Your skin is under constant attack from the elements: sun, pollution, cigarette smoke, harsh weather, indoor/outdoor temperature shifts, external stress, you name it. Think of your skin as a delicate garment that protects your body. Don't take proper care of it, and it soon becomes old and unattractive. A pity you can't trade it in for something newer!
But the environment is not the only watch-out for maintaining good skin health and beauty. Sugar is another skin killer and may well rank as skin enemy number one. It ages skin by triggering a terrible trio of woes:
- Glycation, which occurs when sugar binds to proteins in the skin, such as collagen and elastin, which then collapses to form wrinkles and dryness.
- Inflammation, which leads to redness and aging.
- Oxidative stress, which accelerates skin aging.
Skin aging aside, sugar has been linked to a whole litany of health concerns, from diabetes to cardio-vascular issues to obesity, and the list goes on and on. Yet, we still overindulge in sugar. The average American shovels down 32 teaspoons of sugar daily.
Researchers have come to think of sugar consumption as a form of addiction. As James Di Nicolantonio, a cardiovascular research scientist at St. Luke's Mid-America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo., put it, "When you look at animal studies comparing sugar to cocaine, even when you get rats hooked on IV cocaine, once you introduce sugar, almost all of them switch to sugar."
Little wonder why many people continue to feast on sugar, despite the consequences. They are trapped in a sugar addiction syndrome. The challenge sugar poses to skin health and beauty goes beyond “just say no” exhortations. Make no mistake, sugar abstinence is important. But, interestingly, our bodies continue to produce toxic sugar by products as part of the normal metabolic process, even when sugar intake is restricted.
A team of research scientists studying aging at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia (FCCC) discovered the presence in the body of an enzyme, fructosamine-e-kinase (FN3K) that cause the production of toxic sugar, whenever sugar is available in the body cells, especially in skin cells. Eating the wrong foods—think not only carbohydrates, but sugar-infused, cooked proteins, such as sausage, bacon and honey ham—causes toxic sugar-production through the FN3K enzyme to go into overdrive. The result: More toxic sugar produced; increased levels of glycation, inflammation, and oxidative stress in skin; and accelerated skin aging.
Is there a way out of the toxic sugar/skin health trap? Here are 3 ways to avoid it:
- Avoid sugar-infused, “glycated protein,” starches and carbohydrates.
- Apply skin-care products with natural ingredients, such as grapeseed extract and Indian gooseberry, which inhibit, respectively, 96% and 98% of FN3K enzyme activity, and each ingredient inactivates the diet-derived toxic sugar by 94% at 0.5 percent concentration.
- Apply Supplamine. Those FCCC research scientists, now working at Dynamis Skin Science, discovered Supplamine, a dual action compound that lowers the production of toxic sugar coming from both poor diet and the FN3K enzyme.
And, log on to toxicsugars.com for the latest updates on how to deal with toxic sugars in skin.
Annette Tobia, PhD is the founder of Dynamis Skin Science, which offers the MEG 21 with Supplamine product line. (www.meg21.com). Dr. Tobia earned her PhD in cell biology from New York University, her post doctoral degree from Rockefeller University, and her law degree at Rutgers School of Law.