Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are highly reactive compounds that result from a chemical reaction between reducing sugars and amino acids (also known as a Maillard reaction) and from the oxidation of sugars, lipids, and amino acids. Although the formation of AGEs within the body is a part of normal metabolism, a growing body of evidence suggests that excessive AGE levels promote oxidative stress and inflammation and may therefore increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, fatty liver, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and infertility.
AGEs were first recognized as being produced within the body under conditions of increased oxidative stress. However, it is now known that dietary AGEs are important contributors to the body’s total AGE concentration, where they become indistinguishable from those AGEs produced within the body itself. The most widely studied AGE is carboxymethyllysine (CML), while another common marker of AGE formation is methyl-glyoxal (MG).