What Are Advanced Glycation End Products?

Slab of ribs on the grill

Do you know what advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are and how they can impact your health? AGEs are a type of compound that forms when proteins or fats combine with sugars. Unfortunately, these compounds are associated with increased inflammation and oxidative stress, which can lead to tissue damage and the development of chronic diseases.

What are AGES?

AGEs, also known as glycotoxins, can be produced by the body naturally but also through cooking methods such as grilling, frying, and roasting. Processed foods are another culprit for high levels of AGEs. Unfortunately, exposure to these compounds has been linked to a higher risk of inflammation, oxidative stress, and cell damage. This can lead to the development of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

How Can You Avoid AGES?

While the formation of AGEs is a natural part of metabolism, excessive amounts can be harmful to your health. Fortunately, there are several ways to reduce your exposure to AGEs, including cooking with moist methods like steaming or boiling, limiting processed foods, using shorter cooking times, cooking at lower temperatures, and including acidic ingredients like lemon juice and vinegar. Modern diets tend to be high in processed foods that contain higher levels of AGEs, so it’s important to limit your intake of these foods. Instead, opt for carbohydrate-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and milk that tend to be lower in AGEs even after cooking. Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome can also contribute to lower levels of circulating AGEs, which can be achieved by consuming a diet rich in probiotic foods like fermented foods or by taking a probiotic supplement. Finally, incorporating a diet rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals found in plants can help reduce cell damage caused by AGEs.

By better understanding AGEs and their effects, you can make informed choices to help reduce your exposure to them and reduce your risk of age-related chronic disease.


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