What is Sodium Hyaluronate and how does it work? 

What is sodium hyaluronate?

Sodium hyaluronate (also known as hyaluronic acid or hyaluronan) is a natural substance. It is present in the body wherever moisture is stored or lubrication between layers of tissue is required to eliminate friction.

Examples are the vitreous body of the eye itself, the tear film, the joint cartilage, the synovial fluid in the joints, all the mucuous membranes of the body, but also the basic substance of the skin which consists of up to 55% sodium hyaluronate. 

Sodium hyaluronate takes on a variety of functions: 

  • Storage: it absorbs and stores moisture in enormous quantities
  • Lubrication
  • Transport medium for nutrients
  • Filter for inflammatory molecules.

It may help to visualise sodium hyaluronate as a dish of spaghetti (this is what the molecules look look like under an electronic microscope): a dense mesh that remains elastic and flexible in spite of its density and interwoven structure.

How does sodium hyaluronate work?

Sodium hyaluronate is an essential component of the synovial fluid. It enables the fluid to act as a lubricant, a shock absorber and a filter controlling the movement of cells and large molecules within the joint:

Under gradual shear stress, sodium hyaluronate acts as a lubricant

Under sudden loading, sodium hyaluronate acts as a shock absorber

Sodium hyaluronate acts as a filter, hindering the movement of potentially damaging cells and molecules
Please click here for a more scientific article on sodium hyaluronate (or hyaluronic acid).