"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?"

   Image by Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image by Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You may have heard that smoking and too much sun exposure will age you faster than a dried prune? While this is true, there is something else that will also rapidly accelerate aging, something you may be overlooking.

SUGAR… the dreaded five-letter word can do more than leave you with a muffin top, it can drain years from your life.

Sugar is your enemy, hands down. Besides being eight times more addictive than cocaine, sugar also has the following effects:

  • Suppresses the immune system.
  • Elevates blood sugar.
  • Disrupts mineral balance.
  • Disrupts digestion.
  • Causes tooth decay.
  • Contributes to obesity.
  • Can cause food allergies.
  • Can cause depression.
  • Increases the risk of certain cancers.

So, how does sugar make you look old?

During a natural process known as “glycation,” sugar in the blood attaches to proteins to create harmful molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). The more sugar you consume, the more AGEs you develop.

These nasty compounds damage the surrounding proteins including collagen and elastin that help to keep the skin firm and elastic. Once damaged, collagen and elastin become very dry and brittle, which leads to sagging and wrinkles. This impact can be seen starting at around age 35 and can move along quite quickly, according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.