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Balance Through The A.G.E.s: How Lifestyle Impacts Health & Abstract Art

January 30th, 2024 at Maybank Public House, Charleston, SC.

Dr. David Turner, molecular biologist, Virginia Commonwealth University, Vice Chair of Research at Massey Cancer Center, Dept. of Surgery, and President of the Anti A.G.E. Foundation

Marielena Martinez, MFA, local teaching artist, STEAM educator, and Cultivate SciArt Art Director

What a fascinating Cultivate SciArt event to bring back our Science + Art Happy Hour series!  We learned about A.G.E.s – no, NOT years, rather advanced glycation end products (AGEs) – how they affect us and how we can find balance.  Dr. David Turner, who recently moved from Charleston to become Vice Chair of Research at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center, is sounding the alarm on AGEs. He is asking us all to become AGE aware. With his great graphics and British wit, Dr. Turner shared how sugars can bind to proteins, fats and even genetic material! Only a fraction of these glycation (sugar) complexes can be eliminated from the body so that over time AGEs accumulate in our tissues, increasing oxidative stress and inflammation.

What are the effects of A.G.E. accumulation in the body? 

Dr. Turner and other scientists have shown high-A.G.E. diets and A.G.E. accumulation are linked to poorer health outcomes in many diseases! From cancer to COPD to Alzheimers, the links are startling.

Did you know the A1C blood test for diabetes is a measure of your glycated hemoglobin - aka, the amount of sugar stuck to your major blood component hemoglobin, responsible for carrying oxygen throughout your body? This is an A.G.E. compound and well established marker for diabetes, and development of other chronic health issues including heart, kidney and nerve damage.

So what can we do to limit our A.G.E. exposure? 

While these compounds can form in our body, they also abound in certain foods -- ultra-processed foods, and foods cooked at higher temperatures through grilling, broiling, roasting and frying. So know your ABC's on AGE's and how to balance with low AGE foods, exercise and intermittent fasting.

And to read more about Dr. Turner's journey into AGE research, check out this feature article by local journalist Tony Bartelme: “How We Cook Our Foods Is Killing Us.” 

Piet Mondrian - Pioneer of Abstract Art 

Marielena Martinez, MFA, introduced us to Piet Mondrian, a 20th century Dutch painter and art theoretician. Mondrian transcribed the balance he saw in the world into abstract images. Through the combination of lines and blocks of color he sought to create a “universal beauty.” Can you see the evolution of the landscape?

His iconic patterns now infuse across architecture and fashion! While just a simple combination of lines and primary colors, the sense of balance infuses a playful calm and purpose.

You too can create your own intriguing pieces of abstract art. Sign-up to our logbook blog so you don't miss our art making instructions coming soon!

Thank you to our great Community Partners for this event!

They are doing the hard work of improving access to healthy, low AGE, food options. And click on their logos to learn more about theses awesome organizations and get connected.

AMOR Healing Kitchen provides nutritious, plant-based meals made with love by teen volunteers for people facing critical health challenges. Maria Kelly and the AMOR team teach teen volunteers nutrition, cooking and leadership skills while providing affordable/free meal program options and now sharing the yumminess with weekly Grab and Go options for all!

Destiny Community Cafe established South Carolina’s first Pay-What-You-Can-Cafe. Founder, chef and Executive Director, RaGina Scott-Saunders, has been leading scores of volunteers to provide healthy fresh meals for all.  Following the “So All May Eat” philosophy Scott-Saunders provides more than just food for the community, and adapts in creative ways to make sure food gets to those most in need.

Lowcountry Street Grocery started with Nell, the produce bus, and grew to Community Supported Grocery  and GroceryRx - Meet Olivia Myers RD, LD and her team of leaders who are reinventing access to fresh food and nutrition coaching.  They are “providing produce to the people”, and supporting local farmers along the way!

The Stone Soup Collective turns Lowcountry resources into nourishing plant-based soups for everyone! Adrian and a professional team of volunteers prepare weekly delicious soups from donated local produce. Jars of free fresh soup are then lovingly distributed to seniors, children, community groups, and neighbors. They’ll be sharing jars of soup and community updates on Tuesday.


Check out the fun we had exploring Balance & AGEs together! Click here for more event photos.

Snap some good ones? Share your science, art and community in action shots to social media and tag us!

 @CultivateSciArt   #CultivateScienceArt (remember set as public post so we can see them :-)

And/Or Join our Facebook Group @CultivateSciArtUnity to share.

We are looking forward to seeing your beautiful artwork or hearing what you thought was most interesting about A.G.E.s!


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Logbook Contributors: Jane Settle, Sandy Cipriani, Dr. Bobbie Lyon



I really enjoyed the presentation on A.G.Es! After listening to the presentation, has anyone changed their choices in food preparation or consumption?


Great community event learning about the impacts of A.G.E.s on our health!

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