How Hyaluronic Acid Assists With Joint Health


Hyaluronic acid (HA) may help to preserve bone strength.  Two animal studies have shown that HA supplements can slow rates of bone loss in animals with osteopenia, a condition that often precedes osteoporosis (30 806;31 807).  And, in test tube studies, high doses of HA can increase the activity of osteoblast, the cells from which new bone tissue grows (32;33).  HA has been shown in clinical research to relieve joint pain an lubricate bones.  This substance is found in the joints and it helps lubricate the space where the bone meets the joint (34).

  Hyaluronic acid is a component of human bone, joints, and connective tissues like tendons and cartilage, particularly hyaline cartilage. The last is especially important as it provides cushioning to bones by covering their ends. So, in this way HA assists in bone health by protecting it from wear and tear, and thus it lessens the pain and tenderness connected to degenerative joint diseases. HA can also a component of the joint’s synovial membrane.  This part of the joint coats or covers the articulating bones.  This coating secretes a viscous fluid called synovial fluid.  This is what absorbs shock, and assists in keeping the joints elastic.  Synovial fluid also carries nutrients to cartilage.  HA is FDA approved in the U.S., in injection form, to treat osteoarthritis (provided by a healthcare professional).  it is also found in osteoarthritis pain/injury related supplements (6).

Some research indicates that low dose HA supplementation can effectively reduce joint (especially those of the knees and elbows) related stiffness and chronic pain (7).

Hyaluronic acid supplements for joint pain are available in the U.S. There are several treatments based on HA that have been approved for osteoarthritis of the knee.  Four such products, made from rooster or chicken combs and sometimes bacteria, are Hyalgan, Orthovisc, Supartz and Synvisc (8).

Taking 80 to 200 mg per day of hyaluronic acid (HA) supplements for two or more months has been shown in clinical research to significantly reduce knee pain in those aged 40 to 70 who were suffering from osteoarthritis (9 803).  HA injected into the joint seems to only lead to a modest reduction in pain, and it can lead to mild pain reduction, but this treatment often leads to complications (10).  Those over the age of 18 can take 50 milligrams of HA by mouth once or twice a day, with food. Those with osteoarthritis have found relief after eight weeks by taking supplements of 80 mailgrams, with 60 to 70 percent being hyaluronic acid.

Injections to control inflammation and pain are also available from a medical professional.  These can involve injection 20 milligrams into the joint once a week, for serval weeks. That said, mixing injections with oral supplements has been shown to lengthen the pain-relieving benefits, while stretching the time between injections (11).


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The information on this site is for educational and informational purposes only.  It is not to take the place of medical advice or treatment.   Seek out a qualified health care provider if you have questions or need help.  Dr. Grant is not responsible for any possible health consequences of anyone who follows or reads the information in this content.  Everyone, but especially those taking medication (over the counter or prescription) should talk with a physician before undertaking any changes to their lifestyle or diet (including taking supplements).