles
  • Urinary tract infection


Hyaluronic acid is a viscous fluid that, among other things, helps lubricate the joint space. In people with severe knee osteoarthritis, an injectable form of hyaluronic acid, called hyaluronan, can provide short-term relief from pain and stiffness.2

Among them, a 2015 study published in Rheumatology International reported that a three-month course of an oral hyaluronic supplement called Oralvisc offered relief to overweight adults with knee osteoarthritis.3 Among those given Oralvisc, a steep reduction in inflammatory proteins (called cytokines) as well as an increased concentration of hyaluronic acid in joint fluids was reported.

A 2017 study in the Journal of Medical Food reported that an oral formulation of hyaluronan had similar effects.4 Among the 72 adults with knee arthritis who complete the study, those given oral hyaluronans had lower pain scores, improved sleep quality, and a significant reduction in the use of pain medications compared to those provided a placebo.

Skin Wrinkles

There is evidence that oral hyaluronic acid has “anti-aging” properties that can improve skin tone and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

According to a 2017 study in Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology, 60 women and men with crow’s feet wrinkles experienced a reduction in wrinkle depth and volume, as well as improved skin luster and suppleness, after 12 weeks of treatment with oral hyaluronan.5 Two different concentrations were used, each dosed at 120 milligrams (mg) per day.

Interestingly, those provided the higher concentration experienced similar results to those given the lower concentration, albeit in a shorter period of time.

A 2017 study in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine similarly reported that a hyaluronic acid supplement containing biotin, vitamin C, copper, and zinc improved skin elasticity, texture, and moisture in 20 women, ages 45 to 60, after 40 days.6 In addition to a reduction in wrinkle depth, the women experienced a 24% increase in skin hydration.

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