Glycation And How It Causes Cellular Death, Aging And Diseases

If you think free radicals was bad, glycation is worse...which is why is vital that you understand what it is, how it is caused and how to protect yourself against it.

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To be able to understand glycation-related problems, you need to understand the main biological system that works in your body.

#1 Understanding the significant role of proteins in your body

So proteins are significant and valuable biological molecules which are found in almost every part of your body and each have its own different and various functions.

Proteins are found INSIDE cells, and helps ensure cells function well and live. Without them, cells would not be able to live (leading to death) as these proteins are required to carry nutrients and oxygen to the tissues.

So proteins are made of amino-acids, and to function properly, they need to be able to move around independently and perform their functions as they travel around (like mobile doctors).

But...they have enemies such as sugars, glucose molecules and similar chemicals - known as aldehydes.

All aldehydes can be generally referred to as "glycating agents".

What these glycating-agent enemies try to do is they try to attach themselves to the amino-acid/protein molecules, and what that happens, that amino-acid that is a traveling agent has a piece of very sticky (adhesive) glue structure that moves around with it (think of it like the local doctor who just had a large piece adhesive glue stuck to him) as he travels around.

And if that piece of glue gets in contact with another protein then that sticks TWO proteins to each other, and this process is called "cross linking" - a very, very, very bad problem.

Here's why cross linking is so bad:

  • your body just lost 2 good proteins that was originally "traveling doctors" that travels around your body to do its job
  • the cross-linked 2 proteins now becomes a mutated and grotesque (named by bio-chemists, not me) molecule that is known as Advanced Glycation End-products (AGE)

Advanced Glycation End-products: Real trouble-makers

So Advanced Glycation End-products (AGE) travels around the body and binds themselves to even more cells and forms a mass (or masses) that is able to secret toxic and poisonous chemicals and by-products. AGEs also increase the formation of amyloid beta which is a toxic material found in the brains of older people and abundant in Alzheimers and dementia patients.

On top of that, AGEs increases the production of free radicals which  creates more aldehydes which  stimulates more glycation…and so, a vicious cycle that continues to accelerate UNLESS you are aware of it and do all that you can to slow down this process which causes aging and degenerative disease.

Sadly, it also contributes to heart disease by thickening artery/arterial walls, and all the cellular death/dysfunction will cause your skin to sag and become flaccid (cells becoming weaker).

How can you protect yourself against Glycation and the formation of AGEs? There are three actions that you can take:

  • Try to minimize your intake of glycating foods…simple carbohydrates and sugars.
  • By inactivating the aldehydes (glue) before they attach themselves to the protein.
  • By preventing the protein which has already got ‘glue’ on it from sticking to another protein.

The first item is pretty much self explanatory. The next two are fortunately possible thanks to recent scientific discoveries using a dipeptide known as Carnosine.

how Carnosine works

Carnosine has two unique abilities.

  • #1: It is able to attach to glycating ‘agents’ and neutralize them.

  • #2: It creates a protective shield around a protein molecule which already has a glycating agent attached to it. By providing that shield it prevents that protein molecule from ‘cross-linking’ with another protein molecule and forming an AGE.

No other natural substance has yet been discovered that can do this, other than Carnosine. Vitamins such as C and E although helpful for free radicals are basically helpless and useless in preventing glycation!

The same applies to other antioxidants.

You may be asking yourself why consumers in general are not being made more aware of glycation? The answer to this is that Carnosine is a very expensive nutrient and as yet still not common in supplements.

Xtend-Life have been using it in their anti aging Total Balance product for eight years. In fact, we were one of the first supplement companies in the world to begin using it for this purpose.

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How much carnosine do you need?

Like so many nutrients out there, there is no real evidence to support or say that ‘more is better’ (note: don't trust anyone who says so)

The generally accepted effective dose is between 50 – 150mgs per day.

Xtend-Life use 150mgs in a daily dose of Total Balance anti aging supplement. As with most nutrients carnosine works better when taken in synergy with a wide range of other nutrients.

Also, for maximum benefits the carnosine should be incorporated in an enteric coated tablet such as Total Balance so it is released in the upper intestine. This is because carnosine is a di-peptide consisting of two amino acids and the hydrochloric acid in our stomach splits the structure of the carnosine thus reducing its effectiveness.

If you wish to do all you can to protect yourself against glycation and the damage it can cause then you should supplement with Carnosine every day. (In the correct form) Remember that it takes time to build up the protection and to undo damage which has already occurred in your body. Because it works best in combination with other nutrients it is best not to take Carnosine on its own.

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