Japan’s Kewpie Corporation, Pioneer of the Hyaluronic Acid Revolution, Has Just Revealed Its Mechanism

TOKYO–()–When the medical application of hyaluronic acid first became widespread 50 years ago, one company, inspired by the idea that the sustenance of life and youth lies within us, dedicated itself to investigating the substance’s broad potential for improving skin and joints, and for turning back the tide of aging by reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles — solely via the body’s own regenerative power.

Now Kewpie Corporation has forged new ground by releasing heretofore unknown evidence of how that works.

Back in 2013 the company addressed the International Society for Hyaluronan Sciences (ISHAS) conference with a landmark peer-reviewed study proving that oral administration to living subjects over just a six-week period suppressed the loss of dermal hydration from exposure to UV wavelengths. The company followed this with a series of studies demonstrating that with their refined form of HA, oral administration could be narrowed to as little as 120 mg daily and produce a dramatically improved collagenic profile.

In June of this year Kewpie addressed that same ISHAS conference, and it once again changed the game. Along with the most compelling evidence yet of the effectiveness of their flagship HA product Hyabest®(S)LF-P in erasing lines and wrinkles, the company announced clinical proof of its discovery, in cooperation with Kobe University, that the mechanism by which the body converts HA into the assimilable oligosaccharide forms that produce increased skin hydration and enhanced collagen production, in fact, diverges from previously accepted theory about it.

As hyaluronan activates the collagenic cycle beneath the corneal layer of the skin, its loss disrupts the skin’s ability to maintain moisture. Natural hydration dissipates, reducing elasticity and leaving skin wrinkled and dry. Age and exposure to toxins both by choice and in the environment deplete our once abundant supply of this critical substance in the skin and intracellular matrix. Decades after its synthesis, Kewpie’s clinical research proved conclusively that oral supplementation had an effective impact on these functions, yet the mechanism by which such a polymeric structure perf uses the system remained obscure.

This new study reveals the previously unrecognized role of intestinal bacteria, specifically those populating the large intestine, in HA’s conversion to low molecular weight oligosaccharide forms. Not, as commonly thought, hyaluronidases — digestive enzymes secreted in the small intestine. This doesn’t alter the evaluation of HA’s effectiveness, but opens an entirely new branch of inquiry into its optimization, one that Kewpie’s researchers have already set out upon.

First isolated at the turn of the last century, and synthesized in the 1940s, it’s long been known that the mucopolysaccharide hyaluronic acid, found naturally throughout the body, supports cell health and regeneration, maintains epidermal hydration, fortifies the intracellular matrix and the smooth functioning of major joints, sustains the eye’s vitreous humor, and more.

The past year and a half has been rough on everyone, putting us face to face with our physical vulnerability. A troubling time for society, an assault on the sense of personal well-being. The only “silver lining” is that it brought our look inward. Everyday life in quarantine became less a frenzy over day-to-day appearance and more a quest for long-term health and beauty derived from the body’s inner resources. Diminishing our skin’s shortcomings cosmetically gave way to seeking the path to health for what lay beneath the mask, and that path, we discovered, began deep within. Skin is the body’s largest organ, its most visible. It stands to reason that it would serve as a primary gauge of its condition.

That over the past decade people have become hyperaware of the benefit of oral intake of hyaluronic acid, and have sought supplementation, is good news for the consumer, the industry, and the science alike. The bad news is that there are dozens of supplements out there, from all manner of sources and suppliers, almost none of which have any record of research, refinement, consistency, or quality.

Japan’s Kewpie Corporation stands apart. A century-old company whose founder took as his touchstone the generative properties of the humble egg, nature’s fundamental crucible of life. (First to bring mayonnaise to Japan, ever-present Kewpie Mayonnaise has since come to be virtually synonymous with modern dining there.) From its inception, this producer of beloved food products has remained dedicated to ultimate purity and refinement of all that enters the body.

This was Kewpie’s mandate when it set out to develop its proprietary line of HA supplements nearly 40 years ago. Its sterling achievement was Hyabest®(S)LF-P, produced to the most exacting specifications without the use of any animal sources, by a unique process of natural bio-fermentation that makes it more consistently pure. But beyond the superiority of its hyaluronic acid, it’s the volumes of clinical research performed in Kewpie’s laboratories, the constant production of evidence of its effectiveness, and its unrelenting innovation that’s made it the number one source of HA in Japan, and made it one of the most trusted brands throughout Asia.

As society comes to a reckoning in this crucial area of its future it’s critical that we have confidence in the means to take us there. This responsibility is central to Kewpie Corporation’s credo, and it makes Hyabest®(S)LF-P, its producer and culture singular in the field.

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