Why eating too much refined sugar can be chemically bad for your body as you grow older.
The biology of ageing, the topic of today's article, is a topic of interest to perhaps everyone.
The article presents what is almost a mini-course in biochemistry to help you understand exactly how what a person eats can cause them to age faster or slower.
Click button to listen to Sugar Skin-Ageing to download
WELLNESS: Sugar ageing: how sugar causes wrinkles by Somboon Roongphornchai
Sugary foods and refined carbs not only increase your risk for diabetes but also increase your wrinkles, too.
How sugar makes us age.
If you're a big fan of sugar-coated cereals and candies, you might be surprised to learn that your own body engages in some sugar coating of its own, through a process called glycation, or sugar damage. This process is a result of the sugar molecules attaching to protein molecules and changing their biomolecular properties or damaging them. When this happens, it is right up there with smoking, sun exposure and alcohol consumption as a major factor in accelerated skin ageing. so we can talk about "sugar ageing". Saying no to sugar with your morning coffee may do just as much for your wrinkles as your figure.
Of course we all need glucose as an energy source - it's a vital fuel for our bodies. The problem is the amount of added sugar we eat and the damage it can do. When we eat simple sugars and starches like white processed bread the effect on the body is an outburst of inflammation. Eating simple carbohydrates with fast absorption (a high Glycemic Index) also causes blood glucose levels to spike and crash.
Internally sugar molecules attach themselves to protein fibres in each of our cells and it is this damaging process that is known as glycation. The end products of glycation - or Advanced Glycation End products - are known as AGEs for short. The greater the amount of sugar you consume, the more AGEs your body will produce. And by the time you reach 35 or so, your skin will begin to show the effects in the form of a duller complexion and wrinkles. You will look prematurely old, and the glycation process will only speed up as time goes by.
As a result of observing accelerated ageing in people with diabetes, doctors came to understand the negative effects of sugar on our health. Inflammation caused by glycation is now known to be associated with many serious diseases including Alzheimer's, cancer, vein problems and heart conditions. While the role of AGEs in life-threatening conditions like cancer is a major concern none of us wants to look older than we are. In fact skin is particularly at risk from glycation. One of the proteins most prone to damage from sugar molecules is collagen - the skin's essential support structure.
According to Nicholas V. Perricone, MD: "Eating sugary and starchy foods shows up on the skin as a loss of radiance, dark circles under the eyes, the loss of tone, puffiness, an increase in fine lines and wrinkles, the loss of facial contours and increased pore size. These foods can also exacerbate acne, which is a systemic, inflammatory disease. I am not exaggerating when I say that sugar can rob you of your youth, health, and beauty.
AGEs affect healthy skin in two main ways - firstly they reduce the power of collagen to rebuild the skin's structure, and second they increase the rate at which collagen breaks down naturally. Since collagen breakdown increases with age anyway, glycation affects our skin more as we age. The result is a greater increase in wrinkling, and crepe-like skin. Glycation also robs the skin of its natural moisturiser - hyaluronic acid - resulting in greater dryness and sagging. Glycation also makes the effects of smoking, alcohol and sun damage much worse.
FIVE STEPS TO REVERSING SUGAR RELATED SKIN AGEING
1] Start replacing the processed sugars in your diet with the natural ones found in vegetables and fruits, which have a much less drastic effect on your blood sugar levels. If you simply can't live without your refined sugar, limit your consumption to no more than 10% of your daily caloric intake.
You may be amazed to learn just how many forms of refined sugars are added to processed foods. The most common is high fructose corn syrup, but maltose, dextrose, molasses and maple syrup are all used as sweeteners and are all guilty of glycation.
2] Supplement your diet with 1 mg each of vitamins B1 and B6 every day. You will get some of them in your food, but the best way to ensure you have them in adequate amounts is to take them as supplemental vitamins. Your body will metabolise only what it needs and eliminate the remainder, so you are in no danger of developing toxin levels of either of them.
3] Fight the production of AGEs from the outside, by limiting your exposure to sunlight, especially between the hours of 10am and 3pm, when UV rays are at their strongest. The British Journal of Dermatology has published a study showing that the collagen in skin left unprotected from the sun will develop a higher level of AGEs than protected skin. Using a sunblock rated SPF30 and wearing a hat with a brim wide enough to shade your entire face and neck are two methods you can employ if you must be out in the sun during peak daylight hours.
