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Diabetes can make your face look older

health and fitness Updated: Dec 15, 2011 13:56 IST

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Scientists have recently found that people with high blood sugar levels look older than their actual age — one year to be exact. The joint study, carried out by Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands and Unilever R&D, has revealed this discovery.

The study found out that for people, who had high blood sugar levels, either due to a poor diet or diabetes, consistently looked older than those with lower blood sugar levels. The findings revealed that for every one mmol/litre increase in blood sugar levels, subjects looked about five months older than their actual age.

“People with high glucose start looking older,” says lead researcher David Gunn in the release. “Diabetics looked older again, and they have had the worst exposure to high glucose levels. This adds extra evidence that there is another reason to have a healthy lifestyle because it is going to affect your appearance as well as your health.”

Scientists believe this aging effect might be due to the build-up of sugar sticking to collagen, which helps keep skin supple. Others believe that glucose hampers insulin production, which may play a role in ageing.

Keys to looking younger and having glowing skin and include adopting a good lifestyle, and that means eating a healthy diet, getting regular sleep, exercising, and reducing stress. Good sleep optimises the natural secretion of the human growth hormone to promote cell turnover, while exercise increases circulation and the flow of nutrients to your skin.