Ever got to the end of a day or a week and felt like this? Or woken up to find your skin looking like this?! Just quietly, me too. When my son was about 3 he was sitting in the back of my car with my mum (she would have been in her early 70s) and he asked how people get wrinkles. We told him it was from having a fun life with lots of laughter, to which he replied out loud while still staring intently at my mother’s face, ‘Wow Grandma! You must have had the best life ever!’ I digress.
I personally am not a crusader of anti-ageing (seen my pics recently?!!) but my recent research into effectively reducing Advanced Glycation End-products (AGE) via the diet, to in turn potentially lower both my risk of tuckshop arms AND just about every other disease you can name (cardiometabolic, neurodegenerative, psychiatric, malignant, you name it), got me sitting up and paying attention!
All of us know one AGE: HbA1c and we understand the relationship between high sugar intake or poor blood glucose control and higher levels of of this but this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are in fact 4 ‘Ps’ of dietary AGE contributors (preformed; potentiators; processed; preparation-induced) that we need to be mindful of when talking to patients about optimal healthy eating and prevention of disease. Some of these inarguably throw into question the high fat, high animal diets currently in favour.
There is building exciting evidence that we also need to focus on lowering dietary AGE as a specific targeted intervention for certain conditions including diabetes, CVD, chronic inflammation, renal impairment and yes premature ageing. Glycation is closely linked with inflammation and oxidative stress, old favourites for understanding the perpetuation of many diseases, but there are some important points of difference that we need to understand with regard to this ‘new piece’ of the disease process.
So stop eating those yummy caramelised bits on your roast sweet potato or the ooh-la-la bits on your crispy skin fish for a few minutes and read a couple of great AGE papers here and here or you can listen in to the latest UU30 recording, ‘Are you feeling your AGE’ to get the lowdown via yours truly in under 30mins
Glycation is a normal physiological process that, just like inflammation and oxidative stress, can get out of hand, contributing to disease processes. Currently there is an explosion of correlational research suggesting relationships between higher levels of Advanced Glycation End-products (AGE) in individuals who have fertility problems, psychiatric conditions, osteoporosis, premature skin ageing, cancer…you name it! New research implicates diet heavily in the determination of individual’s levels of AGE but there is devil in the detail.The latest Update in Under 30 recording, ‘Are you feeling your AGE’ will sum up all the latest you need to know about glycation & diet.