Ageing is inevitable. Signs of ageing start appearing in every part of our body. So, does in the face which appears as wrinkles. The beauty industry has earned billions of dollars every year on the entire range of anti-ageing products. Not only this, there are several cosmetic procedures like wrinkle fillers, Laser resurfacing, facelifts, which are done to reduce and improve the wrinkling of the face. Though, these products and procedures do give results temporarily but may not have a long-lasting effect or cannot reverse the process of ageing. So, it is important to understand why wrinkling happens and how can we, actually reverse the process?
The tightness of the skin is mainly due to complex polysaccharides named (GAGs), glycosaminoglycans which attract water and act as the lubricant to the skin and prevent from sagging. It keeps the skin and collagen tissues, electrically hydrated. The collagen and elastin are the proteins which give the structure and stability to the skin. Hyaluronic acid is also a form of unsulphated GAGs. That is the reason, many anti-ageing products contain hyaluronan. The GAGs also contributes to bone mass density. Therefore, with ageing, GAGs levels decline which causes wrinkles to appear in your face, and your bone density also reduces, causing weaker bones and joints. Over the years, other factors like exposure to sunlight, pollutants, unhealthy eating habits, lifestyle factors like smoking, alcohol, all contribute to the wrinkling process. Then, there is the day to day stress, which results in a high level of cortisol which also further increases the wrinkling.
Now, the problem is how do we reverse the wrinkles? Yes, as we know, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating healthy, sleep improvement can help to a great extent.
But, how can we maintain the level of GAGs in the body?
GAGs levels are mainly stimulated and synthesized in the body by a hormone made in the liver called IGF -1 (Insulin-like growth factor -1).
Therefore, 6 interesting tips to maintain the level of GAGs
1.Low insulin: Insulin levels are inversely linked to IGF-1 levels. When insulin levels are high, the IGF -1 level is low and vice versa. So, people with diabetes whose insulin level fluctuate, their IGF-1 levels also fluctuate oppositely. The ageing effects are also more prominent in them. So, in a normal individual, to maintain a low insulin level, and get high enough IGF-1, we need to cut down carbohydrate to a great extent. Follow a low carb diet,with plenty of fluids, avoid all kinds of sugars and regularly exercise.
2.Enhance the liver function: Liver is important because it produces the IGF-1 hormone which in turn result in GAGs production in the body. Cutting down alcohol is a healthy choice when it comes to the liver. Eating organic, fresh vegetables, fruits like apples, grapes, blueberries, nuts, beetroot is important to enhance the liver.
3.Intermittent fasting: You should have a meal and remain fasting for a long interval until you have your next meal. Because, when you are fasting, your body secretes growth hormones, including IGF-1. When you eat, your body produces insulin which deactivates the IGF-1. So, a considerable period of fasting or intervals between meals is important when you don’t eat anything not even snacking.
4.Fat-soluble vitamins: Daily intake of good sources of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, K2. Sources can be organic egg yolk, green leafy vegetables, fish liver oils, butter, spinach, kale, carrots. Vitamin D is found in fatty fishes, fortified dairy products. It is better to take dietary sources of vitamins than supplements.
5.Moderate Protein intake: Daily intake of a moderate amount of protein can result in an adequate amount of GAG in the body. According to DRI (Dietary Reference Intake), 0.8 gm/kg or 0.36 gm/pounds is ideal. The right amount of protein depends on the individual ‘s age, muscle mass, current health status.
6.Sleep: Good amount of sleep of 7-8 hours a day releases growth hormone adequately in the body including IGF_1. Also, during sleep, your cortisol level is low giving enough time for cells to repair and regenerate.
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