It is really surprising to know that eating sugar causes wrinkles on skin. It has been proved in many studies that eating foods containing higher amounts of sugar leads to aging. Thus, people who are in habit of doing that must check their sugar consumption immediately for slowing the process of aging.
It also helps in improving the quality of skin. Sugary snacks and candies are very popular and are eaten by many people for satisfying their tongue. Tea and coffee are consumed many times a day due to different reasons. These not only add extra weight on the body but also make a person look old due to wrinkles.
Even eating of food substances containing refined carbohydrate also leads to increased sugar levels in the body, as refined carbohydrates are broken down to sugar through various processes. It is to be understood that wrinkles do not appear on eating all types of food substances containing sugar and carbohydrate.
Wrinkles appear when food substances containing high sugar are consumed. These include soda, ice creams, chocolates, and candies. Food substances having refined carbohydrates are white pasta, white bread and other such preparations.
Why Wrinkles Appear
Excessive consumption of sugar leads to wrinkles due to a natural process called as ‘glycation’. After food substances containing sugar are consumed, sugar enters the blood stream. This sugar gets attached to proteins, which is called as glycation. As a result, new molecules are produced. These molecules are harmful for the body and are called as AGE or Advanced Glycation Products.
If quantity of sugar consumed increases, quantity of AGE also increases inside the body. Due to accumulation of these harmful products, adjacent proteins inside the body are also damaged. Adjacent proteins that are most vulnerable to damage are Elastin and Collagen. It should be understood that these two proteins make the skin elastic and keep it young and firm. Also, collagen is the most prevalent protein inside the human body.
Ultimately, these two proteins, which are resilient and springy in nature, become dry and brittle due to the damage done by advanced glycation products. As a result, wrinkles appear on skin. It also starts sagging over a period of time. Wrinkled and sagged skin increases age on face and thus, destroys the looks. It has been found that wrinkles on the skin due to sugar consumption usually occur after 35 years.
If sugar consumption is not regulated, numbers of wrinkles on skin increase rapidly. For remaining young, it becomes necessary that exercises are followed by reduced sugar consumption. Another reason for appearance of wrinkles on skin due to sugar consumption is that insulin levels in the blood are adversely affected due to eating of food substances with high content of sugar and fine carbohydrates. As a result, levels of androgen increases in blood. Increased levels of this hormone lead to sagging of skin and make it less supple. Thus, wrinkles appear and destroy the looks.
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Besides destroying collagen and elastic, high sugar quantities also affect the type of collagen contained in the body. Type of collage present in the body also affects the elasticity to a great extent. The most abundant collages present in the skin are Type I, II and III. The most stable and long-lasting collagen is Type III. This is also the type of collagen that provides maximum elasticity and firmness to skin. On the other hand, Type I collage is fragile.
During the process of glycation, Type III collagen is transformed into Type I collagen. When this happens, skin becomes less supple. Apart from this, advanced glycation products also deactivate the antioxidant enzymes present inside the body. In the absence of these enzymes, skin becomes more vulnerable to sun damage. Harmful rays of sun speeds up the process of aging and as a result, wrinkles appear on skin.
Diabetes is a disease in which sugar levels increase. Since diabetes remains undetected for many years, considerable damage to collagen occurs. Thus, in such people, aging starts early and by the time this disease is detected, wrinkles have already appeared on skin. Numbers of advanced glycation products in people suffering from diabetes can be up to 50 times more than the numbers of these products in normal people.
How To Treat And Prevent Wrinkles
There are some steps that can be taken for preventing and treating wrinkles. These steps are easy to follow and make a person look young. Sugar-damaged skin can be treated by using products that contain retinoid. There are many types of lotions, serums and prescription creams available in market that contains retinol. These products help in formation of new collagen inside the body.
However, for keeping this newly formed collagen supple, it is very necessary that no new advanced glycation products are formed. Thus, consumption of sugar should be reduced considerably. Eliminating sugar consumption completely is not possible, as most of whole grains, vegetables and fruits contain sugar. By limiting the sugar intake, formation of AGE is greatly checked.
Added sugar should not be more than 10% of the total calories consumed. There are many types of food substances that contain ‘hidden’ sugar and thus, must be avoided. For example, corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, molasses, maple syrup and maltose are some food substances that contain ‘hidden’ sugar. Diet should be supplemented with vitamin B1 and B6. These two vitamins are considered as AGE inhibitors and thus, prevent wrinkles from appearing.
Though these vitamins are contained in many food substances, it is better if multivitamin supplements containing these are consumed. Minimum 1 milligram of each of these vitamins should be consumed in a day.
For preventing wrinkles, a broad spectrum sunscreen should be worn while going out. This is because more numbers of advanced glycation products are formed on exposure to sun. Sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher are considered as good for protecting the skin from harmful rays of sun.
Since antioxidants help in preventing sugar from getting attached to proteins, good quantities of these should be consumed every day. There are many types of fruits, vegetables, and nuts that contain rich quantities of antioxidants. For example, red bell peppers, walnuts, cranberries are some of such food substances. By applying topical preparations containing vitamin C, vitamin E and green tea, wrinkles can be prevented.