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A Health, Nutrition, and Alternative Medicine Blog

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Does sugar cause wrinkles?

Health experts are now seeing a correlation between high sugar intake and damaged collagen and elastin. In healthy, young skin, collagen and elastin (protein fibers) are springy, resilient and help to keep skin firm and hydrated. As we age, collagen and elastin can become brittle, dull and dry, and ultimately lead to sagging and wrinkles.

While this is a natural part of the aging process, some health experts believe there are things that can be done to help slow this process – like cutting back on sugar.

Why sugar?

Experts say that sugar attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules. These molecules are called advanced glycation end products (or, aptly called AGEs for short). It seems that the more sugar you ingest, the more AGEs you develop. These AGEs also damage nearby proteins and cause a negative, domino effect on the skin. In addition, a high sugar diet affects the collagen of the skin and can neutralize the body’s supply of antioxidant enzymes, leaving the skin more vulnerable to sun damage.

Experts recommend cutting back on foods that have extra sugar, using sunscreen of 30 SPF, taking a B1 and B6 daily supplement (they are AGE inhibitors), getting plenty of antioxidants (which keeps sugars from attaching to proteins) and if all else fails, trying new skin-protecting cosmetic products that employ aminoguanidine and alistin, which acts as a decoy for the sugars.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is for informational purposes and is not medical advice. Individuals wishing to use supplements or alternative medicine therapies should consult with their doctor beforehand.

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