Dietary advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are a heterogeneous group of compounds formed when reducing sugars are heated with proteins, amino acids, or lipids at high temperatures for a prolonged period. The presence and accumulation of AGEs in numerous cell types and tissues are known to be prevalent in the pathology of many diseases. Modern diets, which contain a high proportion of processed foods and therefore a high level of AGE, cause deleterious effects leading to a multitude of unregulated intracellular and extracellular signalling and inflammatory pathways. Currently, many studies focus on investigating the chemical and structural aspects of AGEs and how they affect the metabolism and the cardiovascular and renal systems. Studies have also shown that AGEs affect the digestive system. However, there is no complete picture of the implication of AGEs in this area. The gastrointestinal tract is not only the first and principal site for the digestion and absorption of dietary AGEs but also one of the most susceptible organs to AGEs, which may exert many local and systemic effects. In this review, we summarise the current evidence of the association between a high-AGE diet and poor health outcomes, with a special focus on the relationship between dietary AGEs and alterations in the gastrointestinal structure, modifications in enteric neurons, and microbiota reshaping.
Keywords: IBD; advanced glycation end-products; enteric neurons; gastrointestinal tract; intestinal permeability; microbiome.