In 2024, Stay Well or Get Well... And, Free Delivery For Orders >$88.50 In NSW/ACT & >$128.50 In QLD/VIC/SA.

Sticky Stuff - Protein Glycation - The Basic Health Problem?

Rule #1:  Check everything written here for yourself.  Dr Google is a start, but try Encyclopedia Britannica & Pub-Med.

Hmmm, - Excess Glucose gums-up your body!...
When sugar, starch or other foods that contain glucose are absorbed, the body uses them as fuel.  BUT, they are also 'stuck onto' protein molecules to control their shape (protein conformation).  This allows proteins to fit onto (& into) other molecules & cells.  Protein shaping is normally controlled by enzymes (protein glycosylation).  It's  very (VERY) important.

But, when there is an overload of glucose then it will stick to the proteins in an uncontrolled way (protein glycation).  This makes unusable or unwanted shapes.  It is dangerous if it continues over a 'long' time.  Knowing what, when & how to eat is vital.

So where's the problem? (Everywhere).

Just think of all the places where proteins are used (everywhere) - hormones, antibodies, signaling molecules, cell receptors, cell membrane transporters, blood cells, soft & hard structures, etc.  So, when proteins are misshaped then they just can't work properly.  And, if damage results then there is inflammation.  Glycation is a major factor in metabolic dysfunction and, leads to a collection of problems known as metabolic syndrome.

Let's pin the tail on the donkey (AGEs).
When proteins are deformed or clogged by excess glucose they can cross-link to form AGEs (Advanced Glycation End-products).   Some of the most prevalent diseases which occur are - Diabetes (type II), Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Alzheimer's Dementia, Arterial sclerosis, Cardio-Vascular Disease & Hypertension.  All of these are associated with AGEs (Advanced Glycation End-products).

Some foods promote or contain AGEs!
High intake of foods such as grains, bread, cakes, sweet-fruits, sugar, jams, honey & sugary drinks lead to AGEs.   And, AGEs are an indicator of low quality foods, including common processed foods that are made from badly raised plants & animals.  So, limit these these foods, perhaps make them your 'small' after meal snack/treats. 

Your body has a limit - Eat smarter.
Your body will attempt to reduce the level of glucose by cellular storage and conversion of glucose to fat (more storage in fat cells & organs). Glucose can also be passed out via urination ( FYI, diabetes means 'sweet going through').  But, we can all eat more than we can tolerate - that's why we need to eat smarter.  There are some tips at the end of this article.

Recommended by 9 out of 10 zombies ♥
How common is metabolic syndrome?
I'd say that about a third of the people that I see have Metabolic Syndrome - many at severe levels.  And, it's not difficult to identify:  Does your belly enter the room before you do (pot belly / spare tyre)?  Do you have brain fog or fatigue (hard to focus)?  Is it difficult to get to sleep or to wake up in the morning? Are you sleepy even after a small meal?  Do you often feel uneasy or lethargic?  Is your belly bloated even after a relatively small meal?  These are indicators of poor metabolic health.

Take control of your health.
Apologies to 'commercial medicine', but, too often metabolic problems are treated with 'pill-mill' solutions (glucophages, statins, hormone supplements, proton inhibitors, etc).  But, often there are simple & proven drug-free options.  Being informed is essential (remember Rule #1 ?).
Now, the good news - there's a solution.
The simple solution - eat less 'sticky stuff'.  Just reduce the amount as well as, how & when you eat the glucose in your foods.  That means, a lifestyle that uses less carbs, more low GI foods & light exercise.  It's important to recognise foods that contain  glucose - sugar, fruit & starch (grains / root vegetables).  No, you don't have to quit desserts.  There are some very basic & proven tips...see the '5+ Ideas - Free Health' blog-post.
And, nobody needs to get hungry or tired (or over-muscled).

The geeky viewpoint (for masochists).

The physiological details involve understanding - ketosis, lipogenisis, gluconeogenesis, fructose metabolism (polyols), Fat/sugar digestion, Lipid/glucose - transport/storage, pancreatic function, alcohol metabolism, the mevalonate pathway, gut biomics, diffusion thermodynamics, mitochondrial function, epigenetic regulation, cytoplasmic encoding,  functional movement & restrictive feeding (incl. fasting) etc, etc, etc... which are best left for future health posts (& perhaps bed-time for insomniacs).

P.S.  Don't panic!  Future posts will all be in a variety of fun-packed, colourful & easy to take doses.
P.S.S.  Check everything (Rule #1) & send me any corrections - written & signed, of course.