Glycation & How Your Diet Is Aging You!!!
Think your diet doesn’t affect your skin? Think again. (Especially if you have a sweet tooth.)
We all know that indulging too often in cakes, pies, and other sweets, we can expect some extra kilos to show up on the scale.
Turns out you may also expect a few more wrinkles to show up on your skin.
Researchers have found over the years that excess sugar in the bloodstream can encourage a process called “glycation,” which in turn, ages the skin.
What is Glycation?
Usually, when you eat food, the body breaks down carbohydrates into sugars like glucose and fructose. It then uses these sugars to fuel everything you do. However as we age, and when we consume too many sugary or high-glycemic foods these sugars react with proteins and fats in an abnormal way, producing harmful molecules called “advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs).” This process is called “glycation.”
The more AGEs we have in our bodies, the more we age. Scientists have discovered this through study of diabetics. The key here is blood sugar—the higher the level of glucose in the blood, the more AGEs. Diabetics have the most difficult time of anyone controlling their blood sugar. Scientists have found that as a result, they tend to age faster than those without high blood sugar.
Also reported that after the age of 35, glycation in the skin increases and continues to do so as we get older. Worse when we’re exposed to UV rays, it accelerates glycation, further aging the skin. Scientists exposed glycated skin cells to UV rays, and found that the formation of AGEs increased.
A later 2011 study found similar results, with researchers reporting that exposure to UV rays “drastically intensifies AGE accumulation.” They added that AGEs “modify skin collagen by reducing skin elasticity, and one result is wrinkle formation.”
Other effects of AGE formation include:
- Age spots
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Hardness of skin
- Dull skin
- Uneven skin tone
- Sagging and bagging
- Degradation of collagen
How to Reduce AGEs & Delay the Aging Process!!!
Now we know that the more glucose we have in our bloodstream, the more likely we are to be producing AGEs and aging our skin. What can we do about it?
Fortunately, there’s a lot that we can do!
Here are ten tips to help you keep your skin looking smooth and glowing even as you get older.
- Control blood sugar levels: Fuel your body with low-glycemic foods and eat every three to four hours.
- Cut back on sugary items: Next time you feel a craving for that powdered donut, look in the mirror. Is it worth new wrinkles? This may help you choose a piece of fruit or cup of unsweetened yogurt instead!
- Choose low-glycemic foods: It’s not just sweets that increase blood sugar. Remember that many foods, like white bread, white rice, white potatoes, and similar items break down quickly in the body, spiking blood sugar levels. Look for nuts and seeds; lean meats; eggs; tofu; most vegetables; healthy grains like barley, quinoa and rolled oats; yogurt; and low-glycemic fruits like berries, plums, peaches and cantaloupe.
- Watch the barbeque: Barbequing, searing, and broiling food can actually create AGEs in the food—before you even eat it! Whenever you see that blackened meat look, you’re looking at AGEs. If you eat them, you’re adding to what’s already in your body. Consider enjoying food not so well done, and cook meats low and slow.
- Protect your skin: UV exposure increases the formation of AGEs. Protect your skin from the sun, always! Try zinc oxide. Remember that glycation affects all of your skin, not just your face, so protect hands, neck, arms, and legs, too, whenever they’re exposed.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Lift a few weights: Muscles consume glucose, so the more muscle you have, the more glucose your body will take up.
- Watch the alcohol intake
- Boost your antioxidant intake: All fruits and veggies, as well as things like dark chocolate and tea, have powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from glycation.
- Consider a vitamin B supplement: Studies have found that vitamins B1 and B6 help inhibit the formation of AGEs.
Skin Care for AGEs!!!
Good news! Ingredients to slow skin aging do exist…
- Antioxidants. Aging skin can also be caused by the oxidation of free radicals, which are caused by UV light and air pollution. Adding antioxidants into your skincare routine may help to improve the appearance of aging skin by neutralizing or preventing this potentially damaging process of oxidation.
- Peptides. Peptides are long or short chains of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins like collagen. Thus, utilizing these anti-aging ingredients in your skincare may assist in minimizing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.
- Hyaluronic acid. As the naturally-occurring hyaluronic acid in the skin begins to break down, whether due to environmental factors or the aging process, replacing it through your skincare products may help to restore the appearance of a smoother, fuller and more youthful complexion.
- Omega3 Supplements. Omega 3 supplementation has been found to decrease the amount of serum in AGE’s and reduce the amount of receptors in AGE’s