IMARSThis month, the International Maillard Reaction Society held the 12th International Symposium on the Maillard Reaction, where numerous scientists, professors and researchers presented new information relevant to the Maillard Reaction.

The Maillard Reaction is the chemical reaction between amino acids and reduced sugars that gives browned foods their flavor. It is what turns bread into toast, what makes marshmallows s’more-worthy. The delicious and seemingly harmless Maillard Reaction is a step in the formation of AGEs.

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AGE awareness dayJune 21 marks the third annual AGE Awareness Day! AGE Awareness Day is a day dedicated to increasing awareness of AGEs and the harmful effect they have on the human body.

AGE Awareness Day wasn’t launched on June 21 by accident. The AGE Foundation specifically chose that day because it is the summer solstice – the longest day of the year. It symbolizes how properly managing your AGEs can help you live a longer, healthier life.

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AGE Awareness Day_200Today is a very important day for the AGE Foundation, as it’s the second annual AGE Awareness Day. This global event was started last year by the AGE Foundation because of the lack of public awareness regarding advanced glycation end-products.

These harmful compounds lead to premature aging, and have been linked to nearly every single serious health issue that we suffer from today. Our AGE levels are every bit as important as the other major medical markers (blood pressure, body mass index and cholesterol), but while scientific research of AGEs has steadily increased over time, public knowledge hasn’t been close to where it needs to be at.

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shutterstock_130539758June 21 will mark the second annual AGE Awareness Day, which was started by the AGE Foundation to bring attention to the serious health issue that is advanced glycation end-products. This is not a regional event, but rather a global one.

So, it’s quite appropriate that media outlets across the world have been focusing on AGEs. In recent months alone, AGEs have been covered by media outlets in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, China, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Pakistan, India, Egypt, Bermuda, Australia, South Africa, the Netherlands, Romania, Lithuania, and more.

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shutterstock_159823835A recent PRWeb article highlighted research on the effects that dietary AGEs have on the brain and other facets of one’s health. The article, titled Avoiding Harmful Byproducts of Heat-Processed Foods Protects Against Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and Diabetes,” stated:

“Advanced glycation endproducts, or AGEs, are compounds commonly found in the so-called ‘Western diet,’ and previously have been linked to increased body weight, diabetes, and possibly Alzheimer’s disease. Now, researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have shown that AGEs also cause brain changes similar to Alzheimer’s disease and pre-diabetes.”

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Pat BairdThe Mendota Reporter, a publication covering news in and around Mendota, Illinois, recently interviewed AGE Foundation Advisory Board member Pat Baird about Advanced Glycation End-products.

The article based off that interview, titled “Four numbers you need to know for good health,” stated:

“Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs) are markers for the aging of our internal organs, tissues and body systems. Research shows that AGEs are linked to nearly every chronic disease we face today, such as obesity, kidney, heart and eye disease, and dementia.”

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junkfoodOur skin can look younger if we avoid certain unhealthy foods, according to a recent Jewish World Review article.

Gretel H. Schueller’s article “Turn back time by avoiding these foods that age your skin” stated that while wrinkles are a natural part of aging, that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything to prevent them.

Schueller wrote:

“While plenty of us spend lots of money on creams and cleansers, the best place to find anti-aging products is in your grocery store or garden. What we eat is just as important–if not more so–as what we slather on our skin.

“Nourishing our skin from the inside out can help beat the clock. And just as some foods can help slow the effect of time, other foods can speed up our skin’s aging process, contributing to wrinkles and sagging.”

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doctor_with_signThe Bermuda Sun recently featured an article about diabetes, and Advanced Glycation End-products were also addressed in the article.

Written by Bermuda Sun columnist Colin Ayliffe, the article is titled “Balancing our blood sugar prevents diabetes onset.”

Ayliffe wrote:

“Balancing our blood sugar is essential in preventing the onset of Type 2 diabetes, a debilitating condition that is all too prevalent in Bermuda. Diabetes is a serious and sometimes fatal disease. But it can be prevented.

