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Aging and Inflammation

By: Peter T. Pugliese, MD
Posted: November 24, 2009, from the December 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 6 of 8

After choosing to restrict calories, a decision must be made about what foods to consume and how to prepare them, because glycation is a real factor in the genesis of inflammation. Two other factors to consider include exercise and supplements. Exercise includes both mental and physical exertion. All of this can be done at home, without going to gym or buying expensive equipment. (Editor’s note: For more information about glycation from Dr. Pugliese, log on to

CR. CR has been shown as the most effective and reproducible means for increasing life span in many animal species, including mammals.4 It is an effective, wide-ranging cancer-prevention regimen based on experimental models. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a critical innate immune system molecule that is a potential predictive marker for the risk of heart disease and stroke. IL-6 is a cytokine with both anti- and pro-inflammatory effects on a variety of cell types, and IL-6 is able to induce the synthesis of all the acute phase proteins in the liver. In a rat study by Kalini et al., CRP, IL-6 and antioxidant levels in the plasma were measured in aging rats.5 There was an age-associated increase in CRP levels and a reduction in antioxidant status. Using a 40% CR diet, these values were reversed in as few as six months. Don’t be alarmed with the 40% CR, for as few as 8% CR was highly effective in reducing CRP, as well as the risk for arteriosclerosis. There was no effect on the level of IL-6.

More research must be done to apply the results of animal CR research to the prevention of human chronic disease, more so now since obesity, which is a risk factor for several chronic diseases and cancers, is increasing rapidly in the Western world.

Before recommending any dietary changes, make sure your client’s physician approves your suggestions. Begin by recommending a 10–20% reduction in caloric intake until the ideal weight is attained. It may take more time, but remember a lifetime habit is being formed. A good regimen is an antiglycation diet, consisting of no cheese and no fried, baked, broiled or roasted foods.

Here, in a nut shell, is why glycation is bad for you. Advanced glycation end (AGE) products are formed both within and outside the body. A major source of AGE is obtained from food cooked at high temperatures, such as frying and roasting. Chemically, AGE products are formed when a sugar such as glucose is combined with a protein to form a nonphysiological compound that the body cannot break down.