4] Fight sugar ageing with the help of dietary and topical antioxidants. All vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids are powerful antioxidants and nutrients and you can get them by eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Cold water fish like salmon and sardines have the Omega-3 fatty acids, and adding nuts to your salads or sipping green tea throughout the day will also help fight against glycation. But if you know you aren't getting enough antioxidants in your diet, you can turn to supplements.
5] Start using antioxidant-enriched creams which will feed your skin directly. A combination of good diet, sun protection, and a quality wrinkle cream is a powerful AGE fighter indeed.
The best advice is to follow the kind of diet suggested by The American Heart Association based on a good variety of low GI foods - fresh fruits, vegetables, lean non-processed meat and whole foods like grains. Go for slow cooked types of food like soups and stews and eat as many uncooked foods like delicious salads and dips as possible.
So think about your favourite sweets and decide if the few minutes' pleasure they provide is a fair exchange for wrinkles that will stay with you for years. If your answer is no, start taking the steps to eliminate AGEs, and wrinkles, from your life right now.
And stay off the doughnuts if you really want to reduce sugar ageing.
(Source: Bangkok Post, WELLNESS, Sugar ageing: how sugar causes wrinkles, 12/07/2011, Somboon Roongphornchai, link)
Nutrition and Skin Vocabulary
biology of ageing - the processes during old age that lead to disease, the eventual break down of the body and death (See Wikipedia)
biochemistry - the branch of science concerned with the chemical and physicochemical processes that occur within living organisms (See Wikipedia)
glycation - when sugar molecules (fructose, glucose) bond to protein or lipid molecules without the controlling action of enzymes, can result in “stiffening” of tissues and may lead to certain complications of diabetes, and perhaps some of the physiological problems associated with aging, also called "glycosylation" (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs) - produced by glycation, contribute to health problems such as age-related diseases, cataract development, Alzheimer's Disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke and age- and diabetes-related chronic inflammatory conditions such as atherosclerosis, asthma, arthritis, myocardial infarction, nephropathy, retinopathy, periodontitis and neuropathy (See Wikipedia)
inflammation - a red, painful and often swollen area in or on a part of your body (a reaction of the body to protect against infection by bacteria, viruses, objects entering the body): "part of the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants, Inflammation is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli and to initiate the healing process. Inflammation is not a synonym for infection, even in cases where inflammation is caused by infection. Although infection is caused by a microorganism, inflammation is one of the responses of the organism to the pathogen" (See Wikipedia) การอักเสบ, การติดเชื้อ
outburst of inflammation - sudden inflammation in an area of the body
diabetes - a serious medical condition in which your body does not produce enough insulin to reduce the amount of sugar in the blood, thus there are abnormally high blood sugar levels โรคเบาหวาน (See Wikipedia)
wellness - how healthy and happy you feel
age - grow older
the ageing process - all the things that happen to the body as a person grows older (See biology of ageing above)
slow down the ageing process - when a person's body and mind grows older at a slower rate
skin ageing - when your skin grows old and looks old
major factor in accelerated skin ageing - one thing that causes the skin to grow older quickly
factor - a fact, situation or condition influencing the result of something ปัจจัย
youth - being young; a boy or a young man เด็กหนุ่ม, วัยรุ่น
rob you of your youth - losing your young appearance or look (that is: growing to look old on the outside, even of you are young inside)
complexion - the color and condition of the skin of a person's face (examples: a pale complexion, an oily complexion, smoking ruins your complexion, a flawless complexion)
duller complexion - not bright, interesting or exciting
look prematurely old - appearing or looking like you are older than you actually are
wrinkles - the lines that form on the face as you grow old
wrinkle cream - cream used to reduce or prevent wrinkles on the face
figure - the shape of your body
sagging - hangs down loosely, has no energy, cannot stand up (example: sagging skin, sagging breasts)
radiance - a glowing light shining out of something
loss of radiance - not bright and shiny anymore
tone - firmness and strength (example: muscle tone)