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A group of recent Daily Mail articles – written by the co-authors of an anti-sugar book – focused on the negative health effects of sugar, including Advanced Glycation End-products.

Dermatologist Patricia Farris and nutritionist Brooke Alpert first teamed up to write “The Sugar Detox,” a book designed to help people improve their health through a three-day detox plan to get sugar out of one’s system.

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shutterstock_116018326A recent Natural Society article titled “8 Foods that Speed Up Ageing While Promoting Sickness” encouraged readers to avoid certain foods should they want to age gracefully and avoid illness.

Author Paul Fassa wrote:

“Eating what’s quick, convenient, and tasty may fit your lifestyle for now, but you may be subjecting yourself to progressively worsening health. If you don’t shift to a healthier diet, someday sooner rather than later you’ll be a young person in an old person’s body, wondering what happened.”

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By: Pat Baird, AGE Advisory Board

shutterstock_141950908As a dietitian, I am very conscious of how the foods we eat and the way we prepare them help determine the levels of Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs) in our bodies. It’s important that everyone learns how to lower their AGE levels through their diet, and my goal is to help others accomplish that.

But AGEs are not solely a result of our diet. They are also a result of our lifestyle.

Inactivity is a key AGE accelerator. Without enough exercise, our AGE levels will climb higher and higher. We use protein and sugar when we exercise for energy and recovery, but when we are inactive, our bodies do not use that protein and sugar for their intended function. Instead, the excess protein and sugar combine to form harmful AGEs inside our bodies.

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By: Pat Baird, AGE Advisory Board

shutterstock_113341153Diets and weight loss are always a hot topic, but even more so this time of year as people strive to keep their recent New Year’s resolutions. But reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is always important, as doing so will improve a number of important health markers, including the control of your Advanced Glycation End-product (or AGE) levels.

I can certainly appreciate the need for a healthy diet, as nutrition is at the heart of everything I do. Allow me to make a couple suggestions for you to follow not just for the New Year, but throughout your life.

First, cut down on sugar. Excessive consumption of processed foods leads to an overabundance of sugar in our body, which in turn leads to increased AGE levels. AGEs prematurely age our bodies and diminish our appearance, all while leading to a wide variety of other health concerns.

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shutterstock_132141794AGEs have been gaining attention all around the world, and recent AGE Foundation blogs have highlighted AGE articles or studies from England, South Africa, Denmark and Italy. AGE awareness exists Down Under as well, as evidenced by an article that was recently published in Australia.

Titled “Skin SOS,” the article appeared on Cosmetic Beauty, a website dedicated to cosmetic surgery and beauty.

Author Caitlin Bishop wrote:

“It’s easy to tell when your skin sends out an SOS. Your once clear complexion may have erupted in a seemingly unstoppable outbreak of acne; it may appear red and flushed or dry and cracked. Too long spent in the sun might have fast tracked your path to fine lines and wrinkles, and pigmentation may be starting to rear its head. Here, we get to know some of the most common skin concerns, investigating the causes, symptoms and cures.”

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TruAge_ScannerMail Online, website for British newspaper Daily Mail, recently featured an article about Advanced Glycation End-products and a scanner capable of measuring them. The scanner’s technology was developed by Dr. Andries Smit, a member of the AGE Foundation’s Advisory Board.

Written by Bianca London, the article is titled “Is your roast chicken giving you wrinkles? New scanner reveals damage caused by baking and frying food.”

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STIRBAN SMALLThe AGE Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Ovidiu Alin Stirban to the AGE Advisory Board.

Dr. Stirban currently serves as the Director of Endocrinology and Diabetes Complications at the Institute for Metabolic Research in Neuss, Germany and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the AGE Advisory Board.

