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Cutting back on the consumption of AGEs can reduce inflammation, report researchers

November 27, 2015

After four months on the AGE-less diet, blood AGE levels, lipid peroxides, inflammatory markers, and biomarkers of vascular function declined by as much as 60 percent in healthy participants. A reduction of similar magnitude was found in kidney patients after only one month on the AGE-less diet.

Researchers also found a positive effect on a cellular receptor for AGEs called AGER1, which is critical for the clearance of toxic AGEs from the body. The number of copies of the AGER1 gene was measured in circulating blood cells. Since this number was severely suppressed in participants with kidney disease, all of whom had very high levels of AGEs, the researchers speculate that important defense mechanisms can become "exhausted" as a result of chronically elevated AGEs. However, after a short period on the AGE-reduced diet, the number of AGER1 gene copies was restored to normal levels among patients with kidney disease.

The investigators believe that daily AGE consumption in the standard Western diet is at least three times higher than the safety limit for these oxidants. This could, in part, explain the changes seen in disease demographics.

Dr. Vlassara cautioned, "Even though the AGEs pose a more immediate health threat to older adults, they are a similar danger for younger people, including pregnant women and children, and this needs to be addressed. AGEs are ubiquitous and addictive, since they provide flavor to foods. But they can be controlled through simple methods of cooking, such as keeping the heat down and the water content up in food and by avoiding pre-packaged and fast foods when possible. Doing so reduces AGE levels in the blood and helps the body restore its own defenses."

Source: The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine