What are Advanced Glycation End Products?

Changing diet as we get older

The standard American Diet is a leading cause of overeating and obesity. These dietary issues are known to contribute to many serious health problems. Developing insulin resistance, diabetes, and heart disease are all a result of this diet. We are bombarded with Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) both in the food we eat and how we prepare it.

Recent studies have found that harmful compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs) may also have a powerful effect on your metabolic health — regardless of your weight. These harmful compounds are created when proteins or fats combine with sugars in the bloodstream in a process known as glycation. These compounds accumulate naturally as you age and are created when certain foods are cooked at high temperatures. Dietary advanced glycation end products (dAGEs) are known to contribute to increased oxidant stress and inflammation, which are also linked to the recent epidemics of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The formation of AGEs is a part of normal metabolism, but if excessively high levels of AGEs are reached, they can become pathogenic. The pathologic effects of AGEs are related to their ability to promote oxidative stress and inflammation by altering the structure and function of normal cells in out body.

In addition to AGEs that form within the body, they can also exist in food. They are naturally present in uncooked animal-derived foods, and cooking results in the formation of new AGEs within these foods. This is particularly common in preparing food by grilling, broiling, roasting, searing, and frying.

Certain foods, such as animal foods that are high in fat and protein, are more susceptible to AGE formation during cooking. The foods highest in AGEs include meat (especially red meat), certain cheeses, fried eggs, butter, cream cheese, margarine, mayonnaise, oils, and nuts. Fried foods and highly processed products also contain high levels. So even if your diet appears to be reasonably healthy, you may consume an unhealthy amount of harmful AGEs just because of the way your food is cooked.

If you regularly cook foods at high temperatures or consume large amounts of processed foods, your AGE levels are probably high. A diet full of antioxidant-rich foods such as vitamin C and quercetin, have been shown to hinder AGE formation.

Several studies have shown that some natural plant phenols can reduce the negative health effects of AGEs. One of these is the compound curcumin, which is found in turmeric. Resveratrol, which can be found in the skins of dark fruits like grapes, blueberries, and raspberries may likewise help. Therefore, a diet full of colorful fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices may help protect against the damaging effects of AGEs.

Aside from diet, an active lifestyle can help eliminate them from our body. This is especially important as we age. Getting just 30 minutes of moderate exercise (like walking) can help fight AGEs.

Our body naturally rids itself of harmful AGE compounds, but it doesn’t eliminate them effectively when too many are ingested through food. All of our cells are affected by the accumulation of AGEs, which not only have been linked to aging but also the development or worsening of many chronic illnesses. But f dietary changes and lifestyle modifications can help reverse the process.

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