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AboutFrederic J. Vagnini, M.D., is a board certified Heart & Vascular Surgeon. In recent years he has devoted his career to Clinical Nutrition & Preventive Medicine. He is a NY Times best-selling author and his recent books are Beating Diabetes and Breaking the Cardio-Diabetes Connection. Dr. V. is Medical Director of the Heart, Diabetes and Weight Loss Centers of NY and the Host of the WOR radio Program The Heart Show.
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is defined by the non-enzymatic combination of glucose or saccharide molecules with proteins and lipids to form unstable compounds. These elements are AGEs. They have also been called glycotoxins and are responsible for multiple organ and cellular damage. These AGEs are also called cross linked proteins, which are also associated with accelerated inflammation and oxidative damage.
This AGE production, with its ensuing detrimental metabolic consequences, is responsible for the progression of many degenerative diseases, including renal disease, cardiovascular disease, lipid metabolism, obesity, skin disorders, cataracts, immune system dysfunction, bone and joint problems, infection, inflammation, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and other dementias.
Glycation and Diabesity
Glycation does not occur every time you eat something—only when, what, and how much you consume of certain foods triggers this catalytic bio-event leading to advanced aging. Glycation literally crashes the normal chain of positive natural body functions that would not occur if you are consuming a reasonable amount of the many fructose- or glucose-saturated products like those described in chapter five.
When your diet is overloaded with glucose-laced food and your body can’t convert these “sugar molecules” to something useful—even common, moderate daily activities—glycation occurs and creates a mangled biological process called “cross linking glycation.”
The more frequently this occurs, the more likely your vulnerability to aging in general and chronic disease, inflexible skin, Alzheimer’s, and other dementias increases.
Cross linking should not happen even if you have moderate sugar ingestion because our natural bio-system is designed to protect us from a problem like glycation.
To ensure normal, smooth molecular bonding, enzymes circulate through the body looking for a “hook-up” with proteins or other molecules. Enzymes are the molecules in the body that are in control of your metabolism and digestive system. Enzymes are the gatekeepers, cleaning crew, and bodyguards that keep order, reducing the chances that glycation occurs. They keep the peace in your body, and generally all runs smoothly, avoiding glycation.
What can happen—and is now affecting more and more people—is that the enzymes simply can’t do their job. The supersaturated fructose products can’t be converted to energy—the enzymes are, in effect, overwhelmed, and the real attack on your health begins. Remember, though, it’s a silent process that continues for years.
When the enzymes lose their effectiveness and cross linking is present, your cells and systems are attacked head-on by an army of badly formed molecules.
The key element in the cross linking glycation process creates the AGEs. These molecules are the mechanism that creates the damage that cross linked glycation sets off. When cross linking is present in multiple AGE molecules, it can be very destructive as they increase in numbers.
When the enzymes do fail to bond and the molecules become degraded, forming AGEs, this cross linkage prevents normal cellular functions from being carried out. These AGEs are like an occupying army in your bloodstream that cause aging skin and serious damage to your organ systems, and ultimately speed numerous aging processes throughout your body.
Let Your Body and “Allies” Fight Diabesity:
Fighting diabesity is a little like a war—you have to both attack and defend, often on many fronts. Often, the goals are different but, in general, remaining healthy and reaching a “truce” is the best outcome. You don’t want to lose “territory” especially as a diabetic who can sacrifice vision or a leg and a vastly overweight person at risk for a stroke or heat attack.
Fortunately for diabesity there are several strategies and as you plan your treatment with your physician or nutritionist you have several general options to create a program. They include:
Diet (low carbs, low sugar/glucose low glycemic foods, modified Mediterranean diet).
Exercise and an active life
It’s important to remember that a program you and your doctor have planned may be sound in theory however you still have to be responsible for taking medication, and vitamins properly or eat well and staying in good shape. Diabesity control is aided by these allies but you have to lead the battle.
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