Seen as a leader in the medical research industry, Dr. Stirban’s expertise is centered on Diabetic Neuropathy and in vivo effects of Advanced Glycation End-products.

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2Articles about how AGEs lead to aging skin just keep pouring in. One of the most recent websites to touch on the issue was South Africa’s Beauty Bulletin, which featured an article titled “Does Sugar Cause Wrinkles?

Said the article:

“During a process called glycation, sugar attaches to protein fibres in your blood stream forming toxic new compounds called Advanced Glycation End products (or AGEs – how ironic!). As these AGEs build up, they cause inflammation and the protein fibres of collagen and elastin are damaged. Skin starts to lose its elasticity and is no longer firm and supple. It cannot spring back into its original position after a smile or a frown, and wrinkles start to appear.

“Sugar also causes damage to the more stable Collagen II and Collagen III and only the weaker, less resilient, Collagen I, is left. Collagen I is easily damaged, so skin loses its elasticity more quickly this way.”

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sugar-written-in-sugarA recent Elle UK article had some strong words for sugar, as evidenced by the article’s title: “Sugar ‘is the new tobacco.’

Written by Amy Lawrenson, the article discussed various health issues associated with excessive sugar consumption, including AGEs.

Lawrenson quoted Simon Capewell, professor of clinical epidemiology at the University of Liverpool, as saying:

“Sugar is the new tobacco. Everywhere, sugary drinks and junk foods are now pressed on unsuspecting parents and children by a cynical industry focused on profit not health.

“The obesity epidemic is generating a huge burden of disease and death.”

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joint-inflamation-illustration(375x500)Those who follow the AGE Foundation are constantly seeing articles about the role that Advanced Glycation End-products play in aging and damaging our skin, in addition to articles about various other health issues associated with AGEs, such as diabetes. But did you ever consider that AGEs could play a role in hip fractures?

MedPage Today did, having published an article titled “Glycation Product Linked to Hip Fracture Risk.”

According to the article, which was written by Cole Petrochko, researchers believe that patients with the highest level of serum carboxy-methyl-lysine are at the greatest risk of hip fracture.

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junk-food-on-white-backgroundFemale First, an England-based women’s website that covers entertainment, lifestyle, fashion, beauty and other topics, recently featured an article titled “Healthy diet tips for glowing and youthful skin.”

Written by Taryn Davies, the article features advice from Dr. Stefanie Williams, a dermatologist who wrote the book “Future Proof Your Skin: Slow down your biological clock by changing the way you eat.” For Davies’ article, Williams provided 10 tips on how to maintain healthy skin, and she made it a point to encourage readers to avoid excessive AGEs.

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ChickenFood Consumer highlighted a recent study that involved the link between diabetes and AGEs. According to the article, “High-heat treated food may boost risk of diabetes mellitus,” the study found that eating foods with high levels of Advanced Glycation End-products may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

“For the study, 74 overweight women who did not have type 2 diabetes mellitus were randomized to follow a diet either high or low in AGEs for four weeks. Fasting insulin concentrations and urinary AGEs were measured before and after intervention.”

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Uribarri 2Dr. Jaime Uribarri, a member of the AGE Foundation’s Advisory Board, recently collaborated with Dr. Helen Vlassara to write the report “Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE) and Diabetes: Cause, Effect, or Both?

The report was highlighted in a Food Consumer article titled “Type 2 diabetics should reduce intake of AGEs.” Food Consumer is an online news outlet focusing on food, diet and health.

Referring to Uribarri’s and Vlassara’s study, the Food Consumer article stated:

“A new report suggests that patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus may [be] better off avoiding dietary intake of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are found [in] high [amounts] in the blood of type 2 diabetics.”

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Everyone would love to look and feel younger, so aging is a very popular topic in the media, and Advanced Glycation End-products are gaining more and more traction in the media as well. One need only look at all the articles and blogs shared on this website to get a sample of how ubiquitous the topics of aging and AGEs are.

