Growing up, I was never a fan of science. I mean I know it’s all good and important, we need to know it, but I never really understood the fascination with difficult names, and why couldn’t they make it a little simpler, easier to digest. This is why as a grown-up, I am happy to be doing what I do. Breaking these mind-boggling life concepts into bite-size versions, and replacing the hard difficult to remember names into everyday sentences. But trust me sometimes it even tests my patience, but I persevere for the greater good. Anyways so today what we are breaking down is the concept of glycation.
An official definition: Glycation is a non-enzymatic reaction of reducing sugars or oxaldehydes with proteins, DNA, or lipids, resulting in the formation of glycation adducts (fructosamines) and advanced glycation end-products (AGE), which bind to their receptor, RAGE. I feel you, when I first came across this, I was like English, please. But don’t worry after tearing off a few hairs, here’s what you need to understand. Glycation is the process in which the sugar (glucose, fructose) in our bloodstream attaches itself with various proteins and lipids in our body. Then this union births Advanced Glycation End-products (AGE’s) which are harmful to our body when in abundance (few will be there and dealt with no harm no foul). And that is the sweet and crude crux of it. Of course, this process occurs outside our bodies as well and is known as exogenous glycation, but the one we are concerned with happens within our body (endogenous glycation), and through diet, the AGE’s formed in exogenous glycation can enter your body.
Now, what’s the big fuss here?
·The most talked about the effect of glycation is on the skin. It is said that AGE’s fastens the process of aging, meaning more wrinkles, less suppleness reduced youthfulness. AGE weakens the collagen and elastin of skin and hence the result.
·It is also believed that too many AGE’s can interfere with motor movements as they accumulate in bones, joints, and raise the chances of osteoporosis and sarcopenia.
·AGE’s are linked with a rise of oxidative stress and inflammation in the body opening you to many health risks.
·You caught the keyword – sugar. Glycation acts as a biomarker (indicator) of diabetes and its deteriorating condition. Additionally, diabetics are more at risk of glycation and this further leads up to plaque build up in arteries, narrowing of blood vessels leaving your heart at increased risk.
You need to keep this AGE’s number limited so that the body can deal with them effectively. Here’s what you can do to reduce the number of them:
1. Exercise: inactive lifestyle increases the chances of glycation and the number of AGE, so move around.
2. Reduce Sugar: well the main factor here is sugar, so reduce the amount of sugar. You can’t make chicken tandoori without chicken, and you can’t have glycation without sugar.
3. Remember exogenous AGE’s through food, curb those. High-temperature food like barbequed, deep-fried, have higher glycation in them. So keep that in mind.
4. Compounds like curcumin, resveratrol (red grapes/red wine), anti-oxidants have shown to reduce glycation. So include those in your diets.
You know what I have realized, that most of the time, staying healthy from most issues is a simple routine of eating healthy and staying active. You can certainly amend and upend a few things whenever it is called for but mostly simple does it.
Now I am off on my staycation away from glycation and its ramifications.