Sugar Not So Sweet For Your Skin
Want younger looking skin? Try ditching the sugar. Too much of the sweet stuff can damage the collagen in your skin and it's that collagen that helps keep your complexion firm, soft, and protected from wrinkles. The enemy is something called AGEs.
What Are AGEs, And Why Should I Be Concerned?
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are proteins or lipids that become glycated after exposure to sugars. AGEs are also known as glycotoxins. AGEs or gylcotoxins have been studied at great length because they play a significant role in the degeneration related to diabetes. Why? Because diabetics have high levels of sugar in their blood, so they are more susceptible to the effects of AGEs.
AGEs have been linked to cataracts, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke, asthma, neuropathy, and arthritis. Collagen is found in the walls of blood vessels, and AGEs injure the vascular walls. Collagen, is a main component of connective tissue, and is also found in tendons and ligaments. Glycation leads to stiffening and weakening of collagen, which is why cardiovascular disease, stroke, neuropathy, cataracts, and arthritis are all implicated when there are high amounts of AGEs in the body.
What Else Is Made Of Collagen? Skin.
The proteins in skin most susceptible to glycation are the same ones that make a youthful complexion so plump and springy collagen and elastin. When those proteins hook up with renegade sugars, they become discolored, weak, and less supple. This shows up on the skin's surface as wrinkles, sagginess, and a loss of radiance. The presence of AGEs also makes the complexion more vulnerable to other assailants such as UV light and other free radicals.
AGEs develop from the cross-linking of sugars in the blood with proteins. Eating a diet high in sugar, especially fructose which is 10 times more likely to glycate than glucose speeds up the aging process. The key to aging gracefully and not suffering from a degenerative health condition as you grow older is to avoid foods that cause damage, and also add foods that reduce oxidative stress and are naturally rich in antioxidants.
What Relieves Excess AGEs In The Body?
Besides avoiding a high sugar diet, there are a few things that you can do to avoid excess AGEs. Several studies have found that B vitamins, especially thiamin (B1) and pyridoxamine (B6), help to drastically reduce the presence of AGEs in the body.
A healthy intestinal environment supports the process of generating B vitamins. The best way to nourish your inner ecosystem and keep the population of healthy microbes in your gut thriving is to consume fermented foods often.
Use fermented foods like Kimchi, Sauerkraut, and Yogurt whenever possible.
Fermented beverages, likeKombucha and Kefir can benefit the microbial populations in your gut as well.
If you want to age gracefully and prevent disease, eliminate as much sugar from your diet as possible and nourish your body with antioxidant-rich foods, and skip the sugar.