Op-Ed: Anti-aging foursome part one: Hyaluronic Acid

There is a product that's been around since 1985 that claims you can take a slug at bedtime and lose weight while sleeping. The product is being heavily advertised on the radio and you may be tempted to give it a try. But wait, I made a good discovery.

The product is known as Calorad, and having spent some time learning about it I can attest that it has a lot of satisfied customers and endorsers. While sold maininly on websites, a major drugstore chain in my part of the country stocks Calorad.
Calorad avertising says that to lose weight all you do is take it at bedtime. Keep in mind that as outrageous as that may seem, Calorad must have something going for it to have survived for so many years and to have so many satisfied customers.
Just a quick preface: I have been writing about anti-aging, health, and fitness for many years. As a firm rule I never beat-up on any product even if I've tried it and it didn't work. That's because I know that just because something didn't work for me doesn't mean it won't work for you.
I have not tried Calorad, but I found out that a supplement I've been using for several years contains the same active ingredient as Calorad, plus two more that are worth knowing about.
The product I use is patented by one manufacturer and licensed to supplement companies, which makes it widely available and therefore drives the price down. I don't use it for weight-loss, in fact I didn't even know the active ingredient was used as a weight loss aid unitl I started researching Calorad. But that made me think that perhaps that's why I don't have a weight problem. Actually I began using it for cosmetic benefits and its ability to protect and even improve joints and joint pain.
The active ingredient makes it sounds exotica and important
The active ingredient I keep talking about is collagen hydrolysate, which is also known as hydrolyzed collagen. Collagen can be extracted from beef, fish, and poultry; and it is also be grown or fermented in a laboratory.
There are several types of collagen, but instead of going all sciencey on you, suffice it to say that you want to look for Type II Collagen in the ingredient list if you want to get the benefits I'm going to tell you about.
I must admit that I was not aware of Collagen having potential as a weight-loss product. But it might work because of two things: First collagen can make you feel full so it can curb your appetitie. And second collagen can contribute to adding lean muscle mass to your frame, and muscle burns calories — the more muscle the more calories. There are product patents and patents applied for that demonstrate that collagen is a means to those ends.
You're probably wondering the name of the product that I have been using and alluding to thus far. It is known as and marketed as Hyaluronic Acid (HA), but here's what is interesting: The product contains Type II Collagen as the active ingredient, but within the Collagen are Hyaluronic Acid, and Chondroitin Sulphate. I'm going to keep this as brief as I canwhile I try to explain how this worked out and why it's so cool.
Collagen and Hyaluronic acid Rx
I've written about hyaluronic acid (HA) on several occasions. I've used it for several years and plan to continue. But until I started researching Collagen Type II there were things about it that I didn't know.
HA's claims to fame include reduction of joint and connective tissue pain by repairing and lubricating cartilage and entering the joint capsule synovial fluid. But more importantly, for some, is that HA can improve skin appearance by plumping it from the inside-out. That's because “HA can hold up to 3000 times its weight in water and therefore is an excellent retainer of water in the skin. In fact the role of HA is to assist in wound healing and to stimulate DNA synthesis and cell division, all part of healthy skin processes.”
Supplement Intelligence report
Nutritional supplements often come from plants or other common substances so they aren't really patentable unless there is a proprietary mix of ingredients, or a special manufacturing or growing process, which is expensive.
But there are a few patented supplements or precesses and the patent-holders will license their product to other manufacturers for inclusion in their privately branded products. Those brands always have the name of the licensed product in the ingredients and on the label. That assures consumers they are getting the real deal. That's important because these patented products have generally been subjected to research studies and shown to live up to the claims made for them.
One such patented product is BioCell Collagen II. BioCell was the first company to find a way to reduce the molecular weight of HA so it could be absorbed when taken by mouth. A typical bottle of this product, no matters what brand name is on the front, contains 60 capsules, and each two-capsule dose will contain:
* 1000 mg BioCell Collagen II
* 100 mg Hyaluronic Acid
* 200 mg Chondroitin Sulfate
* 600 mg Hydrolyzed Collagen Type II.
Calorad contains 340 mg of collagen hydrolysate, aka Hydrolyzed Collagen as found in BioCell. Beginning to see why I'm telling you about this? BioCell contains more of the active ingredient, plus you get other benefits.
The benefits package
First, Hydrolyzed Collagen Type II can give you a feeling of fullness and so might cause you to eat less. And I've told you about hyaluronic acid and suggested you take a look at my previous article. And you can look at the video below, which was actually the news story that kicked off the rush to develop an HA product that could be absorbed by mouth.
Chondroitin sulphate is also contained in the BioCell matrix. This stuff has been around a long time, but only took off within the past 20 years or thereabouts. According to the Mayo Clinic website, "The consensus of expert and industry opinions supports the use of chondroitin and its common partner agent, glucosamine, for improving symptoms and stopping (or possibly reversing) the degenerative process of osteoarthritis." That's a very major claim from a reputable source.
Anybody that runs, does sports, or works out would not be making a mistake if they took chondroitin sulphate as a precaution against the wear and tear on their bodies, and the inevitable aches and pains.
End notes
So there you have it. If you decide to try HA for skin and joint health, and maybe a weight-loss aid, just make sure to look for Hyaluronic Acid on the front of the bottle, and the BioCell name in the ingredients. And make sure the serving size and quantities match the bullet list provided earlier.
You can buy hyaluronic acid anyplace you want. This is simply a list of products for comparison. While there you can also look at the user reviews that accompany each product.
Remember to get an annual physical. Information presented by Thomas Amshay is for education only and not meant to cure, guide treatment, or take the place of a licensed health practitioner. Consult your health care team before starting any exercise program, diet, or supplement.