Posted on Fri, 10 Oct 14
A diet low in advanced glycation end products (AGEs) can reduce chronic low-grade inflammation in your body and may prevent diseases associated with aging, according to a new review of the science.
AGEs are compounds that are formed when foods, especially those rich in the combination of protein and carbohydrate, are cooked quickly at high temperatures. Frying, deep-frying, and industrial ovens dramatically increase “the AGE of your diet,” and as it turns out, might increase your biological age too.
Dietary AGEs are known to be well absorbed from you food, bind to a receptor on your cells (the aptly named Receptor for AGEs, or RAGE) and increase inflammation in your body, a process that may accelerate the development of illnesses such as dementia, kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease and cancer (see image).
The good news is that a number of studies have found that decreasing your dietary AGE can help, and a new review examining the effect of AGE intake on inflammation and aging lends support to this notion.
Systematically reviewing 17 studies of dietary interventions in both humans and animals the investigators found that a low-AGE diet tends to reduce circulating AGEs and decrease inflammation.
“The few intervention studies in humans found mainly a suppression of inflammatory parameters in subjects on low-AGE diets, suggesting that a restriction of AGE intake might prevent inflammation and age-related chronic diseases” concluded the investigators. However, clear associations with disease development have not yet been made so more research is needed.
In the mean time you can reduce the AGE of your diet by avoiding foods cooked in a factory, and using traditional slow and lower heat cooking methods such as slow baking, steaming, boiling and stewing, and by simply enjoying more fresh and raw fruits and vegetables.
Van Puyvelde K, Mets T, et al. Effect of advanced glycation end product intake on inflammation and aging: a systematic review. Nutr Rev. 2014 Sep 17. doi: 10.1111/nure.12141. [Epub ahead of print]