Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) seem to be important in aging, their buildup effectively a form of damage that harms cellular processes in a number of ways. Here, researchers suggest that an AGE precursor chemical is also problematic: "Oxidative stress is believed to be a very important factor in causing aging and age-related diseases. Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance between oxidants such as reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidants. ROS are produced from the mitochondrial electron transport chain and many oxidative reactions. Methylglyoxal (MG) is a highly reactive dicarbonyl metabolite formed during glucose, protein and fatty acid metabolism. MG levels are elevated in hyperglycemia and other conditions. An excess of MG formation can increase ROS production and cause oxidative stress. MG reacts with proteins, DNA and other biomolecules, and is a major precursor of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs are also associated with the aging process and age-related diseases such as cardiovascular complications of diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and connective tissue disorders. AGEs also increase oxidative stress. In this review we discuss the potential role of MG in the aging process through increasing oxidative stress besides causing AGEs formation. Specific and effective scavengers and crosslink breakers of MG and AGEs are being developed and can become potential treatments to slow the aging process and prevent many diseases."