Today we’re going to go over the molecule of Hyaluronic Acid also known as HA. One of the things about Hyaluronic Acid that people familiar with it know is that it can bind up to a thousand times its own weight in water. When our team attends trade shows, we’d always say “Hey, this molecule of hyaluronic acid can bind a thousand times its own weight and water, ” and people listening would scratch their heads. They asked, “how on earth can a molecule that our bodies naturally produce (that production slows down with age), how on earth could this molecule bind and grab on to that much water?” And I would explain it like this: it’s like a rope, it’s kind of a linear a rope-like shaped molecule. And they still didn’t get it.
Hyaluronic Acid is like a rope
So, I decided to use a physical rope to explain it. I bring this rope to trade shows with me and I try to teach people more and more about how the hyaluronic acid molecule is a long-chain sugar molecule. We call it a polysaccharide. It’s composed of two molecules. One molecule is D-Glucopyranuronic Acid and the other one is in acetylated form of Glucosamine. The rope chain is comprised of Glucopyranuronic acid, then Glucosamine, Glucopyranuronic Acid then Glucosamine. And it keeps repeating itself over and over again making this long-chain sugar molecule.
Now we say this molecule can bind up to a thousand times its own weight in water. The only way this can happen is if it’s got the surface area. All up and down this molecule it’s got room for binding water and the result is a molecule fully saturated with water. One thousand times its own weight in water. When we have a whole bunch of these molecules that our body naturally produces get in one area, they grab onto water and create a nice, thick, gel-like syrup solution. When the molecule is large, we call that high molecular-weight. And a high molecular weight rope chain of Hyaluronic Acid produces great cushioning hydration benefits for the body.
High Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid is better
But when the molecule begins to break down, then it can no longer concussion, hydrate and plump to keep our skin healthy, our joints healthy, and our eyes healthy. So, a high molecular molecule is critical. We always use a high molecular weight or a large-size molecule in our products because the larger the molecule the more water binding capacity it has. Picture a bigger sponge versus a little sponge. That’s the difference between high-molecular weight HA and low molecular weight HA.
This is an edited transcription of a video with Darren Landis.
Read more information on Hyaluronic Acid in the article HA and the Body.