One of the most insidious and destructive metabolic contributors to the aging process in our bodies is glycation, or as it is known in the medical community – A.G.E ing. This factor gets very little attention today but its effects are as accumulative and devastating as the oxidative process – which seems to dominate health related talk shows and infomercials. Here are some easy ways you can limit it.
Your body’s organs and cells can be likened to a computers hard drive. As your computer ages it accumulates bits and pieces of old information, left over junk from the programs you’ve run on it. They can slow it down and even render some applications unoperable. The necessary solution might be a tricky, expensive cleanup or even an eventual trip to the mall for a whole new unit. (Too bad these options aren’t available to the human body!)
AGEs stands for Advanced Glycated End products, which is the crosslinking of glucose and protein, or protein/protein as in the case of Glucosapane. These useless products accumulate and “gunk up” our systems, leading to the slow down of metabolic processes, “stiffness”, dramatically increased production of harmful oxidants, increased inflammation, even cell death and increased cancer risk. Sounds pretty bad, right? It gets worse.
Glycation is irreversible. Its net effect is accelerated aging and increased risk of a host of diseases. Yet there are a few easy ways you can inhibit it, and a few supplements that can pretty much shut the process down:
1) Take a serious look at your diet. (again, sigh) High glucose, the result of consuming all those processed “white” carbohydrates and other high sugar substances are the starting point. Glycation occurs when the blood sugar exceeds 85 mg/dl. Well inside the so-called healthy range. Opt for whole grain bread, pasta instead, and limit candy, etc.
2) Cook your food at a lower temperature. Glycation is chemically identical to the process of “browning” or “caramelization” - which ironically is the sought after desired result of many chefs! Glucose literally cooks your insides, but consuming well done food causes the same problem. So bake at 300 degrees or less, and fry at the lowest effective temperature. Slow cooked meats are often more tender and flavorful anyway.
3) Have a cup of coffee after every meal! Yes, it definitely inhibits glycation. Postprandial (after meal) blood glucose levels can skyrocket to 180 or more and stay there for hours. Coffee has a profound effect on this. See here for more good news.
4) Take B vitamins, and other inexpensive supplements such as Benfotiamine (a form of B1), Lipoic acid, Grape seed extract, Resveratrol, and Pterostilbene. These all greatly inhibit the glycation process and its destructive consequences.
To sum up, glycation is one of the fundamental causes of the negative cascade of debilitating effects of aging. Addressing it can ensure that years from now you are experiencing vibrant health, energy and mental sharpness rather than a clear advancement of the negative consequences shown above. Of course, these are basic healthy lifestyle changes so you will also benefit in many other ways too! Good luck!