Glycation is the process of excess glucose in the bloodstream and binds to a protein or fat cells -then the molecules are anywhere in the body that become covered in sugar creating “glycation”. The sugar coated protein molecules or cells lose their ability to communicate to other cells or within their own cells. The proteins now “sticky” (called glycation) from excess the excess sugar- then become cross linked to other protein molecules. When these glycated molecules become hardened from cross linking with other glycated molecules (glued together) the process is called “AGES” = Advanced Glycation End Products. The glycation damage could occur anywhere in the body as in our arteries, joints and our cell membranes as they become hardened from the process of glycation…all a result of consuming excess sugar!
WHAT IS CROSS LINKED? the protein molecules become linked or connected to the other protein molecules then leads to proteins being stuck together leading to AGEs. Think of bread that is soft and squishy- then in a few days if left out on the counter it then becomes hard and stiff.
“Glycation (sometimes called non-enzymatic glycosylation) is the result of the typically covalent bonding of a sugar molecule, such as glucose or fructose, to a protein or lipid molecule, without the controlling action of an enzyme.”
Avoid sugar including fructose…because “Fructose in particular is an extremely potent pro-inflammatory agent that creates AGEs and speeds up the aging process. It also promotes the kind of dangerous growth of fat cells around your vital organs that are the hallmark of diabetes and heart disease. In one study on fructose, 16 volunteers on a controlled diet including high levels of fructose produced new fat cells around their heart, liver and other digestive organs in just 10 weeks!” source and more info here- http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/02/22/how-sugar-accelerates-aging.aspx
Could glycation speed up the aging process of our skin?
Let’s start with the definition of AGING in itself… and how can we slow down the aging process??
I know I want to slow down the wrinkles forming around my eyes!
“Aging is defined as the progressive accumulation of damage over time, leading to disturbed function on the cellular, tissue and organ level and eventually to disease and death. Aging is a complex, multifactorial process where genetic, endogenous and environmental factors play a role.” –https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583887/
Conclusion from the study shared in NCBI: “There is ample evidence that AGEs play an important role in skin aging. There are also numerous studies investigating potential substances against excessive accumulation of AGEs in tissues. Some of these studies have already shown protective effects against diabetic complications. As controlled human studies investigating the effects of these anti-AGE strategies against skin aging are largely missing, this is a hot field for future research.”
Another study listed on NCBI talked more about AGEs and diseases. They had a more scientific definition of Glycation:
Glycation occurs when “glucose attaches to a free amino acid (mainly lysine and arginine) of a protein, lipid or DNA, in a non–enzymatic way to form a Schiff base. A Schiff base is a compound that has a carbon to nitrogen double bond where the nitrogen is not connected to hydrogen. The initiation of this first step depends on glucose concentration and takes place within hours. If the concentration of glucose decreases, this reaction is reversible.” -source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257625/?tool=pubmed
Now Dr. Mercola did his research and put it together in an article sharing ideas how to slow down the aging process: Similar to my The WHOLESTIC Method eight elements – and then some:
Improve stress management (see more tips on my The WHOLE Athlete podcast and in my The WHOLESTIC Method manual). Stress is related to inflammation as the stress is related to the adrenal glands and they assist with anti-inflammatory process. If the adrenal glands are fatigued then the body may experience more inflammation (hypoadrenic). Try learning how to slow down, meditate, walking, yoga or prayer to help relax, unwind and activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS).
Cut down or eliminate sugar and grains to balance your blood sugar levels as as your insulin and leptin. Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas (beta cells) when blood sugar levels are elevated and then transports the glucose to the cells of the liver and muscles to be stored as glycogen (glycogenisis). Leptin is a hormone made by fat cells that helps regulate energy balance, suppresses or decreases your appetite (read more here- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17212793
Eat more whole foods- lower carbohydrate (more vegetables!), moderate protein (grass-fed sources) and higher healthy fats (especially add essential fatty acids – another blog to come on EFA!)
Get outside more often in daylight for your Vitamin D for safe sun exposure or take a good source of oral vitamin D with a fish oil (recommended by Dr. Axe).
Add more omega 3 fatty acids as krill oil, fish oil and good sources of essential fatty acids (see another blog on EFA).