The protein and sugar molecules found in pasteurized dairy products are extremely difficult to breakdown. The lack of complete breakdown of these proteins and fats will increase blood sugar tremendously. In fact, the proteins (bovine products) in dairy products are the culprit that trigger insulin out of proportion to the sugar content in these foods. The amount of AGE’s circulating in the blood consuming dairy products rises because it forces the pancreas to work harder to bring down blood glucose levels. As a result, AGE’s increase in number because of high blood sugar and are stored in our organs and tissues that lead to diseases like diabetes.
The majority of protein found in dairy products is called, “casein.” Casein makes up 87% of dairy protein. Why should we be concerned about this protein? You may have guessed it already, it is connected to diabetes. In particular, this protein gets partially digested in the intestines and forces our immune system to attack these harmful pathogenic molecules and at the same our immune system attacks our pancreatic cells as well. This metabolic process is one of the leading causes of type 1 diabetes. Consuming dairy products may be one of the reasons type 1 diabetes is rising in our children since so many begin consuming dairy as early as infancy. Who knew that consuming dairy could lead to an auto-immune disease like type 1 diabetes!
Still to this day, the American Diabetic Association recommends diabetics to consume dairy products. The ADA’s refusal to make dietary modifications based on this new research on dairy products is an injustice towards diabetics, pre-diabetics and the general public. The main reason the ADA refuses to change the dietary guidelines regarding dairy is because one of their big financial supporters come form the Dairy Industry.
Modern wheat has become another issue in regards to the diabetes epidemic. Wheat is found in many processed foods but even the so-called healthy alternatives like whole-wheat bread and whole-wheat pasta are not a healthier alternative to processed breads, snacks or white pastas.
To give you an idea of how whole wheat bread is not a better alternative to white bread, let’s look at the glycemic index for a moment. If you were to consume two slices of whole wheat bread with some turkey meat on it, a typical blood glucose reading ranges between 140 to 180 mg/dl. The recommended range for blood sugar is 60 t0 90 mg/dl. Consuming just two slices of wheat bread with some animal protein can spike your sugar 2 to 3 times higher than recommended healthy levels. This high rise in blood sugar will automatically produce higher amounts of AGE’s in the bloodstream and attack your organs.
Wheat metabolism operates similarly to dairy products. You may ask: How so? Eating wheat products that spike blood sugars and increase AGE’s cause what is called, “glucotoxicity.” The actual damage done to pancreatic insulin-producing beta cells is due to high blood sugar and AGE production. So you run the risk of causing type 1 or type 2 diabetes consuming wheat products.
Currently, the American Diabetic Association, nutritionists, dietitians, etc. are still recommending diabetics to consume wheat products as healthier alternatives to refined carbohydrates. In reality, wheat products spike your blood sugar levels creating more AGE’s in the bloodstream than some simple carbohydrates.
To make matters worse, you cause damage to the pancreas by high blood sugar and AGE’s that trigger inflammatory markers, such as, oxidative damage, leptin, various interleukins and tumor necrosis factor. These inflammatory biomarkers are prevalent in pre-diabetics and diabetics. Unless you already have type 1 or 2 diabetes, if you consume lots of wheat products, your chances of developing diabetes goes up exponentially.
The role that meat plays in diabetes goes back to what was mentioned in section one under “Exogenous AGE’s.” When you cook meat at high temperatures it inhibits our body to break them down adequately increasing AGE’s in the blood. The saturated fat in animal products cooked at high temperatures add to this harmful metabolic effect. Frying meat products increase saturated fat levels and give you a double dose of AGE production because of the protein and elevated saturated fat levels in the food. This has a direct effect on your pancreas and is another cause of diabetes.
The ADA does not recommend eating less meat all together for diabetics and why do you think that is? You guessed it, the Meat Industry is another big financial contributor to the ADA.
As you can see, the American Diabetic Association’s dietary guidelines are not helping us win the war on diabetes!
In the last section on diabetes, you have seen how dairy, wheat and meat increase blood sugar and AGE’s and these foods have a similar metabolic connection to Alzheimer’s disease. Let’s look at what happens in the brain consuming these foods that lead to cognitive malfunction.
There are a few things we need to mention about diabetes in this section because the chances of getting cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease goes up in diabetics.
Diabetics are more at risk of developing brain diseases because they already have trouble transporting glucose from the bloodstream to our cells. The brain does not have a glucose transport system which make it vulnerable to AGE’s. In the long-term this leads to peripheral neuropathy, damage to blood vessels and overall poor brain function. If you are diabetic, it is imperative that you eliminate dairy, wheat and meat as much a possible and consume more plant-based foods. What is toxic to your pancreas becomes toxic to your brain and increases the risk of Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders long-term.
