Dr. Bowden describes glycation and explains how this is related to aging.
The best way to explain glycation and its relation to ageing is if you think of putting sugar in your gas tank of your car – doesn’t belong, gums up the works, sticks up everything, does not make things flow well.
What glycation is when blood sugar is very high and it has no way to go and the system isn’t working well to get it out of the blood stream into the cells and so it is elevated in the bloodstream, it starts to stick to things it does not belong to.
Red blood cells have lots of proteins and those proteins look like little, if you’ve ever seen a fish tank, they look like minnows.
They are slimy and they are very hard to grab and they flow easily and effortlessly. Now when sugar goes on to those proteins what do you think happens? They get sticky.
And it gets harder for them to move in and out, particularly into small vessels. This is one reason why diabetics have problems with their eyes, with their kidneys and with big toes, because these are tiny little capillaries.
And when blood sugar is constantly elevated and it sticks that’s called glycation, it sticks on to these proteins, you’ve got the sticky blood that doesn’t flow very easily through small openings.
So glycation actually ages us enormously and when you have these glycated proteins they actually combine together to make little clusters which are known as interesting enough, AGEs – it’s called Advanced Glycation End Products but it actually has a wonderful little acronym – AGEs because they do age you.
My grandma used to call them liver spots. These were glycated proteins that actually you see on the skin.
So we want to reduce that and probably one of the most effective ways to reduce glycation and to reduce that stickiness so the bloodstream is flowing and everything is getting there is to not get a blood sugar so high in the first place so that it doesn’t have that excess sugar to glom up the works.
How do we do that? With a lower carb diet.
Dr. Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.:
Dr. Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S, is a nutrition expert specializing in anti-aging and weight loss. Dr. Bowden has a Master’s Degree in psychology and counseling and a Ph.D. in nutrition. He has earned six national certifications in personal training and exercise. He is board certified by the American College of Nutrition and is adjunct faculty at Clayton College for Natural Health based in Birmingham, Alabama.