By: Ron Cummings
Wow, we sure like our sugar. After all, what’s not to like? I mean, what’s better with a glass of milk than a couple of chocolate chip cookies? Imagine that it’s the end of a long, hard day; you get home and put on your favorite TV show, kick your feet up and dig in to a bowl of your favorite ice cream covered in an assortment of decadent toppings. And, for millions of us, that mid-day candy bar is just a regular part of life. Let’s face it – our favorite sugar-laden goodies are just flat out pleasing, comforting and of course delicious! Sugar satisfies one of our favorite desires: instant gratification. We love sugar; we crave it. It’s just plain good.
With that being said, there’s not a single one of us who doesn’t know that sugar, especially in excess, is bad for us. It’s terrible for our teeth, destroys our mood, makes us gain weight and severely alters our overall blood chemistry. We have to admit that sugar simply ruins our health. Naturally, we continue to indulge our sugar obsession, despite the detrimental consequences of eating sugar. We can all agree life is too short not to enjoy our favorite dessert, right? – Lots of things are bad for us, so what’s the big deal? If enjoying sugar means an extra few pounds around my midsection, then I guess that’s okay, right?
Some of us think that, maybe, if I just watch my sugar intake a little and not go too crazy, then I’ll be able to enjoy the good of sugar and, maybe, the bad of sugar won’t really affect me too much. When it comes to sugar, most of us are willing to take the good with the bad, because we want to have our cake and eat it too.
By now, most of us have been bombarded by endless antisugar messages. There are always new studies on how sugar adversely affects our health, our kids’ attention spans, and the obesity problem that seems to be getting worse by the year. No matter what anti-sugar messages we read, see and hear, we simply refuse to give up our beloved sugar.
However, there is a new and powerful message coming out from the scientific community about sugar, and whether it’s time for us to give it up.
Sugar is making you ugly! What? – Yes! Excess sugar in our bodies is now being revealed as one of the most damaging elements to our appearance. As it turns out, these sweet little sugar molecules are leading a double life. After they pass over our taste buds and give us that amazing sugar buzz, these appealing friends of ours change their personalities and go on a seek-and-destroy mission. In a process called glycation, excess sugar in our blood stream in reality attacks the proteins throughout our bodies. As a matter of fact, these sugar molecules attach themselves to proteins – much like a parasite. Once bonding happens, that particular protein becomes glycated; or, in other words, sick.
A recently glycated protein becomes misshapen, hardened, does not function correctly and excretes exotoxins that affect surrounding proteins. After the glycation process has run its course, the protein is referred to as an Advanced Glycation End Product, or A.G.E. for short.
A real-world example of glycation in action is the browning and hardening process when placing a piece of bread in the toaster.
This is where the ugly part comes in. Our skin is essentially one giant protein suit that covers us and protects all of our inner workings from the outside world. Most people are aware that the main protein in human skin is collagen, the proteins of which are very long lasting. They have a half-life of approximately 15 years and are not immune to the effects of glycation. Just like other proteins, when collagen becomes glycated, that protein is now considered an A.G.E. Like others, collagen proteins become misshapen, hardened, brittle and excrete exotoxins. While you can’t see the effects of most proteins in your body when they become glycated, the effects of glycation on skin proteins becomes very evident.
Essentially, every visible sign we attribute to aging skin – including wrinkles, fine lines, discoloration, sagging, uneven skin tones, stress, loss of elasticity, etc. – can all be attributed to the process of glycation.
Glycation becomes more evident in your appearance when sugar molecules attack the surface proteins on the fine capillaries of your skin. This process causes your capillaries to leak, causing what we recognize as spider veins. The same process can happen in the under-eye area, which we recognize as dark circles.
The most demoralizing aspect of glycation is the fact that once a protein has become glycated, or is now considered an A.G.E., the damage is permanent. Glycation is an additive effect and probably begins as soon as we’re born, affecting us throughout our lifetime.
If you’ve read or have been told that environmental factors like the sun, wind, weather and pollution age our skin the most, that would be correct, but it’s not the whole story. Glycation is the chemical process which enables these environmental factors to damage our skin. For instance, when radiation from the sun strikes and penetrates our skin, it accelerates the glycation process. (Recall my mention of toasting a piece of bread.)
It seems a little unfair. In most cases, if I give up a certain vice, then my body, given enough time, will generally recover. If I start eating a better diet, I’ll most likely lose weight and be healthier. If I give up smoking, in most cases, my lungs, heart and blood pressure can return to normal. Nevertheless, once your proteins have been glycated, you’re pretty much out of luck; the damage has been done – end of story.
Well … almost. You see, if you go online right now and do a search on the process of glycation, you will read much of what you’ve read here, including the fact that once a protein has become an A.G.E., it’s irreversible. Recent studies have shown some promising discoveries that may allow us to not only help prevent further damage from glycation, but also help affected proteins return to their normal state, function and appearance!
Powerful, new and topically applied serums have shown the remarkable ability to help block the glycation process and break the bond between the sugar molecules and the protein affected. In a recent clinical trial conducted in France, 500 women were treated with a serum derived from a naturally occurring plant extract. At the end of the 60-day trial, the 500 women appeared an average of eight to 10 years younger.
No doubt that a whole new category of anti-glycation treatments will soon be available in the marketplace. Based on projections, anti-glycation products will become as popular as the anti-oxidants, sunscreens and moisturizers of today.
For a detailed description of how glycation ages your skin and how you can stop and even reverse the process, go to www.controlyourage.com.
By: Ron Cummings