Get-U-Noticed was excited to chat to the winner of the Margaret Hirsch Woman In Business Achiever of the Year (Gauteng) award, Dr Tamara Pheiffer on anti ageing hacks that also tie in with diabetes prevention. Tamara is a doctor of homoeopathic medicine and has worked as an in house medical expert for 2 of the top international nutraceutical companies. She has also lectured both nationally and internationally for the American Academy of Anti Aging Medicine and has been a key note speaker at Aesthetic Medical Congress of South Africa. She is also the leader in Africa for Medical Biohacking.
Tamara is pictured here with Margaret and the winner of the award in 2016, Thought Leader and Author, Lori Milner.
Says Tamara “One of the 7 primary causes of aging and age related diseases is a process called glycation. Glycation is the stiffening and hardening of the various tissues of our bodies.
As we get older our tissues become stiffer, harder and more brittle.
Imagine a delicious chicken about to go into the oven for a Sunday roast. The chickens skin is soft and stretchy and very difficult to break or tear. It is the same colour all over.
You slowly place it in the oven and you watch as the magic begins to happen. The skin slowly transforms into a delicious golden brown.
Bing! The oven timer signals and as you open the oven you are whisked away on a cloud of aromas that carry you back to your happiest memories and promise many more. Your mouth is watering.
You cut into the chicken. Now, notice the change in the skin. It is no longer the same colour all over, some bits are darker and other bits are lighter. The stretchiness has all but vanished and has now become crispy, dry, cracked and brittle.
This process is called glycation and it is happening inside our bodies all the time. Over decades of this hardening and stiffening of our tissues they eventually lose the ability to function at their optimal capacity.
Our arteries now struggle to stretch and contract to assist in blood pressure control and blood flow to certain areas becomes stifled. Our heart muscle and lungs lose flexibility and we become prone to heart disease. Our skin, bones and joints begin to stiffen and harden too which reduces healing time. We lose elasticity resulting in brittle, bones, sore joints and wrinkles!
Glycation occurs when excess sugars bind with proteins like collagen and elastin and render them hard and inflexible. These are called AGE’s ( Advanced Glycation End Products), pretty aptly named
This process happens over time, which is why these diseases are mostly associated with aging. This process is significantly accelerated in diabetes where the body is unable to process sugars and carbohydrates optimally. The sugar accumulates and speeds up the damage. The good news is by changing the eating and lifestyle habits that resulted in type 2 diabetes, we are able to slow its progression or even reverse it.
Research has shown that only 25% of us getting our predisposed diseases is genetic. That means that we have 75% control over our health destiny. If we change the ingredients we will get a different cake.
There are certain foods that have been shown to increase AGE’s that we could limit in our diets. As mentioned above, anything that we brown or gets a golden crust is undergoing glycation and thus increasing AGE’s. That golden, crispy goodness that is the binding of sugars with proteins.
Foods high in AGE’s include
• Baked goods ( pies, bread crusts, the crunchy top of a muffin or scone)
• Braai meat
• Simple carbohydrates
By limiting these foods and / or changing the way we cook them so that we do not brown the meat or bake the bread, but rather steam it, we will be able to hold on to our elasticity, flexibility and agility for longer.
A good way to monitor your AGE damage is through testing your HbA1C, your fasting insulin, fasting glucose and vitamin D.
Flexibility equals Strength, let us stay strong together