Some researchers are calling Alzheimer’s type 3 diabetes. Unlike type 1 and 2 diabetes that effect the pancreas, this process inhibits normal energy metabolism in the brain, due to, AGE’s binding to proteins in the brain. So for the diabetic, poor sugar metabolism make their brains more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease. However, many non-diabetic Americans who consume large amounts of meat, dairy and wheat have high blood sugar problems that are often unnoticed since we are taught to consume these foods for better health, yet, it increases their chances of developing diabetes and/or Alzheimer’s disease.
These AGE’s that bind to proteins in brain cells and cause poor metabolic brain function literally changes the structure of the brain that lead to neuro-cognitive and neurological diseases.
AGE’s cause the blood to become thicker and harder limiting cells to carry oxygen to our tissues and organs. This metabolic defect comes at a price for our brains. Since the brain utilizes about 20% of available glucose in the bloodstream, our blood sugar levels are of utmost importance for proper brain function, especially, long-term healthy blood sugar levels. When they are too high, AGE’s then become destructive.
Long-term elevated levels of AGE’s circulating in the brain effect the production of two primary biomarkers that help to create Alzheimer’s disease.
The two biological markers in individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease are high levels of beta-amyloid plaque and neurofibrillary tangles. The brain naturally produces these beta-amyloid plaques but when sustained high blood sugar levels subsist for days, weeks and years with the diet mentioned throughout this article, the brain is unable to rid the brain of these beta-amyloid plaques.
In fact, there is an enzyme called an “insulin degrading enzyme” that functions to regulate insulin levels in the body but when you create high blood sugar spikes that produce AGE’s in the brain, this enzyme has to help the brain rid itself of beta-amyloid plaque and sacrifices the balancing effect of insulin levels. The battle between regulating insulin levels and ridding the brain of beta-amyloid plaque put you at risk for diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease at once.
Too much beta-amyloid plaque build-up in the brain caused by AGE’s effects the shape of brain cell synapses. Parts of the neurons that do the sending (axons) and receiving (dendrites) of our neurons become damaged and malfunction. The symptoms created by neuronal damage are memory loss, foggy thinking, behavioral changes, emotional outbursts, mild cognitive disfunction, Alzheimer’s, etc. This also creates colonies of neurofibrillary tangles that is connected to Alzheimer’s and the other symptoms just mentioned.
If you want to prevent Alzheimer’s disease or any other brain disease, then a good start would be to reduce animal protein consumption, dairy and wheat.
Like we saw in diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, AGE’s damage to pancreatic cells and brain cells also increase your chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Your pancreatic cells are also damaged by a process called, “lipotoxicity.” When your triglycerides are elevated by poorly digesting wheat and increases AGE production, these sugar molecules stick to cellular proteins and fats in your capillaries, blood vessels and arteries. We have been taught that whole wheat is heart healthy but when you look at it from the perspective of blood sugar, the idea of consuming wheat becomes an unhealthy choice to prevent or reverse cardiovascular disease.
The dominant biomarker we use to refer to cardiovascular disease is “cholesterol.” The medical and nutrition industry has given “low density lipoprotein” (LDL) a bad name by placing it as the primary cause of heart disease. However, LDL cholesterol is not the issue, it’s a type of LDL cholesterol called, “very low density lipoprotein” (VLDL) and its particle size in the bloodstream that puts you at risk for developing cardiovascular diseases.
Large VLDL particles are taken up by the liver for proper disposal. Small VLDL particles are poorly recognized by the liver for metabolic removal, so they stay in the bloodstream longer. When these small VLDL particles become joined with AGE’s, they are more likely to become oxidized and potentially cause atherosclerotic plaques. If you consume foods like meat, dairy and wheat that cause higher AGE production, then the liver produces more small VLDL particles to enter the bloodstream putting you more at risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
Inflammation is also triggered by AGE’s in your cardiovascular system causing more tissue damage. Again, meat, dairy and wheat consumption creates this chronic condition long-term. When you combine oxidation, glycation, inflammation and small LDL particles you have a recipe for heart disease and these foods cause each of these metabolic conditions simultaneously.
As you can see, the diseases discussed in this section clearly have similar metabolic effects from the production of AGE’s. Keep in mind that this is only one biomarker that helps to create disease in the body and is not the sole cause but AGE’s do play an important role in their development. To get a bigger picture of the different ways our bodies breakdown at the cellular level, check out our article called, The Missing Link To Health. You will learn how most diseases can be linked to a metabolic disorder in our cells, the multiple reasons that contribute to poor cellular health and ways to improve cellular function. The purpose of this article shows you another metabolic benchmark in AGE production as a part of that process.
4. What are some blood tests to access my risk?
Below is a list of tests to get done and the ranges you need to be in to ensure your blood sugar levels are at normal levels and to reduce AGE production in the bloodstream. Remember, your body naturally produces AGE’s when you metabolize foods but you want to make sure they are produced in lower numbers daily and long-term as a preventative measure.
