Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are generated in the late stages of Maillard reaction in foods and biological systems. These products are mostly formed by the reactions of reducing sugar or degradation products of carbohydrates, lipids, and ascorbic acid. AGEs exist in high concentration in foods, but in relatively low concentrations in most of the biological systems. Recently, some AGEs have been reported to be toxic, and were proposed to be causative factors for various kinds of diseases, especially diabetes and kidney disorder, through the association with receptor of AGE (RAGE). It has also been reported that food-derived AGEs (food-AGEs) may not be a causative factor for pro-oxidation. However, the relationship of food-AGEs and biological-derived AGEs (biological-AGEs) is not clear. In this review, the following issues are discussed: the formation of AGEs in foods and biological systems; identification of the main AGEs in foods and biological systems; absorption of food-AGEs; the effects of AGEs in vivo; relationship between food-AGEs and biological-AGEs; possible defense mechanism against AGEs in vivo and finally, the problems to be solved concerning the toxicity of AGEs.