As many of you long time readers remember, I wrote several post on the topic of AGEs (advanced glycation end products). Here is a summary post on AGEs, and here is a detailed post on a study of CR mice and AGE content in their diet. Spoiler: The CR’ed mice eating a high AGE diet didn’t live as long as the low-AGE CR’ed mice. If you want to see a list of common foods and their AGE content, another blogger has posted the data from a study here.
My concern for AGEs was one of the initial reason driving me toward a vegan diet. The second factor leading me to veganism was lowering protein; specifically leucine and methionine. Eating vegan diminishes these two dietary concerns. Eating low sugar vegan with a lot of raw or minimally cooked vegan foods is what I consider to be ideal for me right now. After making the transition to vegan for purely dietary reasons, I become re-familiarized with the reasons I became vegan the first time back in college after reading the book “Eating Animals“.
So, where am I going with this post? I wanted to provide you with a refresher or introduction to AGEs, and then I wanted to include a few more research papers I found relating to this topic. Since AGEs are a real concern, I feel it’s good to revisit this topic for renewed motivation to seek alternative foods and to practice informed supplementation.
So, what have I found?
I only have access to this abstract, but nonetheless this is still worth mentioning. This paper investigates the fact that while vegan diets, particularly low-fat vegan diets, are low in exogenous AGEs, some tests have revealed that vegans show a higher serum AGE content than omnivores. This suggests that something about the vegan diet can lead to a higher endogenous AGE production. One theory is a higher fructose consumption, but data has yet to support this. Another theory is that the lack of taurine in vegan diets may be partly responsible for AGE buildup. In the abstract, the researchers conclude that a low-fat vegan diet supplemented with taurine may be able to suppress elevated AGE production.
** I would really like to read the entire paper so I can further understand their diet analysis. Also, they focus on a low-fat vegan diet because such items as roasted nuts and broiled tofu are foods high in AGEs. Instead of going into good-bad fats and ways to prepare low-AGE fatty foods, they choose to cut fat content instead.
*** I supplement with taurine, and while I do eat a high fat diet I make sure I eat raw fats. My fat staples include avocado, flax oil, soon to be high quality olive oil, and coconut oil. Now, I will cook some with coconut oil, but because coconut oil is almost all saturated fat, