Hyaluronic Acid- Unlike a lot of other ingredients typically found in nutritional supplements, hyaluronic acid is a substance that occurs naturally in the human body. Hyaluronic acid is classified as a glycosaminoglycan (commonly known as a GAG), and is closely related to chondroitin sulfate and dermatan sulfate. The natural form of hyaluronic acid can be found in many places throughout the body, including the connective, neural, and epithelial tissues, as well as the synovial fluid, skin, and cartilage. Hyaluronic acid found in the joints and tissues of the human body carries out several functions, including promoting joint flexibility, providing lubrication, and strengthening joints. Hyaluronic acid is also thought to play a role in helping the skin retain its moisture.
Recognizing the growing demand for hyaluronic acid sources, a single Japanese pharmaceutical firm began to develop hyaluronic acid supplements, and interest in this naturally-occurring compound has continued to increase in recent years. Many hyaluronic acid supplements are made from natural animal sources; rooster combs are perhaps the most common animal part used. Some supplements are also made from synthetic ingredients. Aside from being used to make nutritional supplements, hyaluronic acid is also used in many cosmetic products, including facial creams and moisturizers.