Advanced glycation in health and disease: role of the modern environment

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Jun;1043:452-60. doi: 10.1196/annals.1333.051.


It is believed that intracellular and extracellular advanced glycation (AGEs) or lipoxidation end products (ALEs), together with dysregulated glucose and lipid metabolism, are important contributors to oxidant or carbonyl stress, enhanced cellular redox-sensitive transcription factor activity, and impaired innate immune defense, causing over time inappropriate inflammatory responses. However, neither the magnitude nor the persistent nature of this increased prooxidant state are completely understood. A significant correlation has been found between ingested and circulating AGEs in humans in recent years. Based on animal studies, the injurious impact of diet-derived AGEs to vascular and kidney tissues is estimated to rival or even exceed that caused by hyperglycemia or hyperlipidemia. Consistent with this view, dietary AGE restriction has been associated with suppression of several immune defects, insulin resistance, and diabetic complications, whether genetically or diet induced, despite persistent diabetes. These findings are in support of clinical evidence from subjects with diabetes or vascular or kidney disease. Most recently, evidence from animal studies points to AGE restriction as an effective means for extending median life span, similar to that previously shown by marked caloric restriction. We conclude that excessive AGE consumption, in the current dietary/social structure, represents an independent factor for inappropriate oxidant stress responses, which may promote the premature expression of complex diseases associated with adult life, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet
  • Disease*
  • Environment
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / blood
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / physiology*
  • Health
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation


  • Glycation End Products, Advanced
  • Glutathione