Dr. Perricone's Inflammation-Aging Connection Theory
July 15, 2005
Dr. Perricone's years of research have shown that the inflammation-aging connection is the single greatest cause of aging and age-related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, certain forms of cancer, diminished mental and physical energy, the loss of muscle mass and wrinkled, sagging skin.
This inflammation may be caused by:
Eating a pro-inflammatory diet (i.e., high glycemic carbohydrates)
Weakened immune system
Excess exposure to ultraviolet light
This sub-clinical inflammation goes on day after day, year in and year out, leading to disease states as well as the disease of aging. In fact, aging is a chronic, uniformly progressive, inflammatory disease that is always fatal.
Our food choices are critical when it comes to causing and controlling inflammation. This is good to know because it actually means we are in control of the situation! This is the key to health, longevity, mental clarity, well-being and beautiful youthful skin. Foods that are pro-inflammatory, such as all forms of sugar, processed foods, pasta, breads, pastry, baked goods, and snack foods such as rice and corn cakes, chips, pretzels, etc., cause a highly destructive pro-inflammatory response in our bodies. If we choose sugary or starchy foods, we trigger this pro-inflammatory release of sugar into our bloodstream, which causes our body to store fat rather than burn it for energy.
The result? Acceleration of the aging process of all organ systems in our body, including the skin, causing an increased risk of degenerative disease and inflexible, wrinkled, sagging skin. In addition, by eating that muffin or couple of cookies, the resulting insulin response triggers our appetite—causing us to crave more and more of these types of carbohydrates, resulting in a vicious cycle of overeating.
After indulging in the wrong types of carbohydrates, in a matter of hours your "feel-good" brain chemical, serotonin, will drop dramatically. These pro-inflammatory sugary, starchy foods will not only cause weight gain, wrinkles and fatigue—they will put you in a bad mood! And if you are suffering from PMS you can be assured that these foods will magnify all the symptoms one hundred fold.
That is the bad news! Now for the good news:
Fortunately we can control inflammation in our bodies. It starts with the very foods we eat. All we have to do is avoid foods that provoke a "glycemic" response in the body, i.e. cause a rapid rise in blood sugar.