Monday, March 14, 2011

Got wrinkles, sugar?

We spend a bazillion dollars each year trying to stave off the signs of aging. I don't know about you, but I think I'm addicted to buying anything that says it will get rid of wrinkles! I slather on stuff without really looking at the ingredients, praying it's not going to cause bigger problems down the road.

I have just learned that there is something I can do that may have a stronger chance of deterring those wrinkles than any cream I use. It's sugar, sugar.

I'm not talking about sugar scrubs, I'm talking about what you ingest. You need to cut it back or stop eating the stuff entirely it seems.

Yes, too much sugar can cause wrinkles according to studies. The more sugar you eat over time, the duller your skin and the more wrinkles you can develop.

Per Prevention via MSNBC: "At blame is a natural process that's known as glycation, in which the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products (or, appropriately, AGEs for short). The more sugar you eat, the more AGEs you develop. "As AGEs accumulate, they damage adjacent proteins in a domino-like fashion," explains Fredric Brandt, MD, a dermatologist in private practice in Miami and New York City and author of "10 Minutes 10 Years." Most vulnerable to damage: collagen and elastin, the protein fibers that keep skin firm and elastic."

High fructose sugar is reportedly worse than plain sugar when it comes to AGEs.

It's never to young to start worrying about the effects of sugar, either! Per a Yahoo article on the subject, "A 2007 study in the British Journal of Dermatology found that sugar's effects on the skin begin to show at about age 35 and become more pronounced as you get older. And it's not just the obvious culprits, like soda and candy, that cause damage; other foods with a high glycemic index, like white bread, pasta and potatoes also cause the formation of AGEs, because they are quickly converted to sugar in the bloodstream. To make matters worse, AGEs also make the skin more susceptible to sun damage, which in turn accelerates the glycation process."

Have diabetes? Does it run in your family? You may have it and be completely unaware for quite some time. According to an AOL article, "One group that knows all too well sugar's ravaging effects: people with diabetes, who-because they can suffer from years of undetected high blood sugar-often show early signs of skin aging. "Depending on how well their disease is controlled, diabetics can have up to 50 times the number of AGEs in their skin as those who don't have diabetes," says Karyn Grossman, MD, a dermatologist in New York City and Santa Monica, CA, and chief of the division of dermatology at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica."

Avoiding sugar entirely is virtually impossible given the number of foods that turn into sugar in your system. However, you can cut back on added sugars with a bit of will power. You may find it easy to eliminate sugary sodas from your diet, but what about candy bars? cakes? donuts? Of course, a side benefit of cutting out those sugary treats is not just reduced wrinkles! You could find yourself fitting into those clothes you stuck in the back of the closet in hopes someday they'd fit again.

If you have the strength of character to ditch the known sugary foods, you then have to move onto the hidden sugars in food. Did you know that sugar is now added to mayonnaise? Dukes is the only one we've found that didn't have sugar. All those processed microwave dishes? Look at the label and you might be surprised to find sugar listed, as well as high fructose corn syrup, dextrose and other not so obvious types of sugar.

According to recommended food guidelines we're not supposed to eat more than 8 to 10 teaspoons of sugar a day. Don't think you're eating that much? One can of soda has roughly ten teaspoons of added sugar. Eight Hershey's Kisses. 

Here's a new blog we've started that keeps up with hidden sugars, titled, surprisingly, "Hidden Sugars". We have included a list of names for sugar that manufacturers use on the tab "Hidden Sugar". If you decide to cut back or eliminate sugar you're probably going to be surprised at how often you'll see two or three different types of sugar in a product. When you add them all up, often sugar becomes the largest ingredient.

Don't think you'll be able to cut back on sugar enough to have an impact? Whether you do or not, we suggest using sunscreens to reduce the effects of harmful rays on the skin and make sure to take a healthy dose of Vitamin C to combat the effects of sugar and other nasties that contribute to aging your skin and body. B1 and B6 are also great at helping to combat the effects of life on your body.

Try drinking more water. Water flushes things through your system faster and helps to get rid of toxins.