A Recipe For Rapid Aging: The "Hidden" Compounds Stealing Your Youth, Minute by Minute
You may be eating all the right things.
You've cut out unhealthy, processed foods from your diet, and may have already reduced added sugar intake dramatically.
You may be focusing on eating meals that are high in protein, healthy fats, and good carbohydrates.
And along with that, you may be exercising regularly and living an active, healthy lifestyle free of smoking, heavy drinking and other vices.
And yet...you still may be exposing your body to millions of molecular compounds that are disrupting your body's normal processes and deeply damaging your DNA.
These disruptive particles are called Advanced Glycation End (AGE) products.
I know. You're like "WTF, I thought all I had to do was eat healthy, work out, and reduce toxins??"
Well you do have to do these things.
But reducing toxins is a bit more difficult than it looks. (This is yet another reason why I highly recommend anti-inflammatory herbal formulas like InvigorateNOW be taken every day.)
AGE products are created during a process called "glycation". The process is set off when a sugar molecule bonds to a protein, and the protein doesn't have the enzyme it needs to control the damage that the sugar does.
The defenseless protein is altered/damaged by the interaction with sugar, and limps out as an Advanced Glycation End product.
You don't want this.
Your bodily protein has to remain as undamaged as possible for two main reasons:
1. You're Made Out of Protein.
a. Your muscles, organs and much of your body's fleshy "structure" is made out of protein. Your skin is too! In fact, collagen, which is what your skin is largely made out of and what keeps it elastic and strong when you're younger, makes up about 33% of the protein in your body.
2. Your Body Relies on Protein for Chemical Processes.
a. Proteins serve as critical enzymes that enable your body to perform nearly all of its life-sustaining biochemical processes.
Once these harmful AGE products make it into your body, they affect other proteins in your body and bloodstream.
They're like zombie proteins that have been turned against their former friends and loved ones.
They degrade other proteins and attack enzymes and other chained amino acids in your bloodstream, which makes it harder for your body to do what it needs to do.
And scientific studies are beginning to emerge that show AGE products are responsible for a lot of undesirable health effects, like cell oxidization and damage to our DNA.
In fact, studies have implicated AGE products in diseases like:
- Alzheimer's Disease
- Heart Disease
- Type II Diabetes
- Kidney Disorders
- High Blood Pressure
And many more! If you look at that list again, what jumps out at you? They're all diseases that disproportionately befall older people. That's right - they are typically associated with aging.
AGE products have been scientifically shown to literally make you age.
Even worse, many of us have been eating foods high in AGE content since we were born (and even while we were a fetus if you're counting the nutrient transfer from mother to child), potentially harming us to an even greater extent.
If you ingest a lot of AGE products, they're damaging the very structure of your body, and damaging the important processes that occur within your body that would otherwise keep you healthy, happy and functioning well.
And yes, there's even more you need to know about them.
Here's another way AGEs are harming you without you knowing about it - and it's something you might be familiar with.
You may have heard the importance of taking antioxidants that naturally occur in foods like berries, fish oil, and various plants and herbs. Antioxidants directly combat a type of cell damage known as "oxidative stress."
Now, AGEs have been linked in studies to increase this "oxidative stress", meaning they unnaturally force damage on your cells.
AGEs can essentially cause our cells to initiate their "death program" too early, or just out and destroy our cells - which can lead directly to disease.
This is what the experts call "no bueno".
Ok well maybe only I call it "no bueno", but anyway, we're getting off point.
So what exactly are these AGEs and where are they coming from! What gives??
Relax young Jedi. I'll tell you.
There are two ways that AGE products get into the body - you eat them, and they happen naturally inside of you. To get more specific:
1. You're eating AGEs 24/7. Every time you cook up a steak, or throw some chicken on the grill, or bake a pork roast, you're creating AGE products. It's the act of "browning" protein (those of you who are cooks might have heard this called "caramelizing," but that's something different).
a. Essentially, any time any protein is browned, it causes a Maillard reaction, which results in AGE products.
b. I know you're saying "Ok well I just won't eat meat then". Not so fast, unfortunately.
i. Vegans and vegetarians aren't safe from the scourge, because meat isn't the only thing with protein in it.
ii. Vegetables, grains, starches and legumes all contain proteins as well - and if you're cooking them by grilling, frying, baking, sauteing - basically, by browning them and not cooking them via water-based methods (think steamed, poached, stewed, boiled) - you're creating AGE products.
iii. This goes for almost every food you can think of eating.
2. Your Body Makes Its Own AGEs too. As we age, our body gets less and less efficient at using the carbohydrates we eat for fuel. Some of the carbohydrates, after being broken down into simple sugars, then bond to proteins in our body and form AGE products.
That's right - they brown us from the inside out!
a. So even if you're eating good carbs, and even if you stopped ingesting any AGEs at all, they would still occur in your bloodstream naturally (although on a much smaller scale, depending on carb intake and other variables.)
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