loss of tone - no longer firm and strong (as it once was)
puffy (adjective) - looking like it is filled with air (not good, looks like body is swollen and unhealthy)
puffiness (noun) - the condition of being "puffy" (example: after the dentist injected novacaine there was puffiness around the face for several hours)
fine lines - thin wrinkles, very thin lines (on a person's face)
facial contours - the curves on the skin of a person's face (young faces have perfectly even and smooth curves)
pore - a hole in the skin (that sweat passes out through)
acne - a skin condition with red spots on a person's face and neck (See Wikipedia)
exacerbate - make worse
exacerbate acne - make acne worse
carhohydrates - substances in food such as sugar and starch that provide you with energy (See Wikipedia)
carbs - same as "carbohydrates"
refined sugar - sugar that has been processed in a "sugar refinery" producing bags of pure white sugar sold in stores
refined carbs - same as "refined carbs"
processed sugars - same as "refined sugar"
risk - danger, how likely or possible it is for a bad event that causes harm and damage ความเสี่ยง
a big fan of - like very much
cereal - breakfast cereal, a common breakfast food in the US with little pieces made of grain floating in milk (See Wikipedia)
sugar-coated cereals - a breakfast cereal (very sweet with sugar on the outside of each little piece)
process - a series of actions taken in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
exposure - not covered or protected from harm, runs a risk of being harmed
sun exposure - when the sun hits your skin (when you are walking outside)
consumption - using, eating or drinking something การบริโภค
alcohol consumption - drinking beer, wine, whiskey and other alcoholic drinks
energy - the ability to do work (in the form of a chemical used by the body such as carbohydrates or glucose or a chmical used by machines and cars such as oil or natural gas) (See Wikipedia)
source - where something comes from or starts at, or the cause of something ต้นกำเนิด, แหล่งกำเนิด
energy source - a chemical that can be used to do work (carbohydrates in your body, gasoline in your car)
vital - very important, necessary for continued life ที่สำคัญ ที่จำเป็นยิ่ง จำเป็นสำหรับชีวิต; สำคัญมาก
fuel - same as "energy"
vital fuel for our bodies - an important and needed chemical in the body used to make the body work
glucose - the most important sugar for energy transport, storage and production in the human body, the body makes it from the three elements of food — proteins, fats, and carbohydrates — but mostly from carbohydrates (a 6-carbon sugar with the formula C 6 H 12 O 6 . Glucose is a building block for larger molecules such as sucrose (a disaccharide) and cellulose, starch and glycogen (polysaccharides). Plants produce glucose during photosynthesis) (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
blood sugar - the amount of glucose in the blood (See Wikipedia)
as time goes by - when time passes, after time passes
calorie (noun) - a unit used to measure the energy value of food, people on "diets" try to eat few calories (See Wikipedia)
daily caloric intake - the amount of calories you eat every day (should be low, if you are on a diet)
maltose - a sugar produced by the breakdown of starch by amylase in the saliva, it is a disaccharide consisting of two linked glucose units, Failure to break down maltose in the intestine will lead to diarrhea, excessive gases, and other symptoms (a disaccharide sugar formed from two units of glucose, a water-soluble fermentable sugar, the preferred food of brewing yeast) (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
dextrose - a form of glucose (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
fructose - honey, tree fruits, berries, melons, and some root vegetables contain all contain a lot of fructose, a simple sugar (monosaccharide) found in many foods, one of the three important dietary monosaccharides along with glucose and galactose., the most water-soluble of all the sugars, also known as "fruit sugar" (See Wikipedia)
high fructose corn syrup - "consumer foods and products typically use high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener. It has become very common in processed foods and beverages in the U.S., including breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments" (See Wikipedia)
molasses - a thick syrup by-product from the processing of the sugarcane or sugar beet into sugar (See Wikipedia) กากน้ำตาล
simple - not complicated ง่าย,ไม่ยุ่งยาก, ไม่ซับซ้อน
starch - a carbohydrate with many glucose units joined together (polysaccharide), the most common carbohydrate in the human diet and is contained in large amounts in such staple foods as potatoes, wheat, maize (corn), rice, and cassava (See Wikipedia)
processed - treated in some way, e.g., treated with chemicals, cut, etc.
