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Your 93,000-Mile-Long Organ

December 26, 2011
Doctor's House Call Al Sears
Al Sears, MD
11903 Southern Blvd., Ste. 208
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411
December 23, 2011

Dear Steve,

Today I want to show you an important way to improve your health and protect you against a problem we’ve created in the modern world.

When we cook our food, it creates a byproduct called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs, that we’re not exactly built for.

But you can compensate for them with some natural solutions that will help you:

  • Keep your arteries supple and strong
  • Maintain endothelial function
  • Have healthy blood pressure
  • Give your body the strongest antioxidant protection possible
  • Prevent the buildup of bodily toxins
  • Lower inflammation and prevent diseases like diabetes and atherosclerosis

AGEs occur when a sugar attaches itself to a protein or fat. Sometimes this happens when you “brown” food – like when you caramelize vegetables on the stove, or get a “golden” or brown crust on baked goods.

It also happens when you cook meats for a long time, or it might happen when you brown your Christmas ham as you’re cooking it this weekend.

When you eat foods with AGEs, they can gather in any number of tissues. The basic result is that the tissue gets “stiffer.” When tissues get stiffer, they don’t work as they should.

This is especially true of your endothelium, the organ in your body that’s more than 93,000 miles long. The endothelium lines many tissues in your body including your veins, and is critical to proper blood flow.

AGEs block nitric oxide activity in the endothelium, keeping your blood vessels from relaxing and flowing freely. AGEs also cause the endothelium to produce a nasty free radical called reactive oxygen species that’s very damaging to healthy cells and tissue.

A recent study looked at the endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress before and after a meal containing AGEs. After the meal, the people who ate the high-AGE meal had their capillary blood flow reduced by 62%, while the ability of larger vessels to dilate decreased by 36%.1

AGEs have been associated with a number of diseases, especially diabetes and atherosclerosis.

But AGEs don’t only come from outside your body in the form of food or pollutants like cigarette smoke. You make AGEs inside your body, too.

After you eat, your body can still make advanced glycation end products from the simple sugars from carbs as well as sugary foods. And while a lot of sugar goes to run your metabolism, any sugar circulating in your blood has many chances to be turned into an AGE, especially if you eat a lot of carbs or sugar at once.

Fructose undergoes glycation at about 10 times the rate as glucose. Considering all the products that have swapped natural sugar for concentrated fructose, is it a surprise we’re seeing skyrocketing rates of diabetes and other chronic inflammatory diseases?

To prevent buildup of AGEs in your body, follow these four easy steps:

  1. Eat Fresh – Avoid foods that have been heated for prolonged periods of time, particularly meats, fats, and broiled foods, and cured or processed meats. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat quality meat, just don’t overcook and prevent browning if possible. Cooking with water – like steaming or boiling – prevents caramelizing.
  2. Take Thiamin – Thiamin is an important part of processing any carbs you eat and avoiding producing AGEs. In the study from above, researchers gave some people a kind of thiamin (vitamin B1), and it completely prevented the detrimental effects on blood vessels. And you don’t need much. Take 1.5 mg a day.
  3. Get the Right Vitamin E – Vitamin E is really a group of eight nutrients. Four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. But studies show that only tocotrienols reduce the amount of AGEs in your body.2 The best way to get tocotrienols is with Annatto oil. Its vitamin E is almost all tocotrienols.
  4. Do Some Mineral Magic – The mineral selenium helps your body make one of its most powerful antioxidants, glutathione. This might be why, in scientific studies, cells treated with selenium are able to eradicate AGEs.3 All you need is 55 mcg of selenium a day. Eating one Brazil nut each day more than does the trick.

If you follow these steps, you’ll have a stress-free holiday meal this weekend. Merry Christmas from me and my staff to you and your family and friends.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD

Christmas 2011 Employee PhotoChristmas at my Health and Wellness Center
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