Hyaluronan (HA) has been utilized as a supplement. However, the absorption of orally administrated HA remains controversial. The degradation and absorption of HA in the intestine were investigated in this study. HA excretion into the feces, degradation in the intestinal tract, absorption through the large intestine, and translocation to the blood and skin were examined. HA administered orally was not detected in rat feces. HA was degraded by cecal content, but not by artificial gastric juice and intestinal juice. Oligosaccharide HA passed through excised large intestine sacs. Furthermore, disaccharides, tetrasaccharides, and polysaccharides HA were distributed to the skin of rats following oral administration of high molecular weight HA (300 kDa). The results of the study suggest that orally administered HA is degraded to oligosaccharides by intestinal bacteria, and oligosaccharide HA is absorbed in the large intestine and is subsequently distributed throughout the tissues, including the skin.
Keywords: degradation; intestine; oligosaccharides.