white processed bread - the common white-coloured bread on the shelves of stores (processed in a food processing plant)
Glycemic Index (GI) - a system for ranking carbohydrate foods (1 to 100) by their effect on blood-sugar levels in the body (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
spike - a sudden increase to high levels (looks like a "nail" or "spike")
spike and crash - increase to high levels suddenly and then to fall again to low levels
sugar molecules - a carbohydrate molecule, used as a source of energy and to provide structure in living things (includes simple sugars with small molecules as well as very large macromolecular substances; classified according to the number of simple sugar (monosaccharide groups) they contain) (See Wikipedia)
protein - the large molecules found in all living organisms performing essential functions such as: 1. structural components of body tissues such as muscle, hair, collagen, etc., and as 2. enzymes that control body functions (physiology) and as 3. antibodies responsible for the body's defenses against disease, the chemical definition: long chains of amino acids (polypeptides) linked together in various ways (alpha-helix coils, beta-sheets) (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
fibre - a long thin thing like a thread, also "fiber":
the power of collagen to rebuild the skin's structure
collagen - the main protein making up white fibrous connective tissue in tendons, skin, bone, cartilage, and ligaments, relatively inelastic (not flexible) but has a high tensile strength (ability to resist forces of stretching) (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
support structure - holding things up (example: the 20 story building had a strong cement and steel support structure underneath it)
crepe-like skin - very thin skin (like thin crepe paper)
moisture - (noun) a small amount of water or another liquid in the air, on the surface of something, or in a substance
moisturise (verb) - add moisture to skin
moisturiser (noun) - complex mixtures of chemical agents specially designed to make the external layers of the skin (epidermis) softer and more pliable, by increasing its hydration (water content) by reducing evaporation (See Wikipedia)
hyaluronic acid - a cementing and protective gel that is a major part of skin where it is involved in tissue repair. ("When skin is excessively exposed to UVB rays, it becomes inflamed (sunburn) and the cells in the dermis stop producing as much hyaluronic acid, and increase the rate of its degradation", "part of the extracellular matrix and helps to maintain dermal volume", a "super moisturizer, one molecule holds 214 molecules of water, constantly attracting moisture to skin. One of the natural moisturizer factors (NMF's) found in skin, though in decreasing amount with age") (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
diet - 1. the food that you typically eat every day; 2. special food that a person eats in order to lose weight and maintain health
supplement (verb) - add to
supplement your diet - add to your diet
supplemental (adjective) - an extra or additional amount เพิ่มเข้ามา
supplemental vitamins - vitamins taken in addition to food eaten (as medicine)
dietary supplement (noun) - a pill or special food eaten to improve your health
vitamin B1 - a water-soluble vitamin required for "the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat and alcohol. It is also necessary for the proper function of the nervous system and the heart ... prevents beriberi; maintains appetite and growth", also known as "Thiamine" (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
vitamin B6 - a water-soluble vitamin that "plays an important role in the breakdown and use of energy sources, production of red blood cells and antibodies, and normal functioning of the nervous system" (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
metabolism (noun) - the chemical reactions within cells that maintain life; involves two basic processes anabolism and catabolism (See Wikipedia)
anabolism - the building-up, conversion of food molecules in living cells and tissues)
catabolism - the (breaking-down complex chemicals of food into simpler ones that are then used in building-up cells and in making ATP, the body's main fuel chemical
metabolise (verb) - convert food chemically into nutrients to maintain the body
metabolise only what it needs and eliminate the remainder
toxin (noun) - a poison (a chemical that can harm the body causing sickness, injury and possible death)
toxic (adjective) - poisonous
UV rays - the radiation received by the Earth from the Sun that causes sunburn in humans (electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light) (See Wikipedia)
sunblock - a cream that protects the skin from the sunlight, also called "sunscreen" (See Wikipedia)
SPF - Sun Protection Factor, a measure of how much sun is blocked, the higher the SPF the more sun is blocked (more protection against UV-B, the ultraviolet radiation that causes sunburn, "The SPF is the amount of UV radiation required to cause sunburn on skin with the sunscreen on, as a multiple of the amount required without the sunscreen," the rough rule is: Minutes to burn without sunscreen x SPF number = maximum sun exposure time) (See Wikipedia and How Stuff Works)
