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What is Glycation?

Glycation is the bonding of a sugar molecule to a protein or lipid molecule without enzymatic regulation. This is the definition of Glycation, now let’s breaks this down so we understand what’s happening to our body.

What causes Glycation and How Does it Age our Skin?

Basically, this is all about our sugar intake. Too many sugary foods or high-glycemic foods react with the proteins and fats in our body, producing harmful molecules called ‘AGE’s’ (advanced glycation end-products). This process is called ‘Glycation’.

Our body breaks down carbohydrates into sugars like glucose and fructose which is used to fuel everything we do. However, the higher the level of glucose in the blood, the more AGE’s.

Researchers have found over the years that excess sugar in the bloodstream can encourage the Glycation process, which in turn, ages the skin.

As we get older, Glycation in the skin increases. Even worse, when we are exposed to UV rays, it accelerates Glycation and further ages the skin.

The formation of AGE’s is increased when glycated skin cells are exposed to the UV rays. The AGE’s modify skin collagen by reducing skin elasticity and result in wrinkle formation. So remember to apply SPF regularly!!!

What can we do to delay the ageing Process?

There are lots we can do to tackle the ageing process and help keep skin looking smooth and glowing.

Firstly, control blood sugar levels. Try to maintain a steady level. Fuel your body with low-glycemic foods and try to eat every 3-4 hours.

Cut back on sugary items and opt for foods such as fruits and unsweetened yogurts.

How do we know which are low-glycemic foods? Avoid white bread, white potatoes and white rice as these break down quickly in the body, spiking blood sugar levels. Choose foods such as nuts, seeds, lean meats, eggs and most vegetables. These take more time to break down, helping to stabilise blood sugar levels. Do your research into low-glycemic foods!

We all love a BBQ. However, try not to over-cook meat. Barbecuing or blackening meat can actually create more AGE’s. Cook meats low and slow.

We can not stress enough to always protect your skin with a high SPF. Use an SPF with Zinc Oxide and remember to protect your hands, neck and arms as well as your face. These are the first places to show signs of ageing!

If you love going to the gym then you will be happy to know that lifting weights can help counteract the effect of ageing. As we age we lose muscle mass which can increase blood sugar levels. So increasing and maintaining your muscle mass will help prevent the ageing process.

We should also decrease alcohol intake, boost antioxidant intake orally and topically. Consider a Vitamin B supplement.

Read our blog on Oxidative Stress and tackling the ageing process.

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