Advanced Glycation End Products: how is sugar unhealthy?
Refined sugar does an interesting thing to your skin. Eating it immediately brings up the glucose (sugar) level in your blood. The excess blood glucose sticks to the collagen proteins in your skin, forming advanced glycation end products (or AGEs). The AGEs are stiff, inflexible, and inelastic, and they contribute to the aging process of the skin by promoting inflammation and wrinkles. Some AGEs will inevitably form all over the body, not just in the skin, with normal aging. However, you can prevent as much of this as possible by seeking out foods with a low glycemic index on a regular basis.
Once the sugar is bound to the collagen protein, it is irreversible. Nothing has been proven to reverse AGEs. However, blueberries have been shown to slow the glycation process, and other compounds can help build collagen to replace the damaged proteins. So swap that brownie for a bowl of fresh blueberries (or in winter, a smoothie made with kale and frozen blueberries), and consider a topical treatment such as Skinceuticals A.G.E. Interruptor, which has blueberry extract plus another ingredient proven to rebuild protein in the dermis.
Posted on Wed, December 12, 2012
by Heidi Gilchrist filed under