If you have ever wondered why fast food is constantly cited as a cause of skin problems, the answer lies in a biological process called glycation. Glycation, which can happen both inside (endogenous glycation) and outside (exogenous glycation) of the body, is a major cause of the visible signs of aging. In both cases, glycation occurs when a simple sugar molecule (e.g. fructose or glucose) bonds to a protein or fat molecule without an enzyme.
A bond in the presence of an enzyme, called glycosylation, occurs at the correct site on the molecule. Glycation, on the other hand, is haphazard; the bond could form anywhere, creating an advanced glycated endproduct (AGE). Because the bond does not occur in the proper place, glycation impairs the functioning of molecules.
Read on to learn about the specifics of both types of glycation and how to prevent them from disrupting skin’s youthful appearance.
Endogenous glycations occur to absorbed simple sugars (i.e. glucose, fructose, and galactose) in the bloodstream. Fructose, a sugar found in many foods, has 10 times the glycation activity of glucose, the sugar that the body produces. Glycation is the first of a complex series of reactions in the body that finalize in the creation of advanced glycation endproducts, better known as AGEs.
AGEs cause a range of different diseases because glycation interferes with cells and molecules all throughout the body, not just in one specific place. Even more distressing is the fact that the body is unable to easily eliminate glycated substances from the body despite their damaging properties.
- Brain cells
- Eye crystalline
Some AGEs are more irritable than the sugars from which they are derived, and therefore contribute to a number of age-related chronic disease.
Some of these diseases are:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
AGEs also cause high levels of inflammation, which greatly contributes to aging.
Exogenous glycation, which occurs outside of the body, also creates AGEs. Exogenous glycation happens when the sugars in food react with fats or proteins while exposed to high temperatures, such as those incurred during the cooking process of fast food. It is the reaction responsible for the browning of foods. For example, french fries contain high levels of a suspected carcinogen. Even worse, fast food companies often add sugar or AGEs to foods to enhance both color and flavor.
Some glaring examples of this are:
- Baked goods
- Dark colas
- Fried food
To prevent the cycle of glycation, AGE creation, and inflammation, avoid consuming these foods and other fast foods and simple sugars.
In addition, studies show that some nutrients inhibit the occurance of both types of glycation. For example, the universal antioxidant Alpha Lipoic Acid fights glycation because it facilitates enzyme action. Try using a supplement that contains high levels of the beneficial antioxidant, like Perricone MD’s Alpha Lipoic Acid Supplement.
It works to:
- Diminish fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration
- Refine skin texture and evens skin tone
- Reduce pore size, puffiness and imperfections
Take 2 capsules daily for maximum glycation-fighting benefit.