Carbohydrates (sugars) provide the energy necessary for the cells. The body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which is the necessary fuel for all body functions. When proteins and sugars are properly controlled then they can interact without causing damage to the body. In cases where the blood sugar is high, then is taking place a biochemical reaction-nonenzymatic-called glycosylation. The sugar is attached to proteins and forms harmful and non-functional molecules which are called advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs).
In the beginning, this is a reversible process, but when AGEs remain for several weeks in the body, then it becomes an irreversible process and AGEs linked again to other proteins and remain in the tissues for many years. Normally, increased glycosylation occurs during aging and in pathological cases is associated with various diseases the main representative of which is diabetes.
Another mechanism by which AGEs are formed is oxidative stress (many free radicals) which interacts with proteins, lipids and DNA forming these products.
A lot of research in recent years involves AGEs in most of the diseases associated with aging, such as:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Diabetes Mellitus Type II
- Alzheimer΄s and Parkinson disease
- Vision disorders
- Skin disorders (sunspots)
Because of chronically elevated blood sugar levels, the diabetics patients face the challenge of AGEs.
The AGE-reader device provides a direct prediction of the risk for serious chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and renal failure.
The AGE reader, through fluorescence techniques, gives directly, and noninvasively, assess to cardiovascular risk estimation by measuring end products levels of advanced glycosylation (AGEs) in tissues.
- The overconsumption of sugar is the real source of the problem and therefore it has to be reduced.
- The Mediterranean diet which contains enough fruits and vegetables, the good hydration and the exercise contribute to prevent the AGEs formation.
- It is also recommended to avoid higher cooking temperatures that favor AGEs production and it is advised lower temperatures for a longer time.
- Nutritional supplements such as carnosine (dipeptide consisting of beta-alanine and L-histidine found in high concentrations in skeletal muscle and brain tissues) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) can effectively inhibit AGEs formation.
- Recent studies have clearly shown a significantly higher level of AGEs in smokers and especially in diabetic smokers, this is why it is necessary to stop smoking.
The destructive capacity of advanced glycosylation endproducts is huge. Understanding how to avoid the formation of AGEs is critical for slowing the aging process and reduce the risk of degenerative diseases.