When it comes to sabotaging your skin, there are a range of factors that can fast-track wrinkling, cellulite, mottled pigmentation and other signs of skin ageing.
Sun exposure, dehydration and smoking are no brainers – we know they cause skin ageing. But what about your diet?
The science is this: the average modern western diet is rich in molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGE or AGEs for short). AGE molecules attach to collagen – the helix shaped ‘glue’ that gives your skin resilience. This cross-linking locks the collagen fibres in place and skin elasticity is reduced (See Diagram 3). AGE molecules appear to be a major factor in skin ageing, and have been linked with diseases including diabetes and heart disease.
Diagram from Younger Skin in 28 Days
Think of advanced glycation end products as brownish spots — like sticky toffee — that grab onto collagen when there is glucose present in your skin. Not all AGE-rich foods are brown, but when you eat browned foods (from frying and roasting), you’re getting a higher dose of AGEs. When your skin goes brown in the sun, AGEs are forming too.
Here are the main sources of AGEs …
- AGE molecules are directly consumed in your diet: They’re rich in cheese, steak, burnt toast, cooked meats, deli meats, butter and margarine, to name a few.
- High-heat cooking greatly increases AGE formation, especially in fat-rich foods such as red meat, chicken and oils.
- AGEs can be made in the body when you eat sugar, as the glucose from sugar is converted via a glycation process (Diagram 3).
- Sun tanning and smoking also cause AGE formation in your skin and body.
Accumulation of AGEs is associated with:
- reduced skin elasticity
- inflammatory skin changes
- yellowing of the skin
- cataracts and other eye problems
- reduced muscle function and strength
- skin tissue damage
- impaired wound healing
- elevated blood sugar levels
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- loss of bone density
- loss of muscular mass
- end stage renal disease
- rheumatoidarthritis. (3, 4,5,6,7,8,9)
You may not be able to prevent the biological ageing process, which involves hormonal changes and so on, but research shows you can simply eat fewer advanced glycation end products in your diet to reduce AGE levels in your skin – and you’ll also improve your health and longevity.
Take the AGE test to see if your diet is ageing your skin CLICK HERE
This is an edited extract from Younger Skin in 28 Days.
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