AGEs and Aging

AGEs and agingThat AGEs are an enemy of youthfulness has been known for many years. Everyone ages, but AGEs accelerates the normal process of aging. They cause imperceptible tissue oxidation and inflammation that slowly damages our cells and tissues.

AGEs generate small molecules (reactive oxygen species or ROS) that cause oxidation and tissue damage (just like rust on metal).  At the same time, ROSpromote the formation of more AGEs and this sets up a vicious cycle, which, as AGEs build up, slows down organ function. The endpoint?   Faster aging.

Also, AGEs build chemical bridges between proteins – a reason why older joints and tendons become thicker and less elastic and skin more wrinkled – they also affect all types of connective tissue throughout the body.  The result?  You name it! Hardened arteries (causing high blood pressure or heart disease), cataracts of the eyes (blocking vision), and damaged kidneys.

Researchers have already proved that AGEs cause aging by using different AGE inhibitors. They showed that blocking the formation of AGEs or reducing their levels in experimental animals prevents or slows down aging. These include aminoguanidine, alagebrium, pyridoxamine,benfotiamine and others. Some of these drugs are in now clinical trials.

However, once AGEs accumulate, there is no easy way to reverse the process. Until new drugs become available, preventing AGE accumulation is the most sensible thing one can do to avoid aging fast. The AGE-less Way has now been extensively studied in experimental animals. The program prevented AGE accumulation and clearly delayed aging of the heart and of the kidneys.  Most telling: the AGE-less mice lived a longer and healthier life than mice fed the standard diet. In healthy persons, a brief period of The AGE-less Way decreased levels of AGEs and improved inflammation and indicators of vascular function.

So, we too have a choice:  to age faster or AGE-less.

Skin

If AGEs are elevated in the blood  —due to diabetes or a high AGE-rich diet — then you are also bound to have high AGEs in your skin. There is little doubt that AGEs are a major reason that skin loses its youthful appearance and feels dry or becomes wrinkled over the years.  Worse yet, AGEs make it harder for a wound to heal. It makes wounds easier to become infected, or to form unseemly scars in the healing process.   Diabetes makes all of this even harder. But studies showed the AGE-less Way diet to improve all phases of wound healing in diabetic animals to a remarkable effect. The AGE-less Way is not a panacea and it is not likely to work miracles. It works from the inside out: your skin will reflect just this.