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Advanced Glycation Endproducts and Aging Skin

Advanced Glycation Endproducts

  • Some of the negative effects of advanced glycation end products include inhibiting the formation and function of skin tightening agents such as collagen fibers and elastin fibers
  • The more ADEs in the body, the more vulnerable the skin becomes to the harsh results of sun damaged skin and other aging characteristics
  • By reducing the chance for sugars to bond with proteins improperly, certain nutrients, supplements and herbs can act as anti ADEs and thus will provide as aging skin treatments

Advanced Glycation End Products or AGEs are products generated by certain chemical reaction chains that occur due to an improper bonding between sugars and proteins. These reactions lead to damaged and inflexible tissue, especially within the skin . It is one of the primary causes of cellular aging and subsequent ill health

AGEs occur to one’s body externally (exogenously) and this is done by heating, mostly cooking sugars with proteins or fats. It might also occur within the body, internally (endogenously) through normal course of metabolism and aging. There are certain conditions (pathological) that might aggravate the formation of AGE and cause the process to go even further beyond normal levels.

Too much sugar consumption can accelerate the levels of glucose in our blood (hyperglycemia) that can eventually lead to several physical disorders. Other problems that inhibit sugar metabolism might lead to a further rise in the sugar levels in bloodstream. This condition hastens the reactions between sugars and proteins in the body that lead to the production of Advanced Glycation End Products or AGEs.

Although the formation of AGEs in our body is a normal process to some extent, it is something to be avoided or kept to a minimum. These AGEs are harmful products and can cause greater damage to the proteins in our body. AGEs affect different parts of the body and the skin is an easy target with its elastin and collagen content.. These are protein fibers that help in maintaining the firmness and elasticity of the skin. Collagen happens to be one of the most widespread proteins in our body, and actually forms the matrix of bodily structures. Once damaged, the collagen along with the elastin, which usually keeps the skin resilient and spongy, tends to become brittle and dry, thus causing skin aging and wrinkles. This effect of skin aging starts at mid-30s and rapidly increases thereafter.

Aging skin problems are directly related to AGEs. Ironically,larger amount of AGEs can lead to increased sugar content in the blood and it will further contribute to skin aging. Excess sugar also affects the type of skin collagen you possess that further affects skin appearance. The collagen that can be found in our skin in abundance are type I, II and III. Type III happens to be the most stable and therefore the most important to skin firmness.

Advanced glycation end products in foods can have devastating effects on our health. Foods that are cooked till brown are likely to be most damaging. Scientists have always known the fact if proteins are cooked along with sugar with a lack of water, it results in the formation of products with advanced glycation and that in turn can cause damage to the tissues present in our body. If the food is cooked with water, it helps in preventing the binding of sugars with the proteins thus disrupting the production of such poisonous chemicals. This means that baking, broiling and roasting can trigger the production of damaging glycation products while steaming and boiling helps in preventing the formation. An excellent example is Thanksgiving turkey. When it comes out of the oven with that crinkly brown skin, the taste may be good, but the effect on your health is probably not worth the taste satisfaction. In fact, that turkey skin, when it is brown and brittle, is a perfect representation of what AGE’s do to skin.

AGE and life extension are two opposite poles, if your diet comprises too much AGE, you may be prone to complications affecting more than just your skin. It affects your heart and can cause cardiovascular diseases. AGEs are very harmful for diabetic patients. While a person is suffering from diabetes, he / she might experience several skin disorders like slow wound healing, sores and boils. Internal AGE’s literally age you from the inside out.

Every problem has a solution and you can find a route to address the problem with AGEs. Certain dietary measures can be very helpful in deterring this process. Since glycation is caused mainly due to the rise in sugar levels in your blood stream, reduce sugar consumption and you will see the difference. Instead, focus more on complex carboydrates that are high in fiber and nutrients. Sugar is definitely important for our metabolism, but the actual daily need is far exceeded by the typical diet. If you can, limit your sugar intake, you can prevent skin aging.

Limiting your dietary sugar is the primary source of retarding the glycation effect. However, you can also make use of several like peptides skin care elements (N-acetyl cysteine, glutathione and carnosine), supplements (inositol and alpha lipoic acid), herbs (rosemary, ginger, stinging nettle, turmeric and thyme), and plant phyto-chemicals (grape extract). These nutrients have an anti-glycation effect on our body and can be a potent method of AGEs prevention.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.

4 Responses to “Advanced Glycation Endproducts and Aging Skin”

  1. 1
    JLL Says:
    You can find a list of AGE contents of common foods by clicking on my name. And yes, turkey/chicken skin is really high in AGEs, unfortunately.
  2. 2
    Kal-El Says:
    I really think that AGEs is super interesting. I did not know that this could have an effect on my aging skin.
  3. 3
    Bruce Reynolds, MD Says:
    Yes, diabetes can be considered an accelerated form of aging. Many of the complications of diabetes are what we see in the elderly in this country, diabetes just speeds up the process, especially if care is not taken.
  4. 4
    Fran Says:
    Do diabetics seem to age faster than those who aren't? Their sugar levels are so unpredictable. I remember when my father passed away from diabetes he looked older than his 71 years.