Hyaluronic acid, or hyaluronan, is a major component in synovial fluid and has been found to increase the viscosity of the fluid. It
is also one of the two main lubricating elements. It is also an important element of articular (joint) cartilage, and is responsible for
the resilience of cartilage. Lastly, it is a major part of skin, where it is involved in tissue repair.
Because of the amount the body uses of hyaluronic acid, it is not surprising that the use of hyaluronic acid for dogs has
increased. Hyaluronic acid started being used for horses with joint disorders and was injected directly into the affected joint.
More recently, hyaluronic acid for dogs is available in an oral form, and not just for dogs, but for horses and humans, as well.
There is a good deal of scientific support for the use of hyaluronic acid in the treatment of osteoarthritis and the rebuilding of
joints. As our dogs get older, the amount of hyaluronic acid in their joints decreases and their synovial fluid is less viscous. This can
cause problems with the structural stability of the body.
Today, everyone has heard of the use of glucosamine for sore joints. Hyaluronic acid is actually a type of glucosamine, but a
better form. It is usually paired up with chondroitin sulfate because it is also a major component of cartilage and also responsible for
Oral hyaluronic acid for dogs has become common treatment for osteoarthritis to build back up the synovial fluid and to help
repair the cartilage or as a preventative method. There are many forms of hyaluronic supplements on the market and you should so
your research before purchasing one.
Why take Hyaluronic Acid?
By Kaylynn Chiarello-Ebner - May 16, 2016
Hyaluronic acid, a “moisture magnet,” is commonly used for this purpose. According to Steve Holtby, president and CEO, Soft Gel
Technologies, Inc., Los Angeles, CA, hyaluronic acid binds to water, helps retain it and has “instructive effects on cell signaling and
behavior (adhesion, migration and proliferation).”
When you look at the research on hyaluronic acid, it suggests that 1,500 mg/day helps with hydration of the cells, says Audrey
Ross, N.D., western regional educator at Country Life Vitamins, Hauppauge, NY. She believes combining hyaluronic acid with
adequate amounts of drinking water will make a big difference in maintaining hydrated skin.
A clinical study involving a branded hyaluronic acid (Injuv from Soft Gel Technologies, Inc.) was conducted on 107 volunteers (ages
30–50) (1). For a month, individuals took two 70-mg soft gels twice daily or a placebo. Skin moisture was measured before and after
supplementation using an SHP88 probe. According to Holtby, “Subjects who took Injuv showed a statistically significant increase in
skin moisture content compared to both baseline and placebo. There were no adverse events reported” (see Figure 1).
In another study, 96 women (ages 22–65) took the supplement (six 70-mg Injuv tablets daily) for 45 days (2). Questionnaires
• 84% reported a great improvement in the moisture levels of their hands and face.
• 83% reported a great improvement in the smoothness of their skin.
• 78% reported a great improvement in the softness of their elbows, knees and hands.
• 50% reported a great improvement in the stiffness of their joints.
To read the whole article go to Whole Foods Magazine
Approaches to Joint Health
By Sebastian Krawiec - May 16, 2016 1992
Joint damage or inflammation; which came first? It’s a difficult question to answer. Ultimately, one just has to accept that they are inseparable, a part of what
many of the professionals inter-viewed in this piece deem a “vicious cycle.”
Indeed, many customers will be inclined to reach for anti-inflammatory products given the attention inflammation has been receiving. That’s a good thing, but it’s
also important to remind them that joints can benefit from a variety of other products. Here is what should be taken into consideration.
When people experience joint pain, the most basic factor to consider is physical trauma. “The more complex a joint is, the more likely it will get injured with
exercise and training,” says Steve Holtby, president and CEO of Soft Gel Technologies, Inc., Commerce, CA. “Whenever the intensity of your exercise causes
the rate of wear and tear to exceed the maximum rate at which you can produce new cartilage and synovial fluid, you get inflammation, pain and stiffness of the
Besides exercise, age also degrades the structure of one’s joints. A common affliction of age, osteoarthritis (OA), is a degenerative disorder in which joint
cartilage wears away. Timothy Mount, CN, CCMH, director of education for NeoCell Corporation, Irvine, CA, says that collagen, which makes up 60% of cartilage,
slowly breaks down after 25 years of age at a rate of 1.5% per year.
The purpose of cartilage is simple, yet crucial. As tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint, explains Holtby, cartilage “allows bones to glide over one
another, and absorbs energy from shock of movements.” When cartilage breaks down, bones rub together, creating friction that causes pain, swelling and loss
Collagen. According to Lara Niemann, marketing director for Gelita, Sergeant Bluff, IA, collagen comprises 30% of the human body’s protein content, making it
the most abundant protein. “Collagen is also the most important protein source,” says Niemann, “providing the nutrients required for many processes that take
place in the muscles and cells.” The main forms of collagen are Types I, II and III, with type II found predominantly in the cartilage of joints.natural-vitality
Given its structural importance, supplementation with collagen is a logical choice for joint maintenance. However, it will not reverse the course of cartilage
damage already sustained. This is where early collagen supplementation can help. While many joint health products are marketed for middle aged and older
consumers, the progressive damage of one’s joints begins long before then.
“It stands to reason that strategies that have been proven effective for improving joint comfort in older adult joints will have a similar effect for younger
individuals,” says Suhail Ishaq, president, BioCell Technology, LLC, Newport Beach, CA. “Yet, few clinical studies have addressed efficacy in healthy individuals
for collagen and related supplements…fewer still have involved younger adults as subjects.”
