With the rise in popularity of food supplements, we’re increasingly seeing nutrients hailed as almost “superfoods” by beauty brands. One such nutrient is hyaluronic acid, which has been touted as the star ingredient in skincare for a number of years but could it benefit the body in other ways? Find out in this week’s Nutrition News covering the latest in nutritional research.

The benefits of hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid is having a bit of a moment with beauty brands jumping on it as a USP in their products but is it actually beneficial for the body?

This article by Medical News Today runs through the main benefits of hyaluronic acid so you can decide whether it should be added to your list of hair, skin and nails supplements.

Hyaluronic acid is actually a sugar that occurs naturally in the body, such as in the eyes, skin and joints, providing moisture to these areas. As such, one of the areas where hyaluronic acid is popular as a benefit is in providing moisture to hydrate the skin, either as a food supplement or topically as a cream or serum.

It is also used in healing wounds, smoothing skin texture, reducing wrinkles, relieving joint pain, amongst other uses, as the moisture it provides helps tissue regeneration, lubrication and the elasticity and firmness of the skin.

While a lot of people are becoming increasingly aware of hyaluronic acid’s benefits in skincare, fewer may be aware of the versatility of its benefits across joint health and eye health, for example.

Study suggests EPA and DHA help protect against muscle damage

A four week RCT trial in Japan has suggested that EPA and DHA supplementation, part of the omega 3 group of fatty acids, could have a significant impact on muscle damage protection. The trial, which has been reported on by NutraIngredients, involved 22 males who were randomly assigned to either an intervention or placebo group. The intervention group took 600mg of EPA and 260mg of DHA per day for four weeks and were then assessed based on their maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) torque, range of motion, upper arm circumference, muscle soreness, muscle thickness, serum creatine kinase, and interleukin-6, before and after an exercise of 60 eccentric contractions of the elbow flexors.

What the study’s authors found at the end of the trial was that the intervention group had a significantly higher range of motion and inhibited the increase of the blood CK level, suggesting the protection of muscle damage to muscle fibres. No effects were seen in the other areas monitored, which suggests that the supplementation was effective to a limited extent in protecting against exercise-induced muscle damage.

While the results show limited effects, it is worth noting that the sample size was relatively small and only involved one gender from one country so further research would be needed to establish conclusive results.

The different forms of magnesium

There are many different forms of magnesium, as we have covered in our Practitioner’s Guide to Magnesium, and more recently Medical News Today has published an article exploring recent studies on magnesium and its different forms and applications.

Magnesium is important for a range of functions within the body, including normal muscle function, normal psychological function, electrolyte balance and many more. There is much discussion on the different forms of magnesium but the main area to consider is the bioavailability of each form, meaning how easily it is absorbed by the body. There are many forms that are considered highly bioavailable but absorption can vary from person to person and magnesium can interact with medication, therefore it is important to consult your healthcare practitioner before introducing magnesium supplements into your diet.

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Alison Astill-Smith author Alison is Director and Founder of Metabolics who writes about Metabolics updates, events and natural healthcare. Her experience and passion for natural supplements and healthcare comes from her years of experience as a practising osteopath, having founded Metabolics in her search for high quality, natural products in her own work. Alison has been a qualified and practising Osteopath since 1981 and regularly gives seminars on a range of healthcare subjects to the wider practitioner community helping share her knowledge and experience.