A low molecular weight hyaluronic acid

kmayna22

Senior Member
American English
Hello,

I can't remember the appropriate place(s) for a hyphen in the following phrase:
A low molecular weight hyaluronic acid

My guess is
A low-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid

If anyone knows, thank you in advance!
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    There are no definite rules, and I personally don't like multiple hyphens in a word group where they're doing different things. (Here, one is bonding the noun phrase 'molecular weight' but the other is attaching an adjective to a noun phrase.) I would hesitate over that one and probably not use any hyphens. If you insist on hyphens, your choice there is best.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I personally don't like multiple hyphens in a word group
    I agree.

    The hyaluronic acid is not "low" and it is not "low-weight" or "molecular": the concept is molecular weight. (The molecular weight of hyaluronic acid is ~ 759 g/mol)


    A low molecular weight hyaluronic acid is basically no different from "A pale yellow flower" and therefore the hyphenated phrase is molecular-weight ->
    A low molecular-weight hyaluronic acid.

    In the phrase A low/high density hyaluronic acid. There is no need to hyphenate low and density.
     
    Last edited:

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    A quick look at "low molecular weight heparin" on Google showed the no hyphen version was more popular but the one with two hyphens was quite common - perhaps 3:1 after viewing seceral pages of citations. For the phrase alone, the same sort of ratio shows up in the Ngrams. (the non-hyphen version is also used as a noun so its numbers are inflated). For publications, it may well come down to the journal's style guide :D
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I Googled: low molecular weight hyaluronic acid [no quote marks] and almost all the examples show up without any hyphens at all, including the WIKI article.

    Hyaluronic acid - Wikipedia

    Hyaluronic acid (HA; conjugate base hyaluronate), also called hyaluronan, is an anionic, ..... There is feedback inhibition of hyaluronan synthesis by low molecular weight hyaluronan (<500kDa) at high concentrations but stimulation by high

    low molecular weight hyaluronic acid - Google Search
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Although the hyphens might be good in principle, in practice they cause more problems than they solve.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    The case of hyaluronic acid is influenced by common use in the supplement/cosmetic areas but the "no-hyphen" version definitely dominates even in articles from Google scholar (in contrast to LMW heparin which only shows up in academic articles and the hyphen version is quite common). In both cases, the subsequent use of the term in such articles avoids the issue by using LMW or HMW, very common hyphen-free abbreviations in academia:) A few show up as "low-molecular weight":eek:

    The wiki article shares with the literature a range of options:D

    The degradation products of hyaluronan, the oligosaccharides and very low-molecular-weight hyaluronan, exhibit pro-angiogenic properties.[54] In addition, recent studies showed hyaluronan fragments, not the native high-molecular weight molecule, can induce inflammatory responses in macrophages and dendritic cells in tissue injury and in skin transplant[55][56]

    Tian X, Azpurua J, Hine C, Vaidya A, Myakishev-Rempel M, Ablaeva J, Mao Z, Nevo E, Gorbunova V, Seluanov A (2013). "High-molecular-mass hyaluronan mediates the cancer resistance of the naked mole rat". Nature. 499 (7458): 346–9. doi:10.1038/nature12234. PMC 3720720
    . PMID 23783513.

    In any case, an informed reader already knows that molecular modifies weight and that low modifies "molecular weight" and that it is not "low-molecular" weight :)
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    The case of hyaluronic acid is influenced by common use in the supplement/cosmetic areas but the "no-hyphen" version definitely dominates even in articles from Google scholar (in contrast to LMW heparin which only shows up in academic articles and the hyphen version is quite common). In both cases, the subsequent use of the term in such articles avoids the issue by using LMW or HMW, very common hyphen-free abbreviations in academia:) A few show up as "low-molecular weight":eek:

    The wiki article shares with the literature a range of options:D

    The degradation products of hyaluronan, the oligosaccharides and very low-molecular-weight hyaluronan, exhibit pro-angiogenic properties.[54] In addition, recent studies showed hyaluronan fragments, not the native high-molecular weight molecule, can induce inflammatory responses in macrophages and dendritic cells in tissue injury and in skin transplant[55][56]

    Tian X, Azpurua J, Hine C, Vaidya A, Myakishev-Rempel M, Ablaeva J, Mao Z, Nevo E, Gorbunova V, Seluanov A (2013). "High-molecular-mass hyaluronan mediates the cancer resistance of the naked mole rat". Nature. 499 (7458): 346–9. doi:10.1038/nature12234. PMC 3720720
    . PMID 23783513.

    In any case, an informed reader already knows that molecular modifies weight and that low modifies "molecular weight" and that it is not "low-molecular" weight :)

    All of which, aside from the language aspect, begs the question: Why do we care about this stuff?
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    The OP asked about it :D
    (Or are you asking why we care about hyaluronic acid, regardless of its molecular weight?:eek: :))
    I meant what is it, and why does it merit all this discussion? Or in more plain terms: How does this affect my life? :confused:
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    How does this affect my life?
    I'm surprised you ask... Hyaluronic acid is sold in cosmetics as an "anti-aging compound", and "women of a certain age" feel the urge to lather it on. It (allegedly) keeps your skin looking young.

    On a more technical level, Hyaluronic acid - Wikipedia,
    Hyaluronic acid (HA; conjugate base hyaluronate), also called hyaluronan, is an anionic, nonsulfated glycosaminoglycan distributed widely throughout connective, epithelial, and neural tissues. It is unique among glycosaminoglycans in that it is nonsulfated, forms in the plasma membrane instead of the Golgi apparatus, and can be very large, with its molecular weight often reaching the millions. One of the chief components of the extracellular matrix, hyaluronan contributes significantly to cell proliferation and migration, and may also be involved in the progression of some malignant tumors
    ... and apart from the bit about tumors, that has to be good news... for those who sell it. :D

    (I always wondered what the secret of your avatar's youthful appearance was.)
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I'm surprised you ask... Hyaluronic acid is sold in cosmetics as an "anti-aging compound", and "women of a certain age" feel the urge to lather it on. It (allegedly) keeps your skin looking young.

    On a more technical level, Hyaluronic acid - Wikipedia, ... and apart from the bit about tumors, that has to be good news... for those who sell it. :D

    (I always wondered what the secret of your avatar's youthful appearance was.)
    :thumbsup: (We need a "tongue-in-cheek" emoticon. Allegations are common in the nutraceutical and cosmetics areas. No well-conducted study - see #2 here - has shown health benefits of antioxidants either - it's a theoretical proposal and ahuge industry)
     
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