It might be valuable to target this neglected segment of customers since much of the pain experienced by older individuals is due to damage inflicted at a
younger age. Young athletes often suffer injuries that they struggle with for the rest of their lives. Beginning supplementation may very well prolong a good
quality of life that would allow for greater activity with age. Ishaq cites a study published in Integrative Medicine that tested the effects of cartilage extract (BioCell
Collagen) on eight healthy and active people averaging 29 years of age.
Subjects were given 3 g of the extract or placebo daily for six weeks prior to being challenged with an upper body, muscle-damaging resistance exercise on day
43 and then rechallenged on day 46. Researchers measured the performance decrement in bench press repetitions to failure and found that the experimental
group performed much better than placebo (57.9% on day 43 and 57.8% on day 46 vs. 72.2% on day 43 and 65% on day 46). While the sample size is small,
the study suggests that collagen provides “robust muscular recovery” (1).
Paul Dijkstra, president and CEO of InterHealth Nutraceuticals, Benicia, CA, cites another study that demonstrates collagen’s efficacy for healthy, active
individuals. In the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published by the Journal of the International Society for Sports Nutrition, 55 healthy
subjects were either give an undenatured Type II collagen (UC-II) or placebo for 120 days. Their joint function was then tested for changes in degree of knee
flexion and extension, as well as recovery time from joint pain following strenuous stepmill excursion (2).
Results showed that the experimental group had significant improvement in average knee extension compared to placebo and baseline scores after the 120
days and as early as 90 days into supplementation. They also exercised longer before experiencing joint discomfort after 120 days compared to baseline while
the placebo group demonstrated no significant change in exercise length.
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Of course, collagen does not work alone. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are also important building blocks of
cartilage. As a precursor to glycosaminoglycans, which is necessary for the formation of proteoglycans, an important constituent of cartilage, glucosamine is
important for the “synthesis and repair of joint cartilage,” says Holtby.
Softgel While glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound in our bodies, Susan Hazels Mitmesser, Ph.D., director, nutritional and scientific affairs at Solgar
Vitamin and Herb, Leonia, NJ, points out that it is not readily found in our diets, making it an ideal candidate for supplementation.
Chondroitin sulfate is a glycosaminoglycan found in the proteoglycan of cartilage, therefore supported by glucosamine, making them a synergistic pair. Although
it is worth noting that despite their being vital components of joint cartilage, in proportion to collagen and hyaluronic acid (HA), glucosamine and chondroitin
make up a relatively small part of joint cartilage.
“If the product is helping you synthesize new connective tissue material in the joint cartilage,” says Ishaq, “a healthy joint requires the proper balance of
collagen, HA, chondroitin and glucosamine in order to function.”
Mount concurs, saying, “Many people think of glucosamine first…but in reality it only makes up a very small percentage of cartilage tissue (15%) and should be
thought of as a complementary nutrient to collagen type II, which accounts for the majority.” He adds that chondroitin (comprising 15% of cartilage) and HA
(making up 10% of cartilage) work better as supporting nutrients, though an ideal formulation includes the proper ratio of all four nutrients.HA. In addition to
glucosamine, HA helps hydrate cartilage tissue to increase the shock absorption of joints. Chris D. Meletis, N.D., director of science and research for Trace
Minerals Research, Ogden, UT, describes it as the difference between a plum and a prune. Well-hydrated joints are more resistant to injury, says
Meletis, explaining that constituents of connective tissue such as HA “confer part of their protective mechanism via their ability to absorb and
retain many times their weight in water.”
In addition, while combinations of glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM have become a go-to, the addition of HA is critical, says Meletis. This is
because as we age, HA becomes less viscous, offering less shock absorption. “It is important to remind consumers that HA is a complex
molecule comprised of glucosamine, but merely taking glucosamine does not ensure that the aging body can still optimally produce adequate
high molecular weight HA,” he explains.
The structure and composition of joint tissue is clearly important to maintain. Reinforcing cartilage with proper nutrients promotes the longevity of joints and in
many ways prevents inflammation from occurring because one is less prone to injury. The idea is that healthy joints prevent unhealthy inflammatory response.
However, as we age, collagen and HA degrade. Despite the benefits of supplementation, the degenerative process will continue, resulting in inflammation
because our joints will be less optimal. This inflammation will further inhibit joint function.
This is where the vicious cycle comes into play. “Each one of these conditions (i.e., inflammation and connective tissue degradation) lead to increases in each
other,” explains David J. Foreman, R.Ph., N.D., author and host of the syndicated radio show, The Herbal Pharmacist. “The more inflammation you have, the
more degrading of connective tissue occurs. This loss of connective tissue then leads to more inflammation and, in turn, more degrading of connective tissue.”
Additionally, joint problems and inflammation can occur for reasons other than injury, such as a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, a poor diet can
exacerbate the body’s normal inflammatory response. Holtby attributes this to a “lopsided imbalance in dietary intake of the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids,”
which “sets the stage for powerful and chronic pro-inflammatory reactions.”
Excess omega-6 is a problem because it acts as fuel to a key inflammatory enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), explains Holtby. The enzyme “has the job of
oxidizing, or burning, a fat in the body called arachidonic acid…an omega-6 fatty acid” that “occurs naturally in all of our cell membranes,” he says. Put very
simply by Holtby, omega-6 is the fuel, COX-2 is the spark and inflammation is the flame that results. This is not inherently bad, as inflammation is a natural
mechanism of the body to defend and heal itself. However, too much fuel creates too much fire.
To read the whole article go to Whole Food Magazine