Advanced glycation end products; AGEs, appropriately acronymed, as they are considered gerontotoxins—geronto as in gerontology. These are aging toxins, thought to accelerate the aging process, the multisystem decline in anatomic integrity and function. AGEs crosslink proteins together, causing tissue stiffness, oxidative stress, and inflammation. In the brain, they may contribute to dementia; in the eye, cataracts and macular degeneration. In the arteries and heart, hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart failure, and stroke; then anemia, kidney disease, osteoporosis, and muscle loss.
There are two sources of these toxins. One we can’t do much about—they’re produced internally as natural waste products of metabolism. But source number two is our diet.
Now, research in the 70s on rats found that AGEs weren’t absorbed very well, and so dietary sources were dismissed as irrelevant—until 25 years later, when we finally tested people. And lo and behold, we found that diet-derived AGEs that are absorbed into the bloodstream may represent a major source of chemically and biologically active toxins. And so, we should eliminate the foods and modes of cooking associated with the highest AGE content.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by MaryAnn Allison.
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