Triglyceride Levels: Anything over 100 mg/dl
High triglyceride to HDL ratio: over 1;1 or 2:1
Cholesterol levels and particle number (size):
Low HDL: less than 50 mg/dl for a man and less than 60 mg/dl for a woman.
Many LDL particles (over 1000)
Many small LDL particles (over 400)
How do you get your particle number count?
There are two ways:
- You can ask your doctor to measure the particle number by a laboratory method called a “nuclear magnetic resonance” (NMR) lipoprotein analysis.
- Testing apoprotein B (this shows your actual LDL particle count). You must make sure your physician has been medically trained on how to test for these numbers.
Hemoglobin A1c: you want to stay at 5.5 percent, anything over 5.5 indicates elevated blood sugar levels.
This tests shows you your average blood sugar levels in the last 60 to 90 days. The test may indicate that you are a diabetic or whether you are at risk for developing diabetes, therefore, it is used as a diagnostic test for diabetes.
Fasting glucose: over 90 mg/dl
Fasting Insulin: anything over 5
Testing your fasting glucose and insulin levels 30 minutes, 1 hr, and 2 hrs after consuming a 75 gram drink of glucose should be as follows:
Glucose should not rise above 110 mg/dl
Insulin should range between 2 and 5 IU/dl. Anything greater than 10 IU/dl is significantly elevated. At the 30 minute, 1 hr and 2 hr time frames, insulin levels should be less than 25 to 30 IU/dl.
Now you know the necessary tests to get done to give you an idea of how low or high your AGE production is and how it is effecting your health in a good or bad way.
You may want to get a glucometer to measure your blood sugar before and after a meal to see how your body responds to the foods you eat on a daily basis. This is helpful because it can allow you to make nutrition adjustments as needed. We all metabolize foods differently so this is an objective analysis of how well you are digesting your foods that influence your blood sugar levels.
You have made it to the last question! Let’s list some lifestyle habits you can do to get you on a better path to managing blood sugar while preventing or even improving the diseases mentioned in this article.
- Hydration: water is imperative when it comes to stabilizing blood sugar. There is enough Japanese medical literature that indicates drinking ionized alkaline water may be more bio-effective in helping to stabilize blood sugar. It is recommended that you consume a minimum of a gallon of ionized alkaline Kangen water daily.
- Plant-based foods: eat low glycemic fruits, vegetables in all colors, dark leafy green vegetables, superfooods like those found in our Core Greens will help your body to sustain healthy blood sugar levels. It is becoming clear that for diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc. that a diet consisting of 80% plant-based foods can prevent, slow down or even reverse most diseases. Check out our 7 day whole food eating guide HERE and put this into immediate practice!
- Healthy Fats: Raw nuts and seeds, Core EFA’s, organic flax oil, chia seeds, 1 tbs of coconut oil daily, pharmaceutical grade fish oil, wild caught fish are just a few to incorporate in your life daily. These fats will stabilize blood sugar and help to decrease the stickiness of your red blood cells.
- Healthy grains: raw soaked oats in almond milk, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, brown rice, etc. You may be thinking that these may spike blood sugar and for some it does, however, they are loaded with fiber to help stabilize blood sugar. You may just want to limit these foods to a 1/2 cup daily. Use your glucometer to see how these foods effect your blood sugar.
- Eating more raw foods: the more raw foods that you eat, the better you will manage your blood sugar and production of AGE’s. The raw plant-foods, raw oats, raw nuts and seeds is a good start. Some healthy food sources requires that you cook them, so eating 100% raw is not practical. However, the more raw foods you eat and reduce cooked food consumption, the better your blood sugar levels will be daily and long-term.
- Meditation/Prayer: Doing meditation or prayer allows your body to reduce stress hormone secretion and assists in blood sugar regulation. When you are stressed, the production of cortisol increases and elevates your blood sugar. Daily de-stressing is a great way to reduce blood sugar and AGE production.
- Aerobic Exercise: Spending 30 minutes to an hour every day doing some for of cardiovascular exercise helps to regulate blood sugar. It also balances out stress hormone levels that tend to elevate blood sugar levels. Overall, aerobic exercise benefits the body as a whole and prevents and improves many diseases.
By incorporating these lifestyle habits, you are on your way to managing your blood sugar levels, reduce AGE production, improving health conditions and/or preventing disease all together.
Here are some questions for you!
- What stood out to you in this article?
- What was intriguing about it?
- What was exciting or captivating?
- What concerns do you have?
- What are the implications of this article in relationship to yourself and your health?
- What new lifestyle habits are you going to make with this new information?
Answer these questions in the comment section at the end of this article! We appreciate your feedback, your questions and hearing how you are going to change your life for the better!
To life, health, longevity and happiness!!
Enzyme Nutritionist & Blog Writer
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