Advanced glycation end products, (AGEs) are proteins or lipids that become glycated as a result of exposure to sugars. They can be a factor in aging and in the development or worsening of many degenerative diseases, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, chronic renal failure, and Alzheimer’s disease.
AGEs affect nearly every type of cell and molecule in the body and are thought to be one factor in aging and some age-related chronic diseases. They are also believed to play a causative role in the vascular complications of diabetes mellitus. __ Wikipedia: Advanced glycation end-products
Killing Ourselves Slowly, Sweetly, and Stealthily
AGEs are both generated in the body as a side-effect of metabolic operation, but can also be found in the diet. There are numerous different classes of AGE, some more common than others. As a general rule the common AGEs are easily broken down and removed in healthy individuals, while the rare ones are persistent and in some cases cannot be broken down at all by our evolved molecular toolkit. The common AGEs play more of a role in metabolic disease: the dysregulated diabetic metabolism suffers from high levels of circulating AGEs, for example. These AGEs interact with the receptor for advanced glycation end-products, RAGE, to promote chronic inflammation and other bad behavior on the part of cells. As regular readers will know, high levels of inflammation contribute to the progression of damage and disease in aging, and this is one of the ways in which metabolic diseases, such as the varieties of diabetes, shorten life span and raise the risk of suffering age-related conditions.
There are millions of ways to grow old before your time. Advanced Glycation End-Products — or AGEs — are a key ingredient for many of the mechanisms of premature ageing. AGEs interact with a wide range of proteins and lipids inside body tissues, helping to trigger inflammation and damaging cross-linking in blood vessels throughout the body.
Diabetics suffer from accelerated damage from AGEs due to frequent or constant high blood sugar levels. The devastating complications of diabetes — stroke, heart disease, renal disease, loss of vision, and many others — are closely correlated with levels of blood sugar, and the resulting damage from glycation and AGEs.
Besides moderating the amount of AGEs we ingest in our food and drink, we can take other measures to slow or reverse some of the damage being done by the effect of AGEs within our bodies. Many foods and plants contain substances that block glycation in the body. By learning how to incorporate the healthiest of these substances into our daily diet or supplement routine, we can slow the process of glycation-induced inflammation and cross-linking that underlie so many different pathways to premature ageing.
The list above is just a bare beginning. Even the linked book chapter download below only scratches the surface of what is known — and what is yet to be discovered about natural substances (and unnatural ones) that slow, stop, and reverse damage from glycation products and processes.
The health supplement market is full of grifters and scam artists. At the same time, many useful substances of high quality can be obtained via the OTC health supplement market which may prove more beneficial to average persons than any number of high priced, high side effect prescription medications. Good research for most potentially helpful supplements is lacking, and most sellers of these supplements are not capable of understanding the research at a high enough level to provide safe advice. Finally, most trained health providers are not familiar enough with supplement research to create care plans that include these potentially life-extending substances.
Here at Al Fin, we are in the business of providing intriguing ideas and offensive provocations. We do not give advice to either persons or governments. You will need to do the research and seek a range of good advice before investing too deeply in actual products or lifestyle modification.
It is important to know that even if one does not indulge in hazardous chemical addictions such as alcohol, tobacco, crack, meth, or heroin — one is still doing things that will lead to death before one’s time. And it is important to know that it is possible to alter the current trajectory in a beneficial way.