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Carbs, How They Create A.G.E.s. Your ticket to Alzheimer’s Disease, Cancer, Heart Disease and more

How Carbs Create A.G.E.s. Your ticket to Alzheimer’s Disease, Cancer, Heart Disease and more

AGES are the single, most influential, factor in what ages us and
are responsible for a majority of the illness and disease that we live with today. Dr Perlmutter explains it much better in his book Grain Brain in chapter 4, starting on page 99, about Advanced Glycation End-productS.

According to Wikipedia;

“In human nutrition and biology, advanced glycation end products, known as AGEs, are substances that can be a factor in the development or worsening of many degenerative diseases, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, chronic renal failure, and Alzheimer’s disease.[1]

Before we continue on with this post, a disclaimer: all paragraphs that are blocked in quotations marks, are all copied directly from Wikipedia, Grain Brain or Wheat Belly. I did this on numerous passages on this post for the purpose of expediency. I apologize; my time is too limited to deconstruct everything I use from those indispensable sources. With that said, it’s time to get started;

Wikipedia goes on to say,

“These harmful compounds can affect nearly every type of cell and molecule in the body and are thought to be one factor in aging and in some age-related chronic diseases. They are also believed to play a causative role in the blood-vessel complications of diabetes mellitus. AGEs are seen as speeding up oxidative damage to cells and in altering their normal behavior.”

The questions this conjures, is, what ever could cause these damaging substances? They’re a normal part of aging but what amplifies their behavior is a part of our diet that’s been with us forever, carbohydrates, plain and simple. I understand why this is hard for you to accept, so we’ll go through all of the effects they cause and look at what wheat and gluten play in each part.

AGEs have a range of pathological effects, such as:[25][26]

Oxidative stress is caused by “Glycation (sometimes called non-enzymatic glycosylation) is the result of typically covalent bonding of a protein or lipid molecule with a sugar molecule, such as fructose or glucose, without the controlling action of an enzyme.”

“Some AGEs are benign, but others are more reactive than the sugars they are derived from, and are implicated in many age-related chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (the endothelium, fibrinogen, and collagen are damaged), Alzheimer’s disease (amyloid proteins are side-products of the reactions progressing to AGEs),[8][9] cancer (acrylamide and other side-products are released), peripheral neuropathy (the myelin is attacked), and other sensory losses such as deafness (due to demyelination). This range of diseases is the result of the very basic level at which glycations interfere with molecular and cellular functioning throughout the body and the release of highly oxidizing side-products such as hydrogen peroxide.”

Of all the causes and effects, listed above, the two we’re going to look at are oxidative stress and cytokines. The primary reason I want to examine these factors is because, these two are responsible for what makes many carboholics look 70, when they’re actually only 55. So, let’s break down each part; we’ll start with cytokines. If you haven’t checked out what Wikipedia has to say about these destroyers of life, you should do so now, right now.

“Cytokines are a broad and loose category of small proteins that are important in cell signaling. They are released by cells and affect the behavior of other cells. Cytokines are produced by a broad range of cells, including immune cells like macrophages, B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes and mast cells, as well as endothelial cells, fibroblasts, and various stromal cells; a given cytokine may be produced by more than one type of cell.[1][2][3]

“They act through receptors, and are especially important in the immune system; cytokines modulate the balance between humoral and cell-based immune responses, and they regulate the maturation, growth, and responsiveness of particular cell populations. Some cytokines enhance or inhibit the action of other cytokines in complex ways.[3]

“They are different from hormones, which are also important cell signaling molecules, in that hormones circulate in much lower concentrations and hormones tend to be made by specific kinds of cells.”

“They are important in health and disease, specifically in host responses to infection, immune responses, inflammation, trauma, sepsis, cancer, and reproduction.”

“A key focus of interest has been that cytokines in one of these two sub-sets tend to inhibit the effects of those in the other. Dysregulation of this tendency is under intensive study for its possible role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disorders.”

“Several inflammatory cytokines are induced by oxidative stress.[7][8] The fact that cytokines themselves trigger the release of other cytokines[9][10][11] and also lead to increased oxidative stress makes them important in chronic inflammation, as well as other immunoresponses, such as fever and acute phase proteins of the liver.”

If all this is the responsibility of cytokines, and cytokines are caused by oxidative stress, what does the oxidative stress play in this equation.

“Oxidative stress reflects an imbalance between the systemic manifestation of reactive oxygen species and a biological system’s ability to readily detoxify the reactive intermediates or to repair the resulting damage.”

“In humans, oxidative stress is thought to be involved in the development of Asperger syndrome,[2] ADHD,[3] cancer,[4] Parkinson’s disease,[5] Lafora disease,[6] Alzheimer’s disease,[7][8] atherosclerosis,[9] heart failure,[10] myocardial infarction,[11][12] fragile X syndrome,[13] Sickle Cell Disease,[14] lichen planus,[15] vitiligo,[16] autism,[17] infection,[18] and chronic fatigue syndrome.[19] However, reactive oxygen species can be beneficial, as they are used by the immune system as a way to attack and kill pathogens.[20] Short-term oxidative stress may also be important in prevention of aging by induction of a process named mitohormesis.[21]” 

If oxidative stress is bad for you in the long term and good for you in the short term, what about the short term benefits? We’ll come back beck to look at the short benefits of oxidative stress, after we look at what it does to you in the long run.

To summarize the above paragraphs from Wikipedia, long term oxidative can be deadly, but short term oxidative stress is beneficial.

The short term benefits of oxidative stress come mostly from exercise, but also from “curcumin from turmeric, green tea extract, silymarin (milk thistle), bacopa extract, DHA, sulforaphane (contained in broccoli), and ashwagandha”.

