Sugar in the bloodstream attaches to collagen and elastin molecules via the glycation process, forming harmful new molecules called ‘advanced glycation end products’ (AGE’s). The more sugar you eat, the more AGE’s you develop, and the more collagen and elastin fibres get damaged. The glycation process also transforms the most stable and long-lasting collagen fibres to more fragile fibres. This is one of the main reasons sugar makes us age on both the inside and outside. Too many AGE’s causes the skin to wrinkle, negatively impacts the biomechanical properties of tendons and leads to gut issues (due to damage caused to the intestinal lining resulting in inflammation).
If that wasn’t bad enough, sugar competes with vitamin C for space in cells due the similarities in their chemical structure. Diets high in sugar leads to low levels of vitamin C, thus inhibiting formation of new collagen fibres. For this reason, watch out for supplements that are high in sugar and don’t contain vitamin C because the likelihood is, they probably won’t work!