Dr. Nicholas Perricone has gotten to the bottom of accelerated aging with the discovery of AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products). AGEs are at least as detrimental to our health as transfats but have been largely unknown outside the medical community. AGEs give us wrinkles, but they have also been implicated in serious age-related conditions that cut across all medical specialties, from Alzheimer’s and cataracts to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Yet we have not had strategic interventions for stopping and reversing the effects of AGEs until now.
Dr. Perricone shows us how to win the fight against AGEs with a three-part plan of attack that includes a nutritional program, targeted supplements, and new topicals. His groundbreaking program helps to
• erase wrinkles and firm sagging skin
• reverse age-related memory loss
• heal cardiovascular disease
• stop precursors of cancer
• prevent symptoms of diabetes
Ageless Face, Ageless Mind brings us not only a new and exciting field of research and its remarkable discoveries, but also a way to fight one of the biggest hidden threats to our immediate and long-term health.
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Understanding Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs)
It is a universal fact that people everywhere desire to look and feel their best, regardless of chronological age.
You would think that teaching people that eating correctly and following a healthy lifestyle would prolong the quality and length of their lives, help prevent degenerative diseases from Alzheimer’s to cancer, and fight against vision problems, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, and more would be enough to motivate them to take better care of themselves. Unfortunately, in today’s world, the message often falls on deaf ears.
Surprisingly, it’s often vanity that saves the day. When people hear that they can radically affect the way they look, decrease and help prevent deep wrinkles and sagging skin, lose body fat, maintain muscle mass, and increase energy and athletic performance, they become very interested. While often perceived as a shallow trait, vanity is actually one of the greatest of human motivators—and no amount of teaching or preaching about health can quite compare with its transformative powers.
And that’s a good thing, because how we look physically is not just about aesthetics or attractiveness. Our skin and outward appearance are accurate reflections of what is going on internally—the state of our internal organs, hormone levels, and overall physiology.
Why is that? What is happening to our outsides that so mirrors our insides?
What’s happening is that we are forming AGEs, which—to put it simply—are among the most age-accelerating substances known to science.
WHAT WRINKLES TELL US
Some wrinkles tell us that we’ve had a hard life. Some tell us that we’ve spent too much time in the sun. Some tell us that we’re getting older, and some tell us that we’ve inherited a grandparent’s face. But all wrinkles tell us that the deep lines and sagging skin we see are partial by-products of a process known as glycation. Glycation occurs when a glucose (sugar) molecule binds to a protein molecule without the influence of enzymes, proteins that accelerate the rate of chemical reactions. In scientific terms we refer to these sugar/protein bondings as AGEs, an appropriate acronym for advanced glycation end products.
While wrinkled skin is one of the visible appearances of AGEs, most degenerative diseases are affected in one way or another by disease-producing glycation reactions. These reactions result in major damage to the body, including arterial stiffening; atherosclerosis (the clogging, narrowing, and hardening of the blood vessels); the formation of cataracts; neurological impairment; diabetic complications; and wrinkled, sagging skin. In other words, the formation of AGEs is responsible for serious damage to the body, both internally and externally.
BREAKING THROUGH THE AGES BARRIER
For years, scientists have thought that there was no way to reverse the effects of AGEs. They have tried to develop anti-glycating drugs, all of which have been proven to be either ineffectual or potentially dangerous.
That is why this book is so important. For the first time, you will read about breakthrough strategies to stop and prevent the damage AGEs can cause. Ageless Face, Ageless Mind teaches you how to holistically reverse the visible damage to skin in the form of wrinkles, sagging, and loss of tone and contour, as well as the invisible, internal damage in all organ systems, including age-related memory loss. You will learn:
How AGEs are formed inside the body, resulting in serious damage to skin and all organ systems;
How AGEs are as widespread and detrimental in processed food as trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup;
How it’s not only the foods you eat, but the way they’re prepared that influences the glycation process. You will also learn the best cooking methods to avoid their formation;
How to offset the AGEing mechanism with safe, effective, targeted nutritional supplements that will prevent the glycation reaction—at the exact moment that the glycation is occurring—for example, when you eat sweets or grilled meats; and
How AGEs help create and exacerbate the deleterious effects of inflammation—now familiar to all Perricone readers—and perhaps most important, how you can control it and reverse many of its negative consequences.
