Scientists have recently found that people with high blood sugar levels look older than their actual age -- one year to be exact.
Announced last week, the joint study carried out by Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands and Unilever R&D has discovered, for the first time according to a press release, a relationship between people's blood sugar levels and their perceived facial age.
The study found that for people ages 50-70, those 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 1 mmol/liter increase in blood sugar levels, subjects looked about five months older than their actual age.
"The higher glucose people had, they started looking older," said 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," he added, "because it is going to affect your appearance as well as your health."
Scientists believe this aging effect might be due to a buildup of sugar sticking to collagen, which helps keep skin supple. Others believe that glucose hampers insulin production, which may play a role in aging.
Keys to glowing skin and looking younger include adopting a healthy, balanced lifestyle, and that means eating a healthy diet, getting regular sleep, exercising, and reducing stress. Good sleep optimizes the natural secretion of human growth hormone to promote cell turnover, according to WebMD, while exercise increases circulation and the flow of nutrients to your skin.