How to Stop AGEs from Aging You
The pursuit of eternal youth and anti-aging practices are nothing new. There are a number of reasons why we age. We know that factors such as diet, stress, UV exposure and genetics all contribute to the aging process and affect how quickly we age.
Ongoing, anti-aging research, has identified one key factor that contributes to the aging process – sagging, wrinkled skin, loss of elasticity, skin cancers, and other degenerative diseases associated with age. This key factor is the production of AGEs (Advanced Glycation End products) in our body. Now, scientists have found a way to slow down the process of aging by shutting down the body’s production of AGEs.
What are AGEs?
AGEs are harmful waste products that form when proteins in the body clump up and bind tightly to other molecules. Proteins are present throughout the body – they are found in skin, muscles, organs and vascular structures. Proteins provide elasticity and structure to the body. One structural protein is collagen which accounts for approximately one third of your body’s total protein. As you age your structural proteins are damaged by a process known as glycation. So it’s clear to see that the destructive capacity of AGEs on proteins in the body can have a profound effect. Understanding how to prevent the formation of AGEs is critical to slowing the aging process and reducing the risk for degenerative diseases.
There are two primary sources for Advanced Glycation End (AGE) products – proteins and sugars.
- Proteins: The way food is prepared. For example, when protein-rich food is browned in the cooking process, harmful AGEs are formed. Since many grains, vegetables, fruits and meats all have proteins, this browning effect is an indication of AGEs in those foods too. It is estimated that 30% of food-borne AGEs are absorbed when we eat.
- Sugars: How the food we eat is metabolized. Sugars (carbohydrates) are absorbed by the body and affect blood sugar levels. Most of our blood sugar is used to provide the energy the body needs to properly function. However, a small proportion of our blood sugar is glycated to form AGEs causing elevated blood sugar levels, resulting in diabetes and other blood related diseases. Simple sugars like fructose and galactose undergo glycation at about 10 times a higher rate than glucose. Since most sweeteners today are approximately 50% fructose or a fructose derivative – this is a major factor in the formation of AGEs that harm and age our bodies.
10 Things You Can Do To Protect Yourself From AGEs
Reduce your consumption of sugar and avoid high fructose corn syrup. Over the last 20 years the average yearly sugar consumption per person in the United States has gone from 26 pounds to 135 pounds. That’s over a 500% increase and a major cause of AGEs.
Broil or Steam your Food. Eat vegetables and fruits either raw, boiled, or steamed. Water prevents sugars from binding to protein molecules prevents AGEs from forming.
Lower AGEs by 93% by eating baked potatoes vs. a handful of chips.
Lower AGEs by 34% by boiling hot dogs vs. grilling them.
Lower AGEs by 55% by baking fish, chicken and fries vs. frying them.
Lower AGEs by 51% by cooking your own burgers – fast-food and restaurant burgers are cooked at a higher heat.
Limit your consumption of processed and browned foods. Caramelization and browning food improves the taste, but these techniques directly increase the number of AGEs.
Cook meats low and slow. Higher cooking temperatures like grilling produces more AGEs than cooking at lower temperatures for a longer time period. Slow cooking (like using a croc pot) is a way to make delicious meals while helping to substantially reduce the production of AGEs.
Avoid Stress. Take just 30 minutes a day to pamper yourself and de-stress reduces the amount of AGEs by as much as 50%. That’s because a content, calm feeling results in less norepinephrine (stress hormone) which kick-starts the formation of AGEs.
Eat oatmeal. Oatmeal acts as an anti-inflammatory. Just one cup of slow-cooked, old fashioned oatmeal a day protects artery walls from being damaged by AGEs in your bloodstream.
Supplement with L-carnosine. This is a naturally occurring compound sold in health food stores and helps to break down any AGEs in the body. Several studies have shown that carnosine can effectively inhibit the formation of AGEs.
Add Primrose Oil and Borage Seed Oil to your diet. Sun exposure triggers a flood of AGE formation in the skin. Primrose and Borage Seed oils shut down the formation of AGEs and improve skin tone and texture for more than 71% of women within 3 months.
Avoid 2nd Hand Smoke and/or Stop smoking. Smoking has long been associated with cancer and cardiovascular health concerns. Recent research has clearly shown a significantly higher level of serum AGEs in smokers and especially diabetic smokers. Being around smokers (2nd hand smoke) is just as harmful.