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Hyaluronic Acid

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Joint pain can be burning, stiffness, an ache or tenderness. However it manifests, we want it to go away!</P> <P align=left>The good news is that a new natural compound has recently come to light that successfully alleviates joint pain.

Joint pain can be burning, stiffness, an ache or tenderness. However it manifests, we want it to go away!

The good news is that a new natural compound has recently come to light that successfully alleviates joint pain.

Hyaluronic acid was approved in 1997 by the Food and Drug Admini-stration (FDA) in the USA for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. People who have taken the compound report significant relief in joint pain from arthritis, previous joint injuries, and even fibromyalgia. Hyaluronic acid is the latest in a family of natural remedies for the treatment of joint pain. Glucosamine, chondroitin, and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) are three of the most researched compounds in this area.

Smooth, Gliding Joints

Hyaluronic acid is a mucopolysaccharide (complex sugars containing an amino group) that is naturally produced in the body (the human body makes about 3,000 mg of hyaluronic acid a day). It is a constituent of synovial fluid, which lubricates the cartilage between moveable joints. In a normal healthy joint it is this viscous fluid and smooth cartilage that allows the surfaces of bones within a joint to function smoothly and glide past one another.

When a joint becomes injured or is subjected to general wear and tear, inflammation is produced that leads to a reduction in the production of hyaluronic acid. Age also diminishes production. This is likely to be one of the main reasons why a large percentage of people over the age of 60 suffer from osteoarthritis.

Supplementation with Hyaluronic Acid

Up until recently the administration of hyaluronic acid was only available in injection form and inserted into inflamed joints. Fortunately, an oral form has now become available which is producing promising results.

With the aid of a pH buffering process, ongoing studies are showing that a large portion of the hyaluronic acid molecule is successfully absorbed via the small intestine into the bloodstream.
Hyaluronic acid in the form of capsules or tablets derived from animal sources may cause adverse reactions in some sensitive individuals. Oral liquid hyaluronic acid that is synthesized from an extracellular protein produced by bacteria, however, reduces the risk of hypersensitivity and at the same time provides an identical chemical structure to the hyaluronic acid that is produced in the human body.

How Does it Help? Let Me Count the Ways

According to research undertaken by Larry W. Moreland at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, USA, the predominant mechanism of how supplements of hyaluronic acid work is still unclear. Studies, however, show that supplements reduce the nerve sensitivity associated with joint pain, reduce the production and activity of substances that promote inflammation, alter the behaviour of immune cells, and enhance the production of the body's own hyaluronic acid by cells in the joint lining.

Feedback on the oral administration of hyaluronic acid is currently limited to testimonials, but a study monitored by Dr. K. Dean Reeves, (Fellow of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) is underway. It is designed to compare the effect of oral hyaluronic acid with a control treatment for patients with knee osteoarthritis. The results will be available later this year.

Joint pain may be common, especially as we age, but with research underway on natural remedies such as hyaluronic acid, there's hope that it doesn't have to be inevitable.

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