In a recent article (Sept. 15), Sam Saunders makes good case for restricting sugar intake in order to maintain healthy and beautiful skin.
In our earlier blogs, we have also highlighted the fact that extra sugar not only adds more pounds to your waist, but it can also damage the skin cells gradually, breaking its elastin and speeding up early aging signs. Sugar is thus quite literally collagen’s enemy.
Explaining the process, Sam Saunders says, when we eat sugar and other high-glycemic carbohydrates (breads, starches, potatoes, baked goods, pastas, desserts, soda) our body converts the sugar to glucose. This is all completely fine as we need glucose, it's the main source of fuel for your body. However, when we have too much in our body a reaction called Glycation occurs.
This means that excess sugar molecules attach themselves to proteins to form harmful new molecules called Advanced Glycation End products (appropriately AGEs for short). At the point of attachment, inflammation occurs and produces enzymes that reduces the effectiveness of your elastin and collagen (the proteins in your skin that gives it a younger plump look). The quality of our collagen is reduced and it becomes more brittle. Consequently, our skin breaks down and looks thinner and more wrinkly.
Added to this, AGEs also deactivate our body's natural antioxidant enzymes so our skin is left more vulnerable to sun damage (still the main cause of skin ageing) and is less able to repair itself from normal damage.
In a separate study involving 600 men and women, it was also found that those with higher blood sugar levels consistently looked older than those with lower blood sugar. For every extra 180g of glucose per liter of blood, their estimated age rose by five months.
Those wanting to take care of their skin and to maintain shining youthful appearance, it is important that daily sugar intake should be well regulated so as not to cause any indirect inflammation, or weakening of skin cells.
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