Is sugar a bittersweet culprit

26 Nov 2018 12:01

WHAT effect can sugar have on the skin? Research studies are now delving in to the potential effects of a sugar-rich diet and its effect on the body.

It begs the question whether sweets, biscuits and chocolate should come with a poor skin warning!

Removing added sugars from the diet is a great start to reducing the risk of premature ageing and skin conditions.

Further attention to the sugar content of foods can promote balanced blood sugar thorough the adherence of a low glycaemic index diet.

Additionally, there are nutrients such as chromium, cinnamon and alpha lipoic acid that may help to reduce sugar intake and cravings whilst helping to balancing blood sugar levels.

To find out more about how such nutrients may help you pop into your local independent health store.


Sugar-related ageing

Often when we think of ageing, we think of wrinkled skin and the loss of skin elasticity, and for good reason; a primary cause of wrinkled skin is the effect of advanced glycation end products (AGE) which cause proteins to cross link.

AGEs are products of sugar and heavily charred foods that can damage collagen and skin tissues causing irreparable cross linkages and subsequent wrinkling.

Sugar related ageing is a highly inflammatory process that triggers a vicious cycle of oxidative stress and the spread of inflammation.


Acne and imbalances

The relationship between diet and acne has been highly discussed and disputed.

However, more recent research has provided strong support for diet as a potential influence on acne development.

Research has substantiated the role of specific foods, such as those with high glycaemic load; typical of the Western diet.

It is thought that the vicious cycle of blood sugar peaks and corresponding insulin secretion inhibits normal hormone conversion causing increased circulating androgens and subsequently increased sebaceous and acne.

Interestingly, researchers have counter-tested the link between the Western diet and acne; they reported that acne was absent in native non-Westernised populations, such as in Papua New Guinea and Paraguay. Furthermore, when acne prone individuals follow a low glycaemic diet the acne has been found to improve.


Diabetic psoriasis crisis

Type II diabetes (DMTII) is closely linked to poor blood sugar control and insulin resistance brought about by a typical high glycaemic Western diet; similarly, those with DMTII are more likely to develop psoriasis.

It is thought that the inflammation of insulin resistance triggers dermal inflammation and the subsequent increased excessive skin cell production. Such a highly inflammatory environment is highly associated to cardiovascular disease through the spread of inflammation.

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