Add to the list of sources that have touched on AGEs and their relation to premature aging. The women’s interest website recently featured a blog by Melissa William titled “Eight Causes Of Aging.”

It should come as no surprise to those that follow the AGE Foundation that the very first cause of aging to be listed was the accumulation of AGEs:

“AGE is shoAGEformation_imagert for Advanced Glycation End-products, which are harmful compounds that affect nearly every cell and molecule in your body. Glycation refers to the way sugars, or glucose, bind with proteins in a way that stiffens body cells. Glycation makes your body cells less pliable and vulnerable to damage and premature aging.”

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As noted by Bustle columnist Tori Telfer in her article “Why Glycation is Responsible for Aging Skin,” everyone’s talking about glycation lately.

“Although the scientific knowledge [about glycation] has been around for decades, it’s become a veritable beauty buzzword these days: anti-glycation diets, anti-glycation skincare,” Telfer wrote.

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The Huffington Post recently cautioned the public about AGEs and other consequences that certain diets have on our skin.

In an article titled “The 3 Worst Food Mistakes You Can Make For Your Skin,” Rebecca Adams – Associate Editor for HuffPost Style – wrote:

“In 2008 alone, Americans spent $35 billion on cosmetics and skincare. But are all these dollars wasted when we follow a diet that causes acne, premature aging and other skin conditions? It sure seems so.”

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A recent Flixya blog titled “Will how you will Prepare Food Increase Your Possibility of Diabetes?” warned of the risks that come with caramelizing food via broiling, grilling or searing under high temperatures. It stated:

“In the course of the browning action in cooking, water is removed in the form of steam and the product’s sugars will be degraded. The end products are AGEs, which happen to be a sugar molecule that bonds with a protein molecule without the reaction restricted by an enzyme. This process produces a non-functioning glycated protein structure, also called AGEs.”

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As a recent The Daily Meal article stated, it’s no secret that fast food is typically high in calories, saturated and trans fats, sugar, and sodium. Likewise, it’s no secret that excessive consumption of fast food can lead to obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke.

But as noted in that particular article, titled “The Side Effects of Fast Food That No One Talks About,” there are additional risks that come with an unhealthy diet, including increased AGE levels.

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AGEs are a global issue, not just an American issue. Thankfully other nations are also recognizing the problems that AGEs cause in our lives, and one such example of that recognition is an article on AGEs that was just published on the Italian website for Marie Claire. The article also cites the AGE Foundation and quotes AGE Advisory board member Michelle Davenport.

If you’re not brushed up on your Italian, worry not; an English version of the article can be read here thanks to Google Translate. While the translation isn’t perfect, it nevertheless helps convey the article’s message.

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The AGE Foundation’s own Pat Baird just made a television appearance on Fox 9 Morning News in Minnesota, educating viewers on the subject of “prescriptive eating.” Naturally, one of the health issues that she discussed was AGEs.

A member of the AGE Advisory board in addition to a media spokesperson and award-winning author, Baird is a registered dietitian. On her television segment, she discussed what types of natural foods address certain health needs.

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The Diet Detective – with some help from a nutrition expert – is on the case when it comes to AGEs and is laying down the law regarding excessive sugar consumption.

One of the nation’s leading nutrition and public health advocates, Charles Platkin has made a name for himself with his column, the Diet Detective, which appears in more than 100 daily newspapers nationally.

In a recent column, Platkin interviewed nutrition guru Brooke Alpert about the negative effects of sugar, and she echoed what many other experts have been saying lately about sugar, AGEs and premature aging. Alpert is a registered dietitian and nutritionist, as well as founder of B nutritious and co-author of the book “The Sugar Detox.”

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According to a Science Codex article titled “Potential biological factor contributing to racial disparities in prostate cancer,” researchers with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) have found that AGEs may play a role in prostate cancer rates, specifically higher rates among African-Americans.

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Copyright 2012 AGE Foundation.