DNA Testing for ageing

Is Sugar Ageing You Prematurely?

Glycation + AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products)

Sugar and refined carbohydrates are a major cause of premature ageing. These foods increase the process called “Glycation”, where glucose binds to protein, not protein in your food, but to the protein in your body and organs, such as the collagen in your skin. Glycation leads to the formation of AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products) and yes, these AGEs will do exactly that, they will AGE you prematurely. Once formed, AGEs are very difficult to remove and create havoc throughout the body. 

Glycation is happening everyday in your body. To effectively deal with Glycation you need to to target it on a number of levels. Slowing down the production of AGEs is important, and yes, paying attention to your diet will help, but alone it is not enough. Too much sugar and poor dietary habits speeds up the process, but improving your diet will not stop the process completely. Also, glycation occurs through pathways that do not involve sugar, and these pathways must also be targeted. Every one of us has an accumulation of these AGEs. It is important to employ strategies that protect you from their damage and also breakdown them down so they can be removed.   

Glycation and Genetics
What we know from genetic research is that some of us are unfortunately at much greater Glycation risk. Due to our genes some individuals just have higher levels of AGEs, are less able to protect themselves from the damage they cause and are less able to remove them once formed.  

Skin Glycation
Glycated collagen  and AGEs are present in the skin of 20 year-olds and accumulate with each passing year! We can clearly see their effect on our skin, where AGEs crosslink with collagen, leading to wrinkles, loss of elasticity and sagging. Collagen has a half life of 18 years which makes it very vulnerable to glycation, but it also means that once you damage collagen, damage your skin, you live with that damage for a long time. 

Glycation and Disease
The damage glycation is doing internally is not as obvious, but just as problematic. AGEs are playing a major role in the complications of diabetes, in the development of many diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, cardiovascular disease and renal disease.  AGEs generate high levels of oxidative stress and inflammation that cause direct damage, but also increase glycation, leading to a viscous self-perpetuating cycle.