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Sugars and Your Skin

You already know that more Americans are getting obese or have diabetes. This is probably caused by the 150 pounds of sugar or high-fructose corn syrup consumed per person per year Now be warned that sugars combine with the proteins in your body’s cells, including skin cells. The process is called glycation; The result is AGE (Advanced Glycation Effects). This acronym is valid because the stiff AGEs make you look older as they form wrinkles in your skin as well as causing other problems like stiff blood vessels.
The other day, a friend asked why I didn’t have the wrinkles of many women my age. Her question amazed me. I felt that after years of hiking and other sports in the sun without using sunscreen, I didn’t have the smooth white skin of a southern belle always shaded by a parasol. My skin is tan and was on the way to looking like leather when I started using the products that contained para-amino-benzoic acid (PABA). Now to get a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or above, I use sunscreens containing zinc oxide along with other protective chemicals. One member of my tennis club said she never used anything since she would rather have tan wrinkles than white wrinkles. However, general health can affect your skin from beneath its surface.
First of all I never smoked; One doctor said he could tell without asking a woman patient over 50 if she smoked. He saw many fine wrinkles on the skin of smokers.
Another factor is that I eat few desserts and avoid sweet liquids. Sugars give you empty calories. Our ancestors ate sweet foods on special occasions and 120 years ago most Americans used less than 20 pounds of sugar per person per year.
Skin specialist Adrienne Denese M.D. tells her patients to avoid sweets to prevent the glycation of collagen and other skin proteins. She says she has pre-diabetic tendencies so she avoids all carbohydrates. She takes good quality vitamins and a variety of supplements. Her patients use six different types of rare or expensive products externally on their skin. These would not give them the desired smooth glowing skin if they consumed too much sugar.
Sugar, like smoking or heavy drinking can affect your skin and make you look older.

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The Truth about Cholesterol from a Heart Surgeon

Dr. Dwight Lundell has done heart surgery for over twenty years. When patients on anti-cholesterol drugs came back with a second heart attack, he knew cholesterol couldn’t be the cause of heart disease. Read his book “The Great Cholesterol Lie. Why Inflammation Kills and the Real Cure for Heart Disease” Dr Lundell notes that decreasing fat and cholesterol in the diet had no effect on the incidence of heart disease. He saw that the level of C-Reactive Protein (CRP) in the blood did predict risk of a heart attack. CRP is a sign of inflammation somewhere in the body. He says aspirin helps prevent heart attacks by decreasing inflammation. He says a modern diet high in sugars and omega-6 fatty acids causes inflammation within blood vessels.

Removing a cause of deposits in arteries makes more sense than using a statin drug to block the enzyme in the liver that makes cholesterol. As mentioned in my talks and my book, cholesterol is used throughout the body and is essential for life itself. Heart attacks were rare a century ago. They increased during the 1900s as more people smoked. By 1970 most doctors said not to eat animal fat or cholesterol. This only helped the patients who also gave up smoking, exercised and ate lots of vegetables. Dr. Dean Ornish added yoga, meditation and group therapy. His strict regimen dissolved fatty deposits. Anti-cholesterol drugs and flattening out the fatty plaque with a balloon catheter has become an alternative quick fix. But it doesn’t get at causes of heart disease.

Most doctors ignored factors like excess homocysteine or effects of trans-fats like margarine on arterial walls. As people ate less fat, they ate more sugars. Sugar use went from 20 pounds per person per year in 1900 to 100 pounds in 1970 and is now over 150 pounds of sweeteners, the worst being high-fructose corn syrup. Sugars can combine with proteins and make cell walls stiff in a process called glycation. A stiff wall in an artery makes it prone to injury. If blood pressure goes up, whether from nicotine or stress hormones, vessel walls get micro-injuries, repaired by cholesterol, white cells and other components of inflammation. I agree with Dr.Lundell that we should eat like our ancestors to prevent heart attacks.

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