Hyaluronic acid is a member of the family of molecules known as glycosaminoglycans. This
family also includes chondroitin sulfate and some other large carbohydrate-containing
molecules. Hyaluronic acid is an important component of the connective tissue that fills the
spaces between cells of the skin and other tissues, and is a major ingredient of the synovial
fluid that lubricates and cushions joints as well as the vitreous humor that fills the inner
chamber of the eye.1
Where is it found?
Hyaluronic acid is produced in the human body and is found in the tissues of all animals. A
nonanimal source of hyaluronic acid can be synthesized by bacterial fermentation.
Hyaluronic acid has been
used in connection with the following conditions (refer to the
individual health concern for complete information):
Who is likely to be deficient?
Hyaluronic acid is produced naturally in the human body and is not considered an essential
nutrient. However, hyaluronic acid levels in osteoarthritic joints are below
How much is usually taken?
Amounts for oral supplementation have not been established, due to lack of research, and it
is unknown whether hyaluronic acid can be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Topical
products are applied in the mouth two or more times per day, to the nose three to four times
per day, or with bandaging for skin ulcers. Eye drops containing 0.1 to 0.4% sodium
hyaluronate are used three or more times per day, and ear drops containing 1% sodium
hyaluronate are used once a day.
Are there any side effects or interactions?
A controlled study reported that males taking 600 mg per day of hyaluronic acid for four
weeks had higher blood levels of the enzyme alkaline phosphatase.3 The significance
of this finding is unclear.
There have been anecdotal reports of skin rash following oral supplementation with
At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions
with hyaluronic acid.
1. Laurent TC, Fraser JR. Hyaluronan. FASEB J
2. Tehranzadeh J, Booya F, Root J. Cartilage metabolism in osteoarthritis
and the influence of viscosupplementation and steroid: a review. Acta Radiol
3. Bates B. Supplements trigger potassium, alkaline phosphatase changes.
Skin and Allergy News 2003;July:43.
4. http://www.raysahelian.com/hyaluronic-acid.html, accessed May 13,