Different articles mention soda as a source of AGEs, skin damage

ColaandIceIf you’re still looking for a resolution to make for the new year, you may want to consider cutting back on soda or giving it up altogether. In recent months, multiple articles have been published that link soda to harmful AGEs.

One such article, which was written for Byrdie, was titled “Soda and Your Skin: New Research That Will Make You Rethink Your Drink.” Article author Deven Hopp spoke with the AGE Foundation’s very own advisory board member Dr. Brett West.

Hopp wrote:

“There’s a chemical reaction in your body called glycation that occurs when a sugar attaches to a protein. It’s a natural process and a certain amount of glycation is expected to happen throughout your lifetime. However, Dr. West points out that when there’s too much, Advanced Glycation End-Products (or A.G.E.s) form and speed up the aging process. Long story short, A.G.E.s change your skin and how your skin cells function. In time, they’ll destroy the elastin you already have and slow the production of new collagen. The result is dull, uneven, wrinkled skin.”

West gave Hopp the following advice:

“Dr. West says the effects can take years to show up on your face, so your best defense is to live a healthy lifestyle now. On top of keeping sugar to a minimum, be sure to exercise, get plenty of sleep, and avoid cigarettes. Because once you start to notice the negative effects A.G.E.s have on your skin, reversing those signs is not easy. It can be done with nutritional supplements and lifestyle changes, but it’s not going to happen overnight. Dr. West’s one final piece is to watch what you eat and drink and never smoke. If you develop these good habits early, you can outsmart this process.”

Also discussing the drawbacks to soda was Colleen Cappon’s Fox News article “What is soda doing to your skin?” She wrote that cutting out soda can help slow down the signs of premature aging:

“It seems that every time we turn around, there is another study about the negative health effects of soft drinks, and recently attention has turned to the damage it can do to your skin.”

Cappon quoted Dr. Steven Victor, dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, as saying:

“The biggest problem about soda is the crazy amount of sugar. The dangers of sugar to the body are not new, scientists have been studying it for years. When a patient consumes a lot of sugar, it shows in their skin.”

As for how sugar consumption specifically shows in a person’s skin, Victor said their skin looks saggy and dull instead of glowing and bright. These are the effects of AGEs, which Cappon wrote about:

“Many dark colas contain advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. A recent study from the National Institutes of Health (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23467327) determined that AGEs react with proteins, lipids and nucleic acids in almost all skin cells, contributing to and potentially accelerating skin aging.”

Another article to address this topic was Amy Sciarretto’s article in Bustle titled “Soda Is Bad For Skin (Not To Mention All Those Empty Calories) So Why Not Try These Bubbly Alternatives?” She wrote:

“As for how [soda] wreaks havoc on your skin? Put simply, a chemical reaction called glycation takes place in your body when sugar affixes itself to a protein. Don’t panic. This process is natural and glycation does happen throughout one’s life even if you cut out soda completely. However, too much glycation, due to too much sugar consumption, ages you prematurely. A.G.E. products — Advanced Glycation End-Products — essentially mess with skin cell functions, destroy elastin, and slow down new collagen production. That basically leads to dull, wrinkled skin.”

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