Did you know that November is National Diabetes Month? This is extremely appropriate after Halloween and the sugar binging that usually accompanies it. While feasting on leftover candy, you might want to keep the following information in mind. After ingestion, sugar is not simply “burned off.” Even if you are fit and lean, sugar is harmful because it accelerates cellular aging. Sugar in the bloodstream attaches to proteins, creating something called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These end products render those proteins inactive, and are commonly used as a marker for aging. In fact, one of the hallmark diagnostic tests for chronically elevated blood sugar/ diabetes is HbA1C, which is an AGE of a hemoglobin molecule. Sugar profoundly alters hormone balance, especially over time, which can set off a cascade of metabolic dysfunction that further accelerates aging systemically, from the arteries to the liver and skin. The dangers of sugar extend beyond a few extra pounds – this ubiquitous substance (found in everything from salad dressings to condiments to your favorite desserts) – actually ages the body from the inside out.