If you care about the way your skin is aging or if you want more youthful skin, check out one major reason we end up with wrinkles and sagging skin. It goes by the fancy name of Glycation.
What is glycation? It is a natural part of the aging process, but it does not have to rear its ugly head with bountiful wrinkles and droopy skin. In fact, many people can go through their advancing years with minor wrinkles and sagging. They know something most people do not…Essentially, glycation is the chemical reaction that occurs when sugars in the body, attach to proteins in the body .. and we have a lot of proteins and sugar naturally flowing creating yet another feature of glycation called Advanced Glycation End Products or AGES as is so aptly named.
Science now shows that it is not just the sun that wreaks havoc with our skin, but the glucose or sugar circulating throughout our body. Glucose is vital and a necessary fuel for our bodies. However, if ingested in excess, is damaging over time. The reason people with diabetes who do not monitor their sugar level suffer from so many age-related conditions is an excellent example of what can occur via chronic glucose exposure.
Glycation is essentially the caramelization of bodily tissue..yes. It goes by another fun name as well called the ‘Browning Reaction’ Think about crispy browned potatoes on the stove or fried chicken, this browned chicken or potatoes are examples of what happens in our bodies, just slower. Just like chicken and potatoes, we too have sugar and proteins that when they come together they create this chemical reaction.
AGES doesn’t just contribute to an aesthetic overhaul, but more importantly to health issues such as heart disease, kidney failure and cataracts. The heart of the issue with regard to glycation is its ability to change the shape and function of tissues in our body. For example, glycation from excess sugar can stiffen and harden arteries, simply through excess sugar circulating throughout the body. We want flexible arteries and a flexible heart for optimal health. All molecules in protein and fat have their own structure set in stone..however, if a minor change in the structure occurs, such as with glycation, normal functioning of the fat or protein is lost forever.
“Glycation is essentially the caramelization of bodily tissue”
What are the causes of AGES?
- Excess sugar (in all forms)
- Excess carbohydrate intake – all forms
- High temperature cooking. Yes, cooking at a high temp on the stove or grill. Think crispy, blackened foods.
- A lack of antioxidant rich veggies, nuts, seeds, fruits to help protect tissues
- A lack of supplements that can help prevent oxidized cells and glycation