Higher than normal blood glucose contributes to premature aging of the skin, collagen, and elastin. Elastin. Simply put, high blood glucose makes you look older than you are. It also causes earlier wrinkling, sun damage, sagging, and loss of elasticity. What is it about higher than normal blood glucose that makes our skin age prematurely?
Those with type 2 diabetes are aware that a roll or rolls of abdominal fat and back fat, also known as belly fat, muffin top, and love handles, can be attributed to high blood sugar and insulin imbalance/resistance. Many people with diabetes spend their lives trying desperately to lose the fat around the middle even as they try to control their blood sugar. Most would agree that midline fat is unhealthy and unattractive fat placement.
The treatment for higher than normal blood glucose is the program in The Metabolism Miracle, Revised Edition or The Diabetes Miracle, by Diane Kress, RD CDE.
We now know that higher than normal blood glucose increases and speeds up the aging of skin
New Word: Glycation
Why would high blood glucose contribute to earlier and more intense aging? The culprit appears to be that high levels of blood glucose increase the rate of a natural body process known as GLYCATION. The process of glycation occurs in everyone’s body, but those with high blood glucose have a higher rate of glycation.
What is glycation?
Glycation occurs when blood glucose attaches to blood proteins and forms harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products. AGE is the acronym for advanced glycation end products. The higher the amount of AGEs in the blood, the faster the rate of aging of the skin and membranes.
A High Number of AGEs Ages the Skin
The higher the blood glucose, , the more AGEs develop. As they build in the blood, they damage other proteins in a domino-like chain reaction. Among the first proteins to be damaged are the skin’s elastin and collagen; the proteins that keep skin tight, firm, elastic, and youthful
Once damaged, collagen and elastin change from springy and tight to dry and brittle.. This change in elastin and collagen leads to wrinkles and sagging skin.
Have Diabetes that Is Not Controlled? You also have High AGEs.
For those with elevated blood glucose, this effect can happen within a few years of uncontrolled blood sugar. Those with diabetes can have more than 50 times the AGEs in their skin damaging the skin’s elastin and collagen and setting up the skin to age faster, wrinkle, and have increased damage from the sun.
High Blood glucose changes the Type of Collagen?
Higher than normal blood glucose also changes the TYPE OF COLLAGEN in your body. Collagen in the skin is typed: type I, II, or III. Type 3 is the strongest, most stable collagen. When blood glucose is high and increased AGEs form, type III collagen changes into type I collagen; a weaker type of collagen more prone to decrease skin’s youthfulness.
AGEs Cause Increased Sensitivity to the Sun’s Harmful Rays?
AGEs are capable of deactivating antioxidant enzymes, leaving the skin more susceptible to damage from the sun’s rays. Sun damage is the number one cause of skin aging and skin cancer. .
Can Anything be Done to Help Age Damaged Skin?
AGE- damaged skin can be helped. The best strategy to protect further damage is to get blood glucose under control. Diet, exercise, and blood glucose lowering medications (if needed) can help normalize the blood sugar and decrease the number of AGEs.
Apply Topical Products that Contain Collagen Rejuvenating Retinoids
There are topical products that can help once blood glucose is controlled. One way is to build new collagen is through the use of retinoids. Look for lotions and creams (or even prescription creams) that contain retinol.
Use Sunscreen Daily
Once new collagen is formed, keep it healthy, supple, and strong by keeping blood glucose normal and protecting the skin with sunscreen. Apply broad- spectrum SPF 30 or more sunscreen daily.
Take a Multivitamin
Take a multivitamin daily. The B vitamins; B1 and B6 are beneficial in inhibiting AGE formation
Increase intake of antioxidant containing foods
Consume foods that are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants help block the formation of free radicals that can age the skin and body. Nuts, most vegetables, fresh fruits, olive oil are just a few of the foods that are high in antioxidants.
Apply antioxidants to the skin itself
You can also apply antioxidants on the skin using lotions that contain green tea, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. By applying these creams directly to the skin, they can absorb into the dermal layer of the skin where collagen and elastin are formed.
Decrease intake of Carbohydrate containing foods
Know the foods that immediately convert to blood glucose as well as the foods that do not dramatically cause blood glucose to rise.
Carbohydrate foods such as milk, yogurt, fruit, fruit juice, potatoes, corn, crackers, snack crackers and chips, bars, peas, legumes, grains, pasta, rice, breads as well as sweets like candy, ice cream, cakes, cookies, sugar sweetened drinks all change into blood sugar and help promote the growth of AGEs.
Non carbohydrate foods such as most vegetables, nuts, natural nut butter, soy products, cheese, lean beef and meats, skinless poultry, fish and seafood, oil, olives do not cause a significant rise in blood glucose and don’t contribute to the formation of AGEs.
Green vegetables like spinach, asparagus, green peppers, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, artichoke hearts, salad greens, as well as tomatoes, artichoke hearts, red and yellow peppers are rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants and have little impact on blood sugar.
Blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, and blueberries are excellent sources of antioxidants. Keep your berry intake to ¾ cup as berries also contain carbohydrate grams.
Exercise burns blood glucose and therefore decreases the potential for AGE formation. A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per day over and above usual activity is a good beginning goal. Exercise done one to two hours after a meal helps burn blood sugar formed at that meal.
It is true that the complications from uncontrolled diabetes can be disabling and even fatal; retinopathy, heart disease, vascular disease, nephropathy, neuropathy are some complications related to high blood glucose make the news; and rightly so.
Most people do not realize that uncontrolled blood glucose also contributes to fast and furious aging. Thankfully, the way to help reduce major health complications and faster skin, collagen, elastin aging of the skin is through normalized blood glucose control with proper diet, exercise, and medication (if needed).
Read The Metabolism Miracle, New Edition or The Diabetes Miracle by Diane Kress for a state of the science, understandable, livable lifestyle that will bring your blood glucose under control in as little as 10 days!