Sugar and Inflammaging

Halloween – sugar’s official holiday! But those sugary treats can actually be a trick to your body. That’s because sugar is an inflammatory food that can wreak havoc on your skin as well as make Inflammaging worse. 


Inflammaging? No…that’s not a typo. Inflammaging is a real thing. It is the combination of inflammation and aging and is defined as the subtle but chronic low-grade inflammation that is characteristic of increasing age. Scientists have discovered that inflammation may be a strong contributor to the progression of many age-related diseases including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cognitive decline and even cancer, hence the term inflammaging. And then there is skin inflammaging, the persistent, underlying inflammation that ultimately exhausts the skin’s defense system. It not only weakens the skin’s structure, but it results in the degradation of collagen and elastin and impairs the skin’s barrier function. One of the best things we can do to slow the effects of aging is to find ways to keep inflammaging at bay. 


Inflammation is an important function of the immune system, helping the body fight foreign invaders and repair damage. (Without inflammation, pathogens like bacteria could easily take over your body and kill you!) When we think of inflammation, we think of the acute kind – where you see swelling or feel short-term, intense pain. Acute inflammation is part of a healthy immune system. The other kind, chronic inflammation (or inflammaging) is low-grade inflammation that lingers for months or even years throughout the body. Chronic inflammation is not healthy, playing a role in almost every chronic disease in the Western World. 


There are ways to help reduce inflammaging. Keep moving and make exercise a regular part of your wellness routine. Make sure you are getting enough sleep and follow a heart healthy anti-inflammatory diet. Yes, there are inflammatory foods and eating too many of them cause lingering low-grade inflammation. Can you guess the number one culprit?!? SUGAR! 


Sugar causes inflammation in the body which can worsen skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis. But if you’re worried about aging skin – you definitely want to avoid excess sugar – especially the processed kind! It’s all because of glycation, the toxic process that happens when your body processes sugar. The sugar molecules in your system bombard the body’s cells and glue themselves to fats and proteins. The proteins in skin most prone to glycation are the same ones that make your skin look youthful and radiant - collagen and elastin. When they bond with sugar molecules, they become discolored, weak, and less supple. What does that mean for your skin? You guessed it - wrinkles, sagginess, and dullness


So if you have the urge to reach for a piece of Halloween candy, grab your Glotrition Super Beauty Elixir instead. Sweetened with Stevia, it’s only 25 calories and the perfect sweet treat that just happens to feed your skin from the inside out, helping to protect and restore collagen. And that makes a Happy Healthoween!