Hyaluronan (HA) has been increasingly used as a dietary supplement to improve the skin. However, the effect of ingested HA may depend on its molecular weight (MW) because its physiological activities in the body vary with its MW. In this study, we examined the effects of ingested HA with varying MW on the skin. In this randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study, 61 subjects with dry skin received oral HA (120 mg/day), of MWs 800 k and 300 k or placebo, for 6 weeks. The skin moisture contents of the first two groups increased more than those of the placebo group during the ingestion period. In addition, group HA 300 k exhibited significant improvements in skin moisture content 2 weeks after ingestion ended compared with the placebo group. A questionnaire survey about subjective facial aging symptoms showed that the HA treated groups exhibited significantly improved the skin condition compared with the placebo treated group. Furthermore, dermatologists objectively evaluated the clinical symptoms of the facial and whole body skin, showing that no adverse events were related to daily ingestion of HA. This study shows that both of ingesting HAs (MWs 800 k and 300 k) improved the skin condition by increasing the moisture content.
Keywords: dry skin; hyaluronan; ingestion; molecular weight; skin moisture content.