You probably have heard about the term “glycation” in the news lately. In fact, earlier this month, at the American Academy of AntiAging conference, Glycation and AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products) were named the leading factors in premature aging and disease.
So what is glycation anyway? Glycation is a by-product of our metabolism, and it’s bad news for aging gracefully. Consider it like the smoke from a fire. We may want the heat, but not the smoke.
Glycation happens when sugar and protein molecules form an abnormal bond, creating sticky molecules that adhere to other fibers, such as elastin, collagen, enzymes, hemoglobin, immunoglobulin and more. When it attaches to elastin and collagen fibers, it reduces their ability to move and contract normally.
What does this mean for you? Glycation “gums up the works” and results in a hardening of the arteries – and even sagging and wrinkling of the skin. Every part of your body is affected by the arteries’ loss of elasticity – your brain, kidneys, heart… and your skin. These rogue molecules that stick to everything are called Advanced Glycation End Products, otherwise appropriately known as AGEs.
Three Steps You Can Take to Delete the A.G.E(ing) Process of the Skin
If you want your skin to look younger, there are many things you can do to reduce glycation and its harmful effects.
- Remove most of the white food from your grocery list. White potatoes, white bread, desserts – in other words, reduce sugar from your diet. Sugar consumption is rapidly approaching 200 pounds per year for one person.
Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs) happens when you eat excess sugar. In 2010, the American Heart Association recommended no more than 100 calories per day, or about 6 teaspoons of sugar for women and no more than 150 calories per day, or about 9 teaspoons a day for men.
- Certain nutrients act as bond breakers, which is what we need to break the sugar-protein glycation bond. For example, Carnosine is an amino acid with powerful anti-glycation effects. Carnosine supplements are widely available at local health food stores. Do eat fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, raw nuts, and other unprocessed, unrefined foods have low levels of glycotoxins.
Foods high in protein and fat, such as animal products like beef, pork, poultry, fish, seafood, and lamb, that are cooked, heated, or processed at high temperatures are chock full of glycotoxins. One useful tip is to try preparing food at temperatures less than 250°F to minimize the formation of dietary glycotoxins. Using liquids and lower cooking temperatures when preparing food, such as poaching, steaming, braising, stewing, and slow cooking (as in a crockpot cooker).
- It’s not only about what you ingest, but certain product you put on your skin can make a difference. Certain skin care products contain powerful anti-glycation ingredients, such as carnosine and Russian black tea extract. Wrinkle Delete Serum, which I just created, uses Carnosine in combination with other ingredients to relax the muscles underlying certain wrinkles and increase collagen production. The combination is an excellent product to reduce wrinkles of the eyelids, forehead and upper lip both for the short-run and long term.