It is heartwarming and encouraging to observe that many of us have become more involved in health and wellness issues. It is a growing trend globally that is hopefully not a passing fad.

The wellness industry is often touted as the next trillion dollars industry. What we are seeing unfolding in the 21st century certainly gives a lot of credence to this prediction by Paul Zane Pilzer. The implication for you and I is that there are lots of voices out there clamoring for our attention with claims of being authorities on a myriad of health and wellness issues . How do we sieve through the very confusing, mind boggling and mostly overwhelming information overload constantly confronting us on health and wellness?

Well the most important thing is to know what you want to achieve with this wellness revolution. The purpose for information should be applied knowledge to help each one of us arrive at what works best for us. Knowing and understanding the science behind any health or wellness information is vital in deciding whether to apply or discard what you read, hear or see. There is no one size fits all in wellness solutions.

Ultimately you must get to know your body more than any one else for the simple reason that no one else can experience for you what your body is going through. Like the saying goes “you are your own best doctor”

So what has all this preamble got to do with the topic AGEs? Advanced Glycation End-products or AGEs are compounds in human nutrition and biology.

They are harmful compounds that affect every cell and molecule in the body thereby causing degenerative diseases that accelerate the aging process; causing you to age faster than normal.

AGEs speed up oxidative damage to cells consequently altering their normal behavior. In view of the far reaching harmful effects of these substances, it is imperative to have at least a basic knowledge about AGEs and ways to reduce them in the body.

Where and how are these harmful compounds formed ? Ages are formed in the human body and the environment we live in. Essentially they are derived from the process called Glycation. This reaction occurs when excess sugar (carbohydrate) binds with protein minus an enzyme. Cells become stiff and less pliable.

Let me digress a bit with a personal experience that confirms this toxic reaction. Once upon a time I was addicted to refined sugar and consumed lots of it. Since I was not overweight, I felt my excessive sweet tooth was not a problem until I started experiencing pains and stiffness in my joints as well as in other part of my body

When I eventually decided to drastically reduce refined sugar from my diet, the resultant effect was dramatic, to say the least. All the aches and pains virtually disappeared. Indeed it was like magic and till this day most pains I have crop up only after I have binged on sugary foods. Need I say more?

Refined sugar is a killer and a leading cause of premature or accelerated aging. Some other foods also promote Glycation in the body when consumed.

AGEs can be formed outside the body through dry cooking methods like frying, baking and roasting.
Dietary AGEs also occur naturally in some foods like meat, butter and some vegetables which may be further compounded by the cooking methods listed above.

Smoking and other environmental pollutants also form AGEs outside the body. Subsequently, these toxic compounds find their way into the body through inhalation or through the skin. This is why environmental pollution is such a big deal. It not only affects climate change but also damages the body directly, both of which are a real threat to the earth and human existence.

It goes without saying therefore that the more the body is exposed to all these harmful factors the more the risks of accelerated aging from oxidative stress via AGEs. Although research on AGEs is still ongoing, these compounds are linked to diabetic and chronic age related diseases, including cancer.

The most effective and natural ways to combat the many health challenges, especially the degenerative illnesses is to safely reduce the AGEs levels in the body. In order to reduce AGEs levels, there must be a way to measure and monitor AGEs levels.

In the next blog on AGEs, we will explore simple natural solutions that are within our control to reduce, monitor and manage AGEs.

Until then do have have a wonderful, energetic week full of good health and strength!

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