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When sugar and high GI foods become your no. 1 enemy

Glycation When it comes to discussing cardiovascular disease, we’re more often than not warned about cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle or excess weight ... Nutritionists and cardiologists simply recommend “avoiding all fats” – unless they have taken the time to update themselves with the latest scientific advances in this field - or at best they advise us to restrict our intake of fried food but continue to consume fatty acids – even saturated fatty acids if they are short or medium-chain.
However, the majority of health professionals forget to focus on carbohydrates, particularly those with a high glycaemic index (GI), and on the added or hidden sugar found in almost all processed foods! Yet the processes of glycation taking place in our arteries are far more damaging to our health than a slightly-higher-than-normal cholesterol level.

Too often, fats are labelled ‘the bad guys’ while carbohydrates, with their low calorie content, get off scot-free. But sudden rises in blood glucose levels following consumption of sugary or high GI foods, or excessive intake of carbohydrates at every meal, lead to glycation - the ‘caramelisation’ of proteins at a vascular level. The problem is, this process is not limited to blood vessels.

Glycation, also known as non-enzymatic glycosylation, is picked up in diabetics when their glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) is measured, usually every three months or so, but unfortunately, it remains undetected in the rest of the population. When too many proteins become denatured and non-functioning because of reactions with glucose or fructose molecules, symptoms can quickly appear– wrinkled skin, loss of elasticity and impaired healing capacity – due to the development of cross-links in collagen fibres. More worrying than the appearance of a few wrinkles though is the fact the glycation processes also affect:
    - the eye’s lens, increasing the risk of senile cataracts,
    - the brain and more specifically, its capillaries,
    - the muscles, which may partly explain the process of muscle loss …
In short, glycation is a silent killer which attacks the body’s vital organs and accelerates all the processes involved in ageing and many diseases.

What is glycation and how can it be remedied using natural substances?

Advanced Glycation End Products or AGEs are compounds that form when a reducing sugar (glucose or fructose) or an aldehyde binds to a protein (amino group) in what is known as ‘cross-linking’. This process, well-known to chefs as the Maillard reaction, is responsible for meat browning as it cooks. The diet is a direct source of AGEs, the ‘worst offenders’ being foods of animal origin cooked at high temperatures (in the oven, on the hob, under the grill, on the barbecue and even in the microwave), as well as roasted nuts and seeds.
As we have seen, they are also produced naturally via a reaction between circulating sugars and the body’s own proteins. AGEs are disseminated around the body and penetrate cells. As proteins become non-functioning, they can be neither destroyed nor released by cells where they continue to accumulate. In diabetes, for example, AGEs are involved to a large extent in the serious complications of this disease (neuropathic for example).

L-carnosine… the no. 1 anti-glycation compound

L-carnosine is a natural dipeptide, also known as beta-alanine-L-histidine. It is found in skeletal muscle cells and nerve cells. But like most other substances, it tends to decline with age – decreases of more than 60% in muscle tissue have been observed between the ages of 10 and 70.
As well as being the most efficient antioxidant against the hydroxyl radical, l-carnosine is scientifically proven to be the most powerful substance for combatting protein glycation.
It intervenes at the early stages of glycation, forming innocuous products that can be easily eliminated from the body.

Along with reducing your intake of sugary foods and high GI starches such as potatoes, and controlling the amount of other carbohydrates you eat at the same meal, a 500mg dose of l-carnosine, taken three times a day with your main meals, is strongly recommended in order to combat the glycation process. The objective with this 1.5g dose is to saturate the enzyme carnosinase which degrades carnosine, so that adequate levels of free l-carnosine are available throughout the body.
Its efficacy can be enhanced by taking L-histidine which also combats L-carnosinase’s action.

Other effective anti-glycation substances include:

Benfotiamine, a lipid-soluble derivative of thiamine (vitamin B1), because in this form, it has optimal bioavailability (it is 5-25 times better absorbed), it crosses cell membranes easily and it remains in the body for much longer. Studies on this substance show it to be highly effective at inhibiting AGEs, producing three-fold increases in concentrations of transketolase, an enzyme which degrades AGEs and converts them into harmless compounds. Like l-carnosine, it is important to spread doses of benfotiamine across the whole day, taking it at mealtimes.

It is worth noting that acetaldehyde, a by-product created when the liver breaks down alcohol, is thirty times more toxic than alcohol itself and that it promotes glycation processes. So in specific cases where reducing alcohol intake proves difficult, supplementing with benfotiamine is a good idea as it slows down and prevents acetaldehyde-induced glycation.

Aminoguanidine, in its hydrochloride form, has clinically-validated efficacy against glycation in the skin, kidneys and nervous system. However, as it has a half-life of just four hours, supplementation should be spread over the course of the day for optimal efficacy.

Ornithine Alpha Ketoglutarate (OKG) , an intermediate in the Krebs cycle, is not only a precursor of growth hormone but also an effective anti-glycation agent. It can be taken alongside l-carnosine at a dose of up 10g/day.

Apple polyphenols, and in particular, phloridzin – a flavonoid from the chalcone group which is present in apple peel, reduces insulin resistance and is highly effective at countering glycation processes. It is a useful adjunct to the above-mentioned substances.

Pyridoxamine hydrochloride, one of the three natural forms of vitamin B6, is also beneficial for inhibiting AGE formation as it impedes oxidative degradation of Amadori products.

Also worth mentioning is Yerba mate leaf extract which, due to its high caffeic acid content, inhibits up to 95% of AGEs, and last but not least astragaloside IV which although not its principal function, is also able to inhibit AGE formation.

So even if your blood sample shows no signs of diabetes, it is likely that your blood sugar levels are chronically raised and that glycation processes have been taking place - perhaps for years - at various sites in your body: your arteries, skin, muscles, nerves, kidneys … But the good news is there’s still time to stop this process in its tracks!
Order the nutrients mentioned in this article
Anti-Glycation Formula

A cutting-edge formulation that inhibits the effects of glycation on ageing


Remarkable inhibitor of Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGE)

Aminoguanidine HCL 75 mg

In the hydrochloride (HCL) form used in clinical anti-glycation studies

Ornithine Alpha Ketoglutarate (OKG)

Improved form of ornithine with higher bioavailability

Apple Polyphenols

Apple polyphenols may increase longevity!


Natural form of vitamin B6, powerful glycation inhibitor

Astragaloside IV 98%

Exceptional advance in anti-aging !

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