AGEs and Aging

nutrition Aug 03, 2023

I’m guessing you probably haven’t heard of AGEs, or advanced glycation end products. They are a group of compounds that form through a process called glycation. Glycation occurs when sugars react with proteins, lipids, or nucleic acids, resulting in the formation of AGEs. These compounds play a significant role in various physiological processes and have been linked to aging, chronic diseases and tissue damage.

AGEs can form inside the body through normal metabolic processes. However, their formation is accelerated in conditions associated with high blood sugar levels. AGEs can also be obtained from external sources, primarily through the consumption of certain foods and using certain cooking methods.

Here’s where it gets really important - dietary sources of AGEs include foods that undergo high-temperature cooking methods like grilling, frying or roasting. Meats, particularly those cooked at high temperatures, can be significant contributors to dietary AGEs intake as can processed foods, sugary beverages and anything that has high added sugars.

If that hasn’t gotten your attention yet, let’s discuss what AGEs do inside the body. AGEs promote inflammation, oxidative stress and tissue damage. They can modify the structure and function of proteins, impair enzymatic activity and activate receptors that trigger pro-inflammatory responses. Chronic diseases associated with AGEs accumulation include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disorders (such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease) and kidney dysfunction. AGEs have also been linked to age-related macular degeneration, impaired wound healing, and accelerated aging.

Go back and read that previous paragraph one more time because AGEs should definitely be on your radar now. Minimizing AGEs intake should be one of your top priorities. Cooking methods that use lower temperatures, shorter cooking times and the addition of acidic ingredients can help reduce the formation of AGEs during food preparation and cooking. Including more fresh fruits and vegetables and spices and adding more plant-based proteins in your daily nutrition plan can also lower AGEs intake. Keep in mind that AGEs form faster when blood sugar is high so remember, use the Metabolic Efficiency Training concept to ensure you are optimizing blood sugar levels first and foremost.

Now that you know what AGEs are and the negative consequences they can have on the body, what are you going to do next? Start small with achievable goals. Me personally, I have started marinating the meats I cook in an acidic mixture before cooking them and I use as low heat as I can. One step at a time.

Interested in learning more about AGEs and other important aspects relative to the aging process? Get on my waitlist for my Nutrition for Longevity 8-week program.


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