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Good Health That You Can See

Why managing blood sugar is so vital to skin health & youth

By Alexa Abdelaziz, PhD Nutritional & Metabolic Biology

Unfortunately, high blood sugar is a crisis in this country affecting a significant majority of the population and many of us remain completely unaware. Added sugars are in many foods and are difficult to avoid. Sustained high blood sugar levels lead to many serious negative health consequences including the impact on skin health and skin aging. Clinical research has shown that elevated glucose levels can accelerate the aging of the skin and create conditions that lead to blemishes.¹ Increased glucose levels acting as an “aging accelerator” have been supported by several research findings in both animal and human studies.² 

Skin consists of proteins such as collagen and elastin. Healthy, supple skin requires these proteins to function properly, and the body makes an effort to maintain and repair them. However, they can be damaged in various ways, including oxidative stress and “glycation”.

Skin aging and wrinkling are caused by a number of dysfunctions in cellular processes. These include fewer structural proteins like collagen and elastin and diminished function, reduced blood flow, thinner layers of skin and less cellular turnover and replication. Excess sugar in the body appears to speed up these processes. This is due in part to glycation, the process by which glucose molecules bond with proteins, fats, or DNA in the cell. These cells have altered the ability to perform normal functions.

While glycation affects tissue all over the body, the skin is particularly susceptible because of how sugar affects collagen. The most plentiful protein in the human body, collagen, plays an important role in your skin’s structure and resilience.

Altering normal collagen function, glycation results in skin stiffness. It also alters the molecular charge of collagen, which prevents it from interacting normally with cells and other proteins around it. Glycation can also negatively affect other proteins in the skin preventing the skin from moving properly. Lastly, glycated collagen is resistant to being broken down, impairing the normal turnover process (think slowed skin renewal). The consequences can last for years.

Even milder elevations of blood sugar can cause changes. For example, researchers in the Netherlands studied³ over 500 non-diabetic patients, measured their glucose and insulin levels, and used facial photographs to estimate their age. They considered other factors that could impact appearance, such as weight, degree of sun damage, and smoking. Even after accounting for these factors, the researchers found that perceived age based on facial photographs was increased with higher blood sugar levels. 

How do we combat this? There are a number of ways to reduce glycation in the body, including diet and lifestyle changes. Studies have shown that controlling blood sugar over a period of just four months can reduce glycated collagen by 25%⁴. In other words, just a short period of controlling sugar intake has a significant effect on the collagen in your body, which is essential for the health of your skin.

Good skin health starts from the inside and that means nourishing your body in the right way. Ensuring adequate hydration, avoiding processed foods that negatively impact our hormones, and reducing consumption of foods with added sugar are all ways to help. But, with so much sugar hidden in almost all foods, where do we start? The key is to stick with whole foods that are not highly manufactured or processed. Look on the label for added sugars and if the food contains it, try to avoid it. These sugars are creating an addiction that most of us are unaware of.

Another solution that can help with controlling blood sugar levels is Control Glucose by Mend. An all natural, organic product that is clinically proven to reduce blood sugar levels, even after the very first dose.

 Control Glucose contains a unique blend of standardized plant extracts from Salacia and chromium that work in tandem to provide effective control of blood sugar levels. The ingredients have been clinically studied to not only immediately reduce blood glucose and insulin levels, but also over time will naturally improve your body’s insulin signals and activity.⁵ It is concentrated and specially formulated for high bioavailability, so only one tablet is needed per day to provide these benefits. Unlike many other supplements in this category, Control Glucose has no bitter or unpleasant aftertaste. It is currently the only efficacious glucose control supplement on the market that is sourced entirely from organic Salacia and mineral materials.  

The data is striking around how excess sugar intake can lead to a cycle of overeating, which may interfere with blood sugar management and negatively impact metabolic health. These outcomes have a serious impact on skin health and skin aging. Managing your glucose levels is essential to having healthy skin.

References

[1] Smith RN, Mann NJ, Braue A, Mäkeläinen H, Varigos GA. A low-glycemic-load diet improves symptoms in acne vulgaris patients: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jul;86(1):107-15. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/86.1.107. PMID: 17616769.

[2] Noordam R, Gunn DA, Tomlin CC, Maier AB, Mooijaart SP, Slagboom PE, Westendorp RG, de Craen AJ, van Heemst D; Leiden Longevity Study Group. High serum glucose levels are associated with a higher perceived age. Age (Dordr). 2013 Feb;35(1):189-95. doi: 10.1007/s11357-011-9339-9. Epub 2011 Nov 20. PMID: 22102339; PMCID: PMC3543736.

[3] Raymon Noordam et. al., High serum glucose levels are associated with a higher perceived age

[4] Nguyen HP, Katta R. Sugar Sag: Glycation and the Role of Diet in Aging Skin. Skin Therapy Lett. 2015 Nov;20(6):1-5. PMID: 27224842

[5] Morikawa T, Ninomiya K, Tanabe G, Matsuda H, Yoshikawa M, Muraoka O. A review of antidiabetic active thiosugar sulfoniums, salacinol and neokotalanol, from plants of thegenus Salacia. J Nat Med. 2021 Apr 26. PMID: 33900535)