GLYCATION: the bonding of a sugar molecule to a protein or lipid.
As a trained beauty/spa therapist I have always had a natural inquisitiveness into skin science and how to maintain skin at its absolute best. No amount of creams and potions is going to help the skin if you don’t tackle the process of glycation.
Here’s the good news - glycation does not occur largely in the dermis before age 35, but according to medical skin expert Peter T. Pugliese, MD. after 35 ‘it really gets going and, along with intrinsic aging, it progresses rapidly.’
There are two types of glycation:
Extrinsic is mainly caused by sun damage and environmental factors.
Intrinsic is generally caused by a disruption to the cellular function of proteins and fats.If like me you have a sweet tooth the bad news is that sugar will wreak its havoc on the skin by attacking the proteins and fats through a process aptly called AGE’s (advanced glycation end products).
Much of the research on glycation is available due to the ill effects it has for diabetic patients. Diabetics suffer a large amount of connective-tissue damage and chronic inflammation resulting from sustained high blood sugar levels, which is known to lead to other medical issues such as cataracts, Alzheimer's, vascular tightening, and diseases of the pancreas and liver.Once the AGE’s get a hold of your protein collagen and elastin proteins it hardens and breaks them down contributing over time to saggy, dull and wrinkled skin.
So how to tackle this head on without resorting to the bottle, which by the way, - alcohol also contains a fair amount of sugar aiding to the glycation process. As with most things to do with health you need to take a good look at your diet. Fibers are a great source of food that help absorb glycation products, so if you want to eat sugar go for whole fruits or sweeter tasting vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots. It is essential to reduce processed carbohydrates, whilst eating fewer fried and broiled foods. The best foods to eat are slow-cooked foods, such as soups and stews; more raw fruits and vegetables; fish, such as mackerel, tuna, salmon and sardines; and eggs. You may want to look at taking taking supplemental carnosine, an amino acid that has been shown to protect against AGE buildup.
A supplement brand I take and recommend is Douglas Labs. Consider switching to green tea as it is supposedly able to interfere with the glycation process while stimulating collagen synthesis.
Hopefully, some of these beauty tips help you to maintain gorgeous, healthy skin!
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