Hyaluronic acid: cancer’s friend or foe?

There has been considerable discussion over whether hyaluronic acid (HA), a gooey jelly-like water-holding substance that acts as a space filler and cushioning agent in the body, promotes the spread of cancer or inhibits it. [Annie Appleseed Project]

It is true, degraded hyaluronic acid acts like a slip-and-slide to facilitate the spread of cancer, though HA does not cause cancer.  In fact, when hyaluronic acid is intact in connective tissue, it inhibits the spread of cancer.

We now have further evidence that non-degraded HA inhibits the spread of cancer.  A recent study shows that the red wine molecule resveratrol inhibits ovarian cancer cells from adhering to ovarian tissue and does so by virtue of its ability to restore the adhesive properties of hyaluronic acid.  [Gynecological Oncology Sept 2014]

Hyaluronic acid supplements combined with resveratrol were mentioned in news report recently for their ability to reduce aging in lame horses. [Journal Equine Science 2016]

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