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Advanced Glycation Endproducts AGEs

Glucose protein interaction

Aging

The Maillard reaction over your lifetime

Aging

  • The Maillard reaction is glycation or crosslinkage occurring rapidly due to excessive heat acting on the surface of food being cooked.
  • The heat causes sugar to link to an amino acid on proteins leading to the browning effect seen on the surface of cooked meat or the browning seen on toasted bread.
  • There are many scientists who believe that the human body may be viewed as a low temperature oven, indeed viewing the body as a 'slow-cooker' with a relatively long cooking time of 75 years or more [your lifetime] where the Maillard reaction occurs on a daily basis progressively damaging proteins such as collagen, elastin etc.

Diabetes and aging

  • Diabetics suffer from elevated blood glucose levels.
  • High blood glucose levels result in glucotoxicity where this excess glucose binds to amino acids in the process called the Maillard reaction
  • Diabetics are known to age must faster. The authors of one study stated the following:
    'These results support the description of diabetes as a disease characterized by accelerated chemical aging of long-lived tissue proteins81.'
  • If you are pre-diabetic [insulin resistance, the Metabolic Syndrome], then you are at risk of accelerated aging due to an accumulation of AGE's in your body.
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From Schiff Bases to Amdori products to AGEs

  • The Maillard reaction is a familiar one to most people. The cooking of food creates a brown discolouration due to the reaction of sugar and protein which is called the Maillard reaction.
  • The Maillard reaction involves a chemical reaction between a sugar [usually glucose] with a protein.
  • The complex caused by the combination of glucose with the protein is called a Schiff base.
  • This Schiff base in the human body is a reversible reaction which stabilizes [reaches equilibrium] within several hours of the complex forming.
  • If there is continued exposure to the sugar [glucose], the Schiff base [glucose + protein complex] undergoes rearrangement which is a non-enzymatic glycosylation resulting in a more stable but much less reversible compound, known as an Amadori product.
  • The Amadori product in the human body, stabilizes or reaches equilibrium over several weeks.
  • Amadori products undergo further change to irreversible Advanced Glycation Endproducts [AGEs] also known as Advanced Glycosylation Endproducts

Every meal counts

  • 1 in 4 individuals in Australia has diabetes or impaired glucose metabolism.
  • The increased risk with eating high glycemic index carbohydrates was largely seen in individuals with a body mass index [BMI] over 232. To calculate your BMI to see if you are at risk with high glycemic index foods click on this link: BodyCalculator

  • So every meal counts. Keeping your glucose spikes low and keeping insulin levels low should be the goal of any individual who wants to avoid diabetes, premature aging, dementia, heart disease and numerous other chronic illnesses including cancer.
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AGEs and RAGEs

  • RAGEs which are receptors for AGEs, are autocatalytic. In other words once an AGE binds to a RAGE, more RAGEs are formed to bind to even more AGEs --- a positive feedback loop.
  • AGEs binding to their RAGEs are associated with numerous disease states including: inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis, asthma, arthritis, myocardial infarction, peripheral vascular disease, nephropathy, retinopathy , cataracts, neuropathy, Alzheimer’s disease

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