Sugar and Your Skin | Ava MD Beverly Hills

Sugar and Your Skin

It’s true.  You are what you eat.  And sugar and high fructose corn syrup will age you prematurely—inside and out.

But can sugary drinks be good for your health? Especially when they make claims of fruit and vitamin infusions?  Soft drink manufacturers want you to think so.  Most recently, 7-UP prettied up their bottles with ‘antioxidants,’ and promoted their soft-drinks as nutrition-packed sources of refreshment and health. Luckily, a consumer advocacy group is shining the spotlight and suing 7-UP for false marketing. Together with an individual from Sherman Oaks, who feels he was duped by the campaign—and that others were, too.

Sugar eaten in excess not only causes obesity and heart disease—it wreaks havoc with your skin.  It causes a natural process called glycation to kick into overdrive. Sugar in the bloodstream attaches to protein to form harmful molecules known as advanced glycogen end products, or AGEs, that damage collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are responsible for keeping skin firm. Excess sugar affects collagen in the skin. It can make stable forms of collagen more fragile, leaving the skin less supple. And AGEs neutralize antioxidant enzymes, causing skin to lose its natural protection against the sun.

If sugar is bad for your skin, High Fructose Corn Syrup is awful! It not only spikes your cortisol and blood sugar, but it is incredibly difficult for your body to process. This puts stress on your digestive system and makes mayhem with your stress hormones – which leads to acne, oxidative stress, dark circles, hyper pigmentation, increased sun sensitivity, and premature wrinkling.

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No doubt, by printing ‘antioxidant’ on their soft drink bottles, the makers of 7-Up were hoping all the soda lovers out there would make the hopeful leap into thinking they were drinking a life-extending tonic.  But the added antioxidant is only a negligible amount of vitamin E.  And high levels of sugar neutralize the free-radical fighting power of anti-oxidants—causing any good in this formula to get way beat out by the bad.  So, kudos to the consumer advocates for doing their homework.

Companies will always want to sell, and consumers will always want to believe.  But in this ‘information age,’ we all have the ability to educate ourselves, to take responsibility for  safeguarding our health. Knowledge is power.  My thought for the day?  Be informed.