glycation causes physical aging

Want to slow the hands of time, reduce visible aging and the risk for chronic disease? Then get serious about your blood sugar.

The period of time when sugar pumps through the blood stream is time that your body is being severely damaged.

And the MORE sugar you eat, and the MORE often you eat it, the MORE damage is done.

So what makes sugar in the blood so harmful?

One reason is that it binds to red blood cells (as well as other proteins and fats) through a process called glycation.

How Glycation Harms Your Health

glycation from grains

While you might just think of sugary desserts as the causative factor, grains (yes, even whole grains!) and fruits are also major contributors to glycation.

Glycated compounds are “sticky”. Because of their adherent nature, they float along until they bind to a vascular wall or tissue—gumming up your pipes and hampering the integrity of tissues and organs too.

As the glycated globs grab on, your body’s defenses rush to the rescue to clean them up. This is no different than what happens when we get a cut—swelling, pain and redness are the signs that our body is doing its job to heal the wound.

But a wound is small, and the body’s job is done quickly. The cut heals. The redness and swelling subsides.

Inside your body, it’s a different story.

Fueled by a constant supply of sugar, glycated compounds float and stick… the body patches and repairs…and the cascade of chronic inflammation is set into motion, laying the foundation for physical aging and disease.

Along with enjoying a low-glycemic lifestyle, the way you cook your food also plays a role in glycation (learn how to prevent glycation in your cooking here).

How Much Glycation Is In YOUR Body?

Knowing how much glycation you have is an important step to establish a baseline.  It’s easy to find out, but your doctor probably hasn’t performed this test unless you’re diabetic. It’s called the A1C (or glycoslyated hemoglobin) test and it measures the glycation levels in your body.

For optimal longevity, you want to strive for an A1C of less than 5%, which would represent an average glucose level of 90 mg/dL.

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Ott C1, Jacobs K2, Haucke E3, Navarrete Santos A3, Grune T1, Simm A2.Role of advanced glycation end products in cellular signaling.Redox Biol. 2014 Jan 9;2:411-429. eCollection 2014. Uribarri J1, Woodruff S, Goodman S, Cai W, Chen X, Pyzik R, Yong A, Striker GE, Vlassara H.Advanced glycation end products in foods and a practical guide to their reduction in the diet.J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Jun;110(6):911-16.e12. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2010.03.018. Uribarri J1, Cai W, Sandu O, Peppa M, Goldberg T, Vlassara H.Diet-derived advanced glycation end products are major contributors to the body's AGE pool and induce inflammation in healthy subjects.Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Jun;1043:461-6.

About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.

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