How Depletion of Hyaluronic Acid Affects Your Joints

(reproduced from the WebMed web site  ( ) with additions

Healthy Joint
In a healthy joint, a rubbery tissue called cartilage cushions the ends of the bones at contact points. A thin, smooth tissue called the synovial membrane covers the other surfaces and releases synovial fluid into joint cavity that lubricates the knee.

Synovial fluid is made of hyaluronic acid and lubricin, proteinases and collagenases. Normal synovial fluid contains 3-4 mg/ml hyaluronan [hyaluronic acid ]

Thigh Bone    Cartilage   Synovial Membrane   Synovial Fluid   Shin Bone

Problem Joints
Problems in the joints begin with the gradual depletion of HA that causes deterioration of cartilage and decrease in volume of synovial fluid*. Without the protective cartilage, the bones begin to rub together, causing pain, loss of mobility, and deformity

Eroded Cartilage      Synovial Fluid

* Depleted amount of HA molecules that holds 1000 times its weight of water leads to dehydration of connective tissue, cartilage and synovial fluid causing their shrinkage.

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