Hyaluronic acid is something that is produced naturally by the body and that is a part of the fluid that is found in our joints and our eyes. Supplementation of this vitamin is often used as a treatment for osteoarthritis and other joint conditions. Supplements can be taken orally, and are sometimes injected into joints directly.
In addition to being used to treat joint problems, hyaluronic acid is also used during eye surgery. The substance is injected into the eye during cornea transplants, the repair of detached retinas, cataract removal, and certain other eye-related surgeries. The reason for the injection is to replace the body’s natural fluids which are lost during the surgery.
There are some other, cosmetic uses for the fluid. It is sometimes used in plastic surgery – for example to fill out lips, and it is applied to burns and ulcers to promote healing. When the liquid is injected into joints, there are measurable benefits, however there is less evidence to support the effectiveness of taking it orally or applying it directly to the skin.
Some people claim that this nutrient is a “fountain of youth” and that it can be used to stave off the effects of aging, but these claims are questionable. It is thought that it could protect joints and help the body heal more quickly after injury, however.
Supplementation of this nutrient is generally considered to be safe for healthy adults. It can be applied topically, given by injection or taken orally. Allergic reactions are rare. The nutrient has also been found to be safe if injected for medicinal reasons, by a qualified person, during pregnancy. However, doctors advise that pregnant women avoid topical or oral supplementation because the effects of supplementation in this way are unclear and the benefits are not considered strong enough to make the risk worthwhile.