sugar-and-wrinkles.jpg It is a fact that sugar can cause the skin to lose its elasticity. This is because, once sugar is consumed, it enters the bloodstream and attaches itself to adjacent proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products through a process called glycation. A high sugar diet not only damages collagen but also affects the type of collagen that a person has.

Highlights of advanced glycation end products or AGEs
a. The body accumulates more AGEs as one consumes food rich in sugar.
b. These AGEs damages proteins in the bloodstream.
c. Protein fibers in the skin like collagen and elastin are also damaged.
d. This causes the skin to lose its firmness and elasticity.
e. The skin becomes dry and brittle and wrinkles are formed.
f. AGEs also deactivate the skin's ability to produce antioxidant enzymes.
g. This makes the skin more vulnerable to sun damage.
h. Diabetics can have up to 50 times more AGEs in their skin than others.

Protective measures
a. Keep away from soda drinks.
b. Keep the amount of sugar below 10 per cent of the total calories consumed in a day.
c. Beware of processed foods that might have added sugar in it.
d. Keep away from high fructose corn syrup as this type of sugar can produce more AGEs.
e. Increase intake of vitamin B, especially B1 and B6, and vitamin C.
f. Quit smoking.
g. One can build new collagen with retinoids. Some products which help build new collagen are lotions or prescription creams like Renova, Avage and Differin.
h. Consume more antioxidant-rich fruits, nuts and vegetables like cranberries, walnuts and red bell peppers.
i. Use topical antioxidants like green tea and vitamins C and E on the skin.
j. Use products that contain aminoguanidine and alistin as they can block the formation of AGEs.