The Silent Killer
The deadly effects of even slightly elevated glucose are fatally misunderstood.
One reason for this calamity is physicians who continue to rely on obsolete blood glucose ranges. These doctors fail to recognize that any excess glucose creates lethal metabolic pathologies that are underlying factors behind multiple age-related diseases.
People today thus suffer and die from diabetic-like complications without knowing their blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high!
Life Extension long ago argued that most aging people have elevated blood glucose. Our controversial position has been vindicated as mainstream medicine consistently lowers the upper-level threshold of acceptable (safe) fasting blood glucose.
As new evidence accumulates, it has become abundantly clear that maturing individuals need to take aggressive actions to ensure their fasting and after-meal glucose levels are kept in safe ranges.
Glucose Is Like Gasoline
Our body's primary source of energy is glucose. All of our cells use it, and when there is not enough glucose available, our body shuts down in a similar way that a car engine stops when the gasoline tank is empty.
When glucose is properly utilized, our cells produce energy efficiently. As cellular sensitivity to insulin diminishes, excess glucose accumulates in our bloodstream. Like spilled gasoline, excess blood glucose creates a highly combustible environment from which oxidative and inflammatory fires chronically erupt.
Excess glucose not used for energy production converts to triglycerides that are either stored as unwanted body fat or accumulate in the blood where they contribute to the formation of atherosclerotic plaque.
If you were filling your automobile with gasoline and the tank reached full, you would not keep pumping in more gas. Yet most people keep fueling their bodies with excess energy (glucose) with little regard to the deadly consequences.
As an aging human, you face a daily onslaught of excess glucose that poses a greater risk to your safety than overflowing gasoline. Surplus glucose relentlessly reacts with your body's proteins, causing damaging glycation reactions while fueling the fires of chronic inflammation and inciting the production of destructive free radicals.
Why Any "Excess" Glucose is Dangerous
Sugar damages cells via multiple mechanisms and is a causative factor in common diseases of aging.
In a group of humans who reduced their food intake to calorie restriction levels, fasting glucose declined to an average of 74 mg/dL. This corresponds to animal studies in which caloric restriction induced significant reductions in blood glucose in conjunction with extension of life span.
It is well established that cutting calorie intake reduces one's risk of age-related diseases and slows markers of aging. One reason for this may be the reduction in blood glucose (and insulin) levels that occurs in response to ingesting fewer calories.
In a study of 230 men, high glucose was independently associated with a 38% increase in deaths from digestive tract cancers. Other studies show that diabetics have even greater increased cancer risks.
Diabetics suffer such horrific incidences of vascular disorders that some experts believe that coronary artery occlusion and diabetes should be classified as the same disease. In other words, if you are diabetic, you are almost certainly going to suffer coronary atherosclerosis.
In a study involving 1,800 people, coronary disease rates were the same over a 10-year period in pre-diabetics compared to those with full-blown diabetes. The authors of the study commented that impaired fasting glucose significantly increased risk in comparison with the normal glucose group and concluded:
"Early control of blood glucose is essential to prevention and control of coronary heart disease."
As people age, their fasting glucose levels usually increase as their health declines.
Standard laboratory reference ranges allow an upper-limit of fasting glucose of 99 mg/dL. Yet the most effective anti-aging therapy---caloric restriction---lowers fasting glucose levels to the 70-85 mg/dL range.
Recent studies indicate that keeping fasting glucose levels in the range of 70-85 mg/dL and not allowing after-meal glucose levels to spike higher than 40 mg/dL over your fasting value, favorably influences our longevity genes.
The take-home lesson is that one can slash their risks of age-related diseases and possibly slow their rate of aging by tightly controlling blood glucose levels.
Life Extensions Magazine
So what are some clinical signs of glucose and insulin resistant problems? Increased cholesterol, low HDL, high LDL, increased triglycerides, increased fasting glucose, increased hemoglobin A1C, and increased insulin. It has amazed me in the last few weeks at the office with the amount of elevated glucose levels on patients that we have seen measuring it with our glucometer. A lot of people are going around daily with this problem and don't even realize it. Reduction carbohydrates and sugars is a starting point for these individuals. Many supplements will help along the way too. Caloric reduction is very beneficial for many in terms of intermittent fasting which you can scroll through on some of my previous blogs. Next time you are in our office, let us check your glucose levels and give you some good options.