On the Impact of AGEs in the Diet
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Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are implicated in aging - one of the forms of chemical gunk that accumulates in the body over time, harming the operation of intricate biomolecular machinery (in this case probably by triggering cells to respond in an undesirable way). AGEs are a part of our dietary intake as well as being generated in the body, and there is a debate over the degree to which dietary intake of AGEs is important in the pace of buildup over a lifetime - and the role of gut bacteria for that matter, given that they can independently produce AGEs as well. Here is a review paper on the subject: "Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are a heterogeneous, complex group of compounds that are formed when reducing sugar reacts in a non-enzymatic way with amino acids in proteins and other macromolecules. This occurs both exogenously (in food) and endogenously (in humans) with greater concentrations found in older adults. While higher AGEs occur in both healthy older adults and those with chronic diseases, research is progressing to both quantify AGEs in food and in people, and to identify mechanisms that would explain why some human tissues are damaged, and others are not. In the last twenty years, there has been increased evidence that AGEs could be implicated in the development of chronic degenerative diseases of aging, such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease and with complications of diabetes mellitus. Results of several studies in animal models and humans show that the restriction of dietary AGEs has positive effects on wound healing, insulin resistance and cardiovascular diseases. Recently, the effect of restriction in AGEs intake has been reported to increase the lifespan in animal models. This paper will summarize the work that has been published for both food AGEs and in vivo AGEs and their relation with aging, as well as provide suggestions for future research."

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22254007

Comments

What foods have more AGEs? I don't know of a tool that lists foods by AGE content.
What favors the production of AGEs in food? I imagine that the older the animal the more AGEs. What about vegetables and fruits? Does sugar content play a role? Do some industrial processes create AGEs?

Posted by: Hervé Musseau at January 20, 2012 1:59 AM

@Hervé Musseau: A short list of AGE content by food, with a link to the paper it is from, is here:

http://inhumanexperiment.blogspot.com/2009/09/age-content-of-foods.html

As to what favors AGE production in food, think of the results of heating sugars, such as the Maillard reaction:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maillard_reaction

Posted by: Reason at January 20, 2012 5:03 AM
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