New anti-aging diet strategy: AGEs

Our skin suffers cumulative aggressions throughout our lives, which lead to the signs and symptoms of skin aging. Oxidation and glycation are two of the most significant aggressions that our skin sustains. The effects of oxidative stress are the most familiar to dermatologists. This is the result of reactive oxygen species damaging dermal proteins. These reactive oxygen species can arise from exposure to UV radiation or air pollution, which interact with the oxygen in our skin. Glycation is a second assault on the proteins in our skin. It is caused by sugars attaching themselves to dermal proteins.

It is a well known fact that excessive sugar consumption can lead to a variety of health problems, but what is often forgotten is that it can also affect the skin. Sugar can be ingested in different ways, by eating carbohydrates, for example, or prepared foods that contain hidden sugar. An excess amount of sugar in the body can cause sugar molecules to cross-link with protein molecules.

According to US data, in the year 2008, people were consuming over 60 pounds (28 kg) of sugar per year, not including fruit juices (1). Added sugar is the worst ingredient in the modern diet.

It delivers calories without added nutritional value and can damage our metabolism in the long run. In addition, experts now believe that a lifetime of eating excess sugar can cause skin to become dull and wrinkled. Besides heightening the effects of skin aging, glycation can also aggravate skin conditions like acne or rosacea.

The culprit is a natural process known as glycation in which sugar in the bloodstream attaches itself to proteins, thus forming new harmful molecules known as advanced glycation end-products (appropriately abbreviated as AGEs). The more sugar we eat, the more AGEs build up. AGE damage hits collagen and elastin the hardest. These are the protein fibers that keep skin firm and elastic. In fact, collagen is the most commonly found protein in the human body.

Once damaged, previously elastic and resistent collagen and elastin turn dry and brittle, leading to wrinkles and sagging. These signs of aging begin at age 35 and increase rapidly thereafter, according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

GlyAGE is a product containing active ingredients with antioxidant and anti-glycation properties that help prevent skin conditions caused by excessive amounts of sugar in our daily diets.