sunblock rated SPF30 - a sunblock with Sun Protection Factor 30
sun protections - something such as sunblock that protects you from the sun (blocking the rays of the sun)
hat with a wide brim - a hat with a wide front part hanging over the face and protecting it
antioxidants - chemicals that help stop other chemicals that lead to disease, "a molecule capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions. When the chain reaction occurs in a cell, it can cause damage or death. When the chain reaction occurs in a purified monomer, it produces a polymer resin, such as a plastic, a synthetic fiber, or an oil paint film. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions. They do this by being oxidized themselves, so antioxidants are often reducing agents such as thiols, ascorbic acid or polyphenols" (See Wikipedia)
dietary antioxidants - antioxidants eaten with food
topical antioxidants - antioxidants put on the skin
antioxidant-enriched creams - skin creams with antioxidants added
free radicals - "an atom or group of atoms with at least one unpaired electron; in the body it is usually an oxygen molecule that has lost an electron and will stabilize itself by stealing an electron from a nearby molecule; in the body free radicals are high-energy particles that ricochet wildly and damage cells" (See Wikipedia)
Free Radical Theory of Aging (FRTA) - the theory that living things age because cells accumulate free radical damage over time (See Wikipedia)
neutralise free radicals - make free radicals not dangerous to health
vitamin - substances that a body needs to remain healthy, found in food or vitamin pills (See Wikipedia)
omega-3 fatty acids - essential fatty acids found in fish oils and some plant oils such as flaxseed oil and algal oil, believed to have a potent anti-inflammatory effect (a polyunsaturated fatty acid whose carbon which has its first double bond three carbons from the end of the hydrophobic tail of the fatty acid) (See Wikipedia)
green tea - tea with green leaves that have "undergone minimal oxidation during processing. Green tea originates from China and has become associated with many cultures in Asia from Japan and South Korea" (See Wikipedia)
sip - drink small amounts of some drink slowly
sipping green tea - drinking small amounts of green tea slowly
processed meat - meat processed in a "meat processing plant" so that it can be stored for a longer period before eating without going bad (preserved): "preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or by adding preservatives such as nitrites or nitrates. Examples of processed meat include ham, bacon, pastrami, salami, sausages, bratwursts, frankfurters, hot dogs and some types of minced meat" (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
non-processed meat - fresh cuts of meat (pork, beef, chicken) sold a short time after the animal was killed (slaughtered)
lean - without fat
lean meat - cuts of meat with little or no fat on it
dip - a dipping sauce, food such as potato chips, crackers or cut-up raw vegetables is put into the dipping sauce to add flavor and texture to the food, dips can be made from food such as tomatoes and chili peppers (salsa), sour cream, yogurt, mayonnaise, beans or cheese (See Wikipedia)
stay off the doughnuts - don't eat doughnuts (too much sugar and fattening)
consume - to use a supply of something ใช้จนหมดไป
life-threatening conditions - a dangerous situation in which people may die
negative - bad ที่เป็นด้านลบ
negative effects - bad effects
role - the function or purpose that something has in a situation บทบาท
concern - a worry ความกังวล
major concern - some issue that people worry about a lot
prone to damage - tends to be broken or hurt often
essential - necessary and important ที่จำเป็น ที่สำคัญ
systemic - affecting the whole system ซึ่งเป็นระบบ
exaggerating - making something look more than it actually is (bigger, better, more expensive, etc)
natural - found in nature (not made in a factory by humans) ตามธรรมชาติ
drastic - having a very big effect มีผลกระทบอย่างใหญ่หลวง
have a much less drastic effect - the effect is not as big (but may still be big)
limit - a highest or lowest amount
the most common - found or happening most often
guilty - did something that is bad มีความผิด
ensure - to make certain that something happens or is done รับรอง ให้ความมั่นใจ ให้การยืนยัน รับรอง
adequate - good enough or large enough for a particular purpose พอเพียง
eliminate - to get rid of completely, remove กำจัดหรือขจัดให้หมดไป
remainder - the part of something that is left after that rest have been considered, left, finished, etc. ส่วนที่เหลืออยู่
employ - to have someone work or do a job for you and pay them for it ว่าจ้าง, จ้าง
peak - highest level, the time when something is at its highest or greatest level ช่วงเวลาที่พบมากที่สุด
plenty - having more than enough of what you need to live อุดมสมบูรณ์
combination - the mixture you get when two or more things are combined การรวมกัน
variety - many different types of things or people ความหลากหลาย
favourite - the things you like the most
provide - to give someone something that they want or need
eliminate - get rid of, stop using, make sure they no longer exist or no longer used
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