What do Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE) have to do with aging?Recent studies have revealed that Advanced Glycation End Products (shorted to AGE) do significantly affect the aging process. It can be not easy to pinpoint what does affect aging and what does not, as aging is usually the result of a combination of factors having to do with an individual’s genetics and the environment. However, case studies have revealed that AGE does change the rate at which we age, both externally and internally. The organs inside the body can be just as affected as the skin.
What Is an Advanced Glycation End Product?
In short, this is a classification of many different substances and factors inside the body that contribute to the aging process and many degenerative, chronic diseases on the whole. Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart disease are all known to worsen with AGE's introduction.
Where do Advanced Glycation End Products Come From?
Unfortunately, AGEs are surprisingly common and are formed both within and without the body. An AGE is produced in chemical terms when a protein and a carbohydrate are combined without an enzyme-based reaction. They are produced when something is exposed to heat. This can be especially true when they are created outside of the body.
Smoking is one of the most rampant sources of AGE. When the tobacco leaves are dried, especially when there are sugars present in the drying process, the AGEs are produced. That tobacco is then rolled into a cigarette, and as the cigarette is burned, the AGEs are inhaled.
Food is another place that we can find high levels of Advanced Glycation End Product. Any food involved in dry cooking, including roasting, baking, microwaving, and barbecuing, can produce AGEs, which can then be consumed. A diet high in raw foods (yes, fresh fruit and veggies that are high in antioxidants) is the way to combat free radicals and advanced glycation.
What Exactly Do AGEs Do?
While these substances are not well understood, it is known that Advanced Glycation End Products can speed up the oxidation process, which is one of the major underlying factors of aging. Oxidation is essential to cell death, but it can also cause cancer and other chronic illnesses. When AGEs gather in the body, sometimes the body can naturally fight them off. However, if they congregate in high numbers because of an unhealthy lifestyle or poor diet, it can be impossible for the body to fight them, and they can affect the aging process very negatively.
About the Author
Kari Thomas wrote this article.