Reduce AGEs = Reduce Aging Everywhere (All major organs and even your skin!)

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You are what you eat. We know this well. But did you know that what you eat affects the largest organ in your body (your skin). Oh yes, you know your girl is obsessed with all things skin. Let’s dive into this so you can address the skin from the inside (as well as the outside).

What are AGEs?

Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are detrimental compounds created when proteins or fats in the bloodstream combine with sugar, a process known as glycation.

These compounds can also form in foods, especially those subjected to high temperatures like grilling, frying, or toasting, making such foods rich in AGEs.

Diet is considered the primary source of AGEs. Luckily, the body has natural mechanisms for removing these compounds, which involve antioxidant and enzymatic processes.

However, when the intake of AGEs is excessively high or when they form spontaneously in large amounts, the body’s ability to eliminate them may be overwhelmed, leading to their accumulation.

While low levels of AGEs are typically not a concern, high levels have been associated with increased oxidative stress and inflammation (read: article on inflammaging).

Elevated levels of AGEs are linked to the onset of various diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s disease, and premature aging.

Foods that contain the highest amounts of AGEs are typically meats (particularly red meats), various cheeses, fried eggs, butter, cream cheese, margarine, mayonnaise, a variety of oils, and nuts. Additionally, fried foods and heavily processed items are also known to have high levels of AGEs.

How do AGEs Affect the Skin?

The aging of skin tissue and collagen is accelerated by a process known as non-enzymatic browning, which has gained significant attention. Extensive research indicates that advanced glycation end products (AGEs) have a major impact on the skin’s balance and are a contributing factor to skin-related complications in chronic metabolic diseases.

Conditions like diabetic skin ulcers, infections, and non-healing wounds are linked to AGEs, explaining why skin issues are increasingly common today. Studies have demonstrated that as AGE levels in the skin rise, individuals experience skin problems such as yellowing, browning, reduced elasticity, and more pronounced wrinkles.

AGEs affect all 3 layers of the skin, but most detrimental of all is how it destroys keratinocytes in the epidermis. You remember the epidermis, the outermost layer of your skin making up 90% of your skin’s functions we need for survival and protection!

Here’s how AGEs affect the other layers:

    • Inhibits wound healing and reduces the skin’s ability to repair
    • Reduces skin lipids (which is your skin’s defensive barrier)
    • Increases hyperpigmentation
    • Reduces elastin in your skin (your skin’s elasticity)
    • Causes skin to sag
    • Reduces skin’s ability to repair
    • Thins the epidermal layer (remember we want THICK epidermal layer)
    • Causes skin inflammation
    • Increases skin’s sensitivity and inflammation
    • Impairs the skin’s homeostatic balance

Simply put: AGEs are the enemy to optimization but also TO THE SKIN…

How are We Getting AGEs in the Skin?

We are mostly getting AGEs from exogenous sources. Primarily it comes from what we are eating. We are also getting AGEs from cigarette smoke (as if we needed another reason to stay away from smoking). We also get AGEs in our skin through UV rays from the sun and air pollution (another reason why UVA/UVB mineral based sunblock is KEY!).

So what can we do about AGEs?

Let’s set out to reduce AGEs in our lives as much as possible.

Reduce intake of AGE-rich foods

Everything in moderation. This will be the best for your overall health and skin.

    • Red meat, processed meat such as bacon and sausage
    • Full-fat aged cheeses (skim is better), American cheese, parmesan, feta
    • Butter, Cream Cheese, Peanut Butter, Sesame oil
    • Limit Roasted Nuts, pine nuts, roasted sunflower seeds, walnuts

On the flip side, choosing foods that are low in AGEs (even after heating up) that are full of antioxidants is a good choice and guess what! It’s the usual suspects:

    • Fruits high in Vitamin C hampers AGE formation (especially dark fruits like blueberries)
    • Vegetables
    • Whole grains
    • Soups

Cooking Style

Reduce intake of fried, baked, seared, or grilled foods. Prepare your meals with wet heat like Boiling, steaming, stewing or poaching for lower periods of time to help keep the AGE formations at bay.

You can also reduce AGE formation in foods by cooking with acidic ingredients such as lemon juice and vinegar.

Slow cookers are said to be the healthiest way to cook food (hello, set it, and forget it!).

Cook over ceramic pots and pans instead of over direct metal.

Example: a lower AGE diet is keeping it under 15,000ku/day.

See the full journal here.

Here are some more healthy cooking styles:

    • Marinate your high AGEs ingredients in acid (lemon, lime, vinegar, etc) for at least 1 hour.
    • Make soups! Remember: wet low temp is healthy!
    • Join pinterest for the best slow cooker recipes! You can slow cook just about everything!

Supplement with Plant Polyphenols!

If you’re a patient with Redox Medical Group, you may be taking Sytrinol™, which is a polyphenol that is made from nobiletin and tangerine peels. You might also be familiar with methylated curcumin from prodrome sciences called BDMC.

Not only are those good for the gut and heart, but it is also acting as an antioxidant without causing over-oxidation which may lead to autoimmune type of situations.


Like we needed another reason to keep moving. 😀 Sedentary lifestyles create a breeding ground for AGE, and exercising actually REDUCES AGE levels! One more feel-good reason for getting out there and hitting that pickleball!

But let’s focus on the face.

What Can We Do for the Face?

We can’t have ZERO AGEs in our bodies, it’s not possible. All the tips above is for the inside, which when done regularly will help the outside (the skin). But what can we do to specifically help the face?

Focus on the Face’s Topical Goals:

    • A thick top layer (epidermis)
    • Your skin has a microbiome, we have to keep it balanced just like the gut
    • Optimal skin cell cycles (skin cells shed in 40-56 days)

None of this is visible, but it can be felt and the results can be seen. When you have hit these topical facial skin goals, your skin will look and FEEL healthy:

    • Springy and bounces back to the touch
    • Lack of hyperpigmentation
    • Skin is soft to the touch
    • Texture is smooth
    • Minimal premature wrinkles

Wrinkles come with age; it’s natural, but it’s the premature wrinkles that we can avoid! Age spots are a direct result of skin cell damage, which we can avoid!

Here are the things you can do at home to improve the outer layer of your skin:

    • UVA/UVB mineral-based sunblock (here’s a video on what we like, set to the time we discuss it) — EVEN AT HOME!!!!
    • Get your serum rotation going on a weekly basis, and make sure Vitamin C is a regular part of that rotation! The one I love is from Alumier MD, and you can order it from our office!
    • Don’t use harsh cleansers (even if you have oily skin); you want gentle pH-balancing cleansers – Read the full list of chemicals to avoid here.
    • Don’t over-exfoliate (even if you have oily skin)
    • Don’t forget to exfoliate (you need to clean out pores) 1-2x per week tops.
    • MOISTURIZE! Always

Here are things you can do at Redox Medical to help protect your skin:

  • Get a comprehensive facial based on your skin type. Redox facials may include:
      • Consultation
      • Deep cleaning or Customized Peel
      • Clinical grade moisturizing
      • Clinical microneedling with Kimera Labs Exosomes (one of the most effective healing agents for the skin)
      • Product editing to use at home

AGEs- we live with them, but we can reduce their AGING EFFECTIVENESS if we pay attention to where we’re getting them.

Cell protection happens from the inside-out. We have to tackle both for an effective anti-aging protocol for the face, and of COURSE that includes nutrition, exercise, supplements, and some amazing clinical guidance from our RMG practitioners. We hope to see you soon!

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