“Short-term oxidative stress may also be important in prevention of aging by induction of a process named mitohormesis.[21]” Short term oxidative stress also helps build up Nrf2 in your brain which can supercharge your production of antioxidants. “Activation of Nrf2 results in the induction of many cytoprotective proteins.”

“One of the areas where the concept of hormesis has been explored extensively with respect to its applicability is aging.[12][13] Since the basic survival capacity of any biological system depends on its homeodynamic (homeostatic) ability, biogerontologists proposed that exposing cells and organisms to mild stress should result in the adaptive or hormetic response with various biological benefits. This idea has now gathered a large body of supportive evidence showing that repetitive mild stress exposure has anti-aging effects.[14][15] Exercise is a paradigm for hormesis in this respect.[15] Some of the mild stresses used for such studies on the application of hormesis in aging research and interventions are heat shock, irradiation, prooxidants, hypergravity and food restriction.[14][15][16]Some other natural and synthetic molecules, such as celasterols from medicinal herbs and curcumin from the spice turmeric have also been found to have hormetic beneficial effects.[17] Such compounds which bring about their health beneficial effects by stimulating or by modulating stress response pathways in cells have been termed “hormetins”.[14] Hormetic interventions have also been proposed at the clinical level,[18] with a variety of stimuli, challenges and stressful actions, that aim to increase the dynamical complexity of the biological systems in humans.[19]

Exercise is the best way to induce mitohormesis. but it can be found in curcumin also, which can be found in turmeric, an important spice used extensively on the Indian subcontinent. This one little compound is so important in the proliferation of your antioxidants, that some drug companies, are trying to copy it with their own chemical versions, like, Tecfidera, oltipraz, Bardoxolone methyl, to name a few. It’s that important.

Calorie restriction is another way to build up your anti-oxidants. This will build up more anti-oxidants in you than what you  could ever drink. We’ll talk more about that later.

Effects in aging

“One of the areas where the concept of hormesis has been explored extensively with respect to its applicability is aging.[12][13] Since the basic survival capacity of any biological system depends on its homeostatic ability, biogerontologists proposed that exposing cells and organisms to mild stress should result in the adaptive or hormetic response with various biological benefits. This idea has now gathered a large body of supportive evidence showing that repetitive mild stress exposure has anti-aging effects.[14][15] Exercise is a paradigm for hormesis in this respect.[15] Some of the mild stresses used for such studies on the application of hormesis in aging research and interventions are heat shock, irradiation, prooxidants, hypergravity and food restriction.[14][15][16] Some other natural and synthetic molecules, such as medicinal herbs and curcumin from the spice turmeric have also been found to have hormetic beneficial effects.[17] Such compounds which bring about their healthy beneficial effects by stimulating or by modulating stress response pathways in cells have been termed “hormetins”.[14] Hormetic interventions have also been proposed at the clinical level,[18] with a variety of stimuli, challenges and stressful actions, that aim to increase the dynamical complexity of the biological systems in humans.[19]

“Epidemiological data suggest that individuals with a low calorie intake may have a reduced risk of stroke and neurodegenerative disorders. There is a strong correlation between per capita food consumption and risk for Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. Data from population-based case control studies showed that individuals with the lowest daily calorie intakes had the lowest risk of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.”

Because “calorie restriction has been demonstrated in a variety of laboratory models to induce Nrf2 activation”, it’s as important as the exercise. Nrf2 is a basic leucine zipper (bZIP) protein that regulates the expression of antioxidant proteins that protect against oxidative damage triggered by injury and inflammation.[2]

When calories are reduced in the diets of lab animals, they not only live longer, but also become remarkably resistant to the development of several cancers.” This is according to Dr Perlmutter, in Grain Brain. Calorie restriction is close to impossible when you are a carboholic, on a carbohydrate diet. Every two hours or so you need another infusion of glucose into your system, to keep you going. Your hunger cycles force you into this repetitive behavior. You really have little choice in it because of the drop in your sugar levels. A carboholic cannot stand the rigors and stress of fasting as easy as someone who’s been on a keto diet for of any length of time. This is one of the biggest reasons that I remain on my MCT keto diet

What else builds up Nrf2 in your brain? A diet high in fats, omega 3 fats in particular. MCT’s are the best. MCTs like coconut oil, and a diet low in carbohydrates. Why? To me, it’s simple, fats won’t glycate other fats. Glycation occurs when glucose mixes with lipoproteins (cholesterol). It’s sugars that glycate cholesterol. If, it’s the glycation of cholesterol that leads to most illness and diseases, and building up Nrf2 in your brain can help protect you from that glycation, why wouldn’t you want to build it up?

Dr. Perlmutter, says it better, in Grain Brain, of page 127 in chapter 5, where he explain the effect of antioxidant protection, and how we can generate more antioxidants, with our diet, than what we can ever ingest through drinking antioxidant beverages. He says, ”Several natural compounds that turn on antioxidant and detoxification pathways through activation of the Nrf2 system have been identified”, which we talked about above.

To summarize,

With all of these deadly consequences AGES offer, why do people still continue to eat carbs and continue to suffer the effects of dealing with the long term effects of these things?

Short term effects are really beneficial, like increasing your auto immune system by ramping up your antioxidant production, protecting from all of the above diseases. If abstaining from carbs can bring you some of the short term effects, again, I have to ask myself, why do people still continue to eat carbs and continue to suffer the the long term effects of these things?

But then, I know the answer, Addiction which is a good reason to visit Why the addiction is so hard to break.