Does sugar accelerate aging?
Newsletter published on: November 12, 2012
Many prominent scientists now consider aging to be a disease, and in my opinion, there is no doubt that it is. At the very least, the aging process can be slowed down by applying some common sense strategies to diet and lifestyle. While there are undoubtedly a number of factors that can contribute to the aging process, the process which causes sugar to brown in baked goods can be attributed to what is called “glycation” in our skin, joints, and connective tissue which in turn accelerates aging.
When simple sugars such as fructose or glucose become attached to proteins of fats in absence of a necessary enzyme they form what are aptly abbreviated as (AGE’s), advanced glycation endproducts. The production of AGE’s may not be totally abnormal within our body, however they should be minimized. AGE’s affect different parts of the body, and with the high content of elastin and collagen, skin and joints become easy targets. Both elastin and collagen aid in keeping both skin and connective tissue resilient, elastic, and spongy. That’s very important if you want to be able to run when you’re in your 80’s, let alone look young. With more AGE’s formed due to excessive consumption of sugar the AGE’s effectively cause the skin and connective tissue to become relatively brittle causing wrinkles in the skin, malformation in the structure of the joints and ultimately degenerative arthritis.
So how do you prevent this? Avoid sugar, and avoid foods that are cooked til they’re brown. For example, the browning of the skin on Thanksgiving turkey is an indication of the formation of AGE’s.
I strongly advocate the use of a blood sugar monitoring kit that you can pick up at your local pharmacy, and start checking your blood sugar levels to see where you’re at before meals, 45 minutes after eating, and 2 hours afterwards. Ideally, when measuring your blood sugar you want the following results:
- 85 -100 fasting
- less than 140 mg/dL 45 minutes after meals.
- less than 120 two hours after meals.
If you find that you’re outside that range, it’s not a matter of if you’re going to have a health problem, it’s how soon, and how exactly will it manifest? Limiting your dietary sugar is the primary source of impeding the glycation effect. However, the following nutrients can have an anti-glycation effect on our bodies:
- N-Acetyl Cysteine
- Alpha Lipoic Acid
- Stinging Nettle
Once again, if you’re going to have a chance of not being another statistic in the medical system, take control of your health and check your blood sugar yourself. Use the narrow parameters I’ve laid out as your goal, and you will be way ahead of the the bulk of Americans eating the standard American diet (SAD) who foolishly view health as a matter of luck. It isn’t!
Quote of the week:
“Everyone makes a greater effort to hurt other people than to help himself.” – Dr. Alexis Carrel MD