Glycation, also known as the Maillard reaction, is the binding of sugars to proteins (1). It both occurs spontaneously in the body as well as when we cook certain foods.
This chemical reaction leads to the development of glycated proteins, which accumulate inside cells and cannot be eliminated.
In a matter of days, glycated proteins are converted into compounds called Amadori products (2). After a few weeks, these end up forming Maillard products, or AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products). Once underway, this last conversion is irreversible (3).
Maillard products are known to promote the development of various problems :
In short, the various stages of glycation together cause an acceleration in ageing (6-7). This process is stimulated by an overload of sugar in the body, and thus has an even more dramatic effect on diabetics (who have elevated levels of glycated haemoglobin) (8-9).
If you want to fight this ‘caramelisation’ of your body and slow down the effects of ageing, you need to start by looking at your diet...
Modern diets are often high in sugar and contain too much food cooked at high temperatures, both of which encourage protein glycation (10).
To prevent excessive glycation in your body:
To combat glycation, it’s also important to take regular exercise and to make sure you manage day to day stress effectively (12).
In recent years, a number of studies have highlighted certain substances with the potential to help inhibit the formation of AGEs (13-14).
Further scientific research is needed in order to clarify all the mechanisms involved.
Oxidative stress surreptitiously inflicts terrible damage on our cells. Discover the best ways of protecting yourself from the onslaught of free radicals responsible for aging.
Spermidine is a key substance in our cells, concentrations of which decline with age. Discover the 10 best foods for ensuring a good intake. Which food do you think tops the list?
Japanese researchers have succeeded in developing a vaccine that specifically targets senescent cells. Could we soon have an anti-aging vaccine? Let’s take a look.
While the concept of cooking food marked a turning point in the history of mankind by increasing the bioavailability of a lot more nutrients, it can also be responsible for destroying vitamins. Read our advice on the best cooking methods for preserving all your food’s vitamins and nutrients.
Telomerase, also known as the ‘immortality enzyme’, is known to hold back aging. How does it work and what should you eat to stimulate its production?
Mitochondria (the cells’ power plants) deteriorate with age but you can help take care of yours and slow down the aging process with our tips and natural remedies.