In this book, I introduce you to a supplement that can save your eyesight, and a potent drink that can detoxify your system, even when you’ve had too much alcohol. You’ll learn what to eat (and more important, what to avoid eating), and how important certain types of exercises can be to stave off the AGEing process. And you’ll discover how groundbreaking stem cell science has been used to develop topical formulas that keep AGEs from making you look older than you really are.
Although my initial focus is always on creating and maintaining youthful, beautiful, and healthy skin, by controlling and even reversing AGEs we can now reap huge additional benefits. We can
Prevent insulin resistance, the precursor to Metabolic Syndrome
Prevent diabetes and help alleviate symptoms in diabetes sufferers
Control the processes leading to Alzheimer’s disease
Prevent vascular disease
Protect the retina and preserve eyesight
Prevent kidney disease and impaired kidney function
Prevent loss of memory and diminished brain power (neurodegeneration)
Prevent cardiovascular disease
Prevent the chromosomal instability that leads to cancer
After decades of research we are finally getting closer to solving the mystery of how to safely and effectively prevent AGEs’ deadly and disfiguring effects.
AGES ACCELERATE AGING
Western medicine is divided into hundreds of different specialties. The neurologist studies and treats the brain; the dermatologist’s focus is the skin, hair, and nails; the ophthalmologist’s the eyes; the gerontologist’s aging; the cardiologist’s the heart; and so forth. However, AGEs cut across the myriad medical specialties, and its study compels us to create treatments that are truly holistic. While there is not one definitive cause of aging, the different pathways—including inflammation, insulin imbalance, and AGEs—are closely interconnected. All three are major players in the physical and mental deterioration that often accompany aging, accelerating with each decade.
The reason for this is the simple fact that our bodies are composed mainly of protein, and protein is responsible for the daily functioning of the body. AGEs are highly destructive to this protein. When the integrity of the body’s protein is threatened or compromised, there is a significant impact on both the body’s function and appearance.
As we age, the protein in our bodies begins to deteriorate. This is due in large part to the damaging effects of aldehydes, which are a class of highly reactive chemical compounds and sugar. Aldehydes do their damage by accumulating in the body from such diverse sources as alcohol intake, cigarette smoking, vehicle exhaust fumes, and even chronic Candida infections.
Aldehydes also decrease energy production by inhibiting coenzyme A, which is present in all living cells and essential to the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and some amino acids. Chronic aldehyde exposure also contributes to numerous signs and symptoms of aging, including heart disease and cataracts, and has damaging effects on brain function.
How AGEs Form
It all starts with sugar. All sugar molecules can be linear (think of a straight piece of string on a table) or they can cyclize (that is, form a circle by connecting both ends). At normal body pH (acid-alkaline balance) most of our glucose is in a circle. This is the good news, because the circle is more stable. Unfortunately, the remainder of the glucose is in the straight or linear form, which is highly reactive. It is this linear glucose that attaches to our proteins. This attachment is called cross-linking, a phrase that comes up over and over again in AGE research. Cross-linking, or glycation, is the result of AGEs. These three terms—cross-linking, glycation, and AGEs—are often used synonymously, because each describes the end result of AGE formation. In other words, the cross-linking or glycating of proteins results in the formation of Advanced Glycation End Products.
To visualize this process in action, imagine that you are building a ladder. Start with the two long side pieces and a box full of short cross pieces, the rungs, which will act as the steps of the ladder. The long side pieces represent proteins. The short rungs represent sugar (glucose).
When we begin, the two long side pieces of the ladder are not connected by any rungs. In other words, the proteins in our body are free flowing, with a lot of space for water between them.
Now we take the two long side pieces of the ladder and add one “rung.” The rung (sugar) has just connected or cross-linked the two proteins, making them stiffer and less flexible and free flowing. As the years go by, more and more sugar rungs are added to the protein side pieces, making the proteins more rigid.
As you can imagine, once the ladder has been built by connecting the sugar rungs to the protein side pieces, there is very little space for water inside the ladder compared to when the two long side pieces were not connected. This is what creates the serious problem of altered proteins. Once the structure and function of the proteins have been altered, they can no longer effectively fulfill their critical roles.