Sugar and Your Skin

Sugar and your skin, is there any real connection?

The answer to this question is a resounding yes for several reasons. However, the most pertinent connection is your “collagen”.

If this protein becomes compromised or interrupted, your skin will begin to age even faster than normal as we pass the 50 year old mark.

However, it is a misconception that sugar and skin aging only affects women.

It can and does affect men and in some cases the damage can be even greater in men for several reasons.

As outlined in the Dangers of sugar article, there are several different types of sugar and what we need to prevent against is the simple bad form, added sugar.

This includes soda, which is loaded with the simple and dangerous form as well as anything that you add sugar in.

The best rule of thumb is that women should not add any more than 6 teaspoons of bad sugar daily and men no more than 9 teaspoons.

To keep it all in perspective, one can of soda has on average 8 teaspoons of the simple bad form.

Sugar and Your Skin

However, it is important to remember that there are several different types of food that have a lot of the simple bad form.

They include ice cream, most deserts, candy unless it is sugar free, and white bread just to name a few.

Glycation is a process our body undertakes when you eat anything with sugar regardless of the form.

In our digestive process, the sugar is sent to your bloodstream where it searches for and then attaches to proteins.

Once they are attached, a new molecule is born and it referred to as “advanced glycation end products, or AGE’s”. 

Once we have passed the 50 year old point in are walk through life, we now have two strikes against us in the process.

Not only has our body slowed down a bit in everything it does including processing foods, the AGE’s process becomes even weaker than normal.

In a younger adult, over a time period, these end products will gather together or accumulate and look for surrounding proteins to attack.

When they do attack, they have only one mission; to destroy these proteins.

What Collagen Does

Collagen is their primary target for one simple reason; it is our body’s most common protein.  It is found in large quantities in our skin, connective tissues, and bones.

Its primary role in sugar and your skin is to three fold and here is what it does for your connective tissues, bones, and more importantly, your skin elasticity.

  • It provides support structurally
  • It provides strength and durability
  • It assists with the elastin in your tissues to form elasticity

It also plays a huge role in determining if your physical properties of your bodies tissues maintain support and strength, but perhaps it biggest role is with elasticity.

In your dermis, which is the middle layers of your skin, it forms what is referred to as “the fibrous network” which helps you grow new cells.

This is where the dangers of sugar and your skin being to emerge.

Collagen is one the key players in your body in helping to restore as well as replace your dead skin cells.

It also helps to provide protection in the form of a protective sheath for several key and very delicate internal organs.

One of the major reasons that sugar and skin aging is an issue is that just like everything else in our body, as we age, our collagen production also slows down.

This is why we all start to have wrinkles and lines in or faces. Because of this, the last thing you want to do is to “add to the fire.”

Sugar Leads the List of Threats

Here are the leading threats to your collagen production and the order of damaging effects.

  • High Sugar Consumption
  • Smoking
  • Sunlight
  • Autoimmune Disease.

We all know and have seen firsthand as we age, the dangers of smoking. However, if you are really concerned about your skin, look at this order of damaging effects.

Sugar is first on list

The AGE’s, advanced glycation end products not only do a lot of damage; they also make new and existing collagen dry, weak, and very brittle

It is well known that smoking damages both collagen and elasticity the same as too much sunlight, but the fact that sugar and skin aging lead the list may surprise a lot of people.

How to Slow Sugar and Skin Aging

So what can you do to help protect the damages from Sugar and your skin?

Well the first answer would be to give up sugar but to most of us that is a lot easier said than done and very impractical.

However, again with “Age comes Wisdom” and there are several very easy and practical ways to prevent against sugar and skin aging.

Here are some very practical things you can do including choosing healthier options instead of the simple form of refined or added sugar.

  • Eat whole grain breads instead of white bread
  • Eat walnuts, cranberries, and some red bell peppers occasionally
  • Drink Green Tea
  • Take Vitamins B1 and B6  

These key nutrients contain a wealth load of free-radicals that will naturally fight the damages to your collagen.

Vitamins B1 and B6 are also emerging as potent AGE inhibitors that can sharply reduce most damages done by sugar, even as we age.

There has been a lot of new evidence by David J. Goldberg, MD, a New York City based dermatologist about the importance of these 2 B class vitamins, and how they can help.

And finally, in this battle with sugar and your skin as we age, remember only 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons a day for men.

References

http://dermatologytimes.modernmedicine.com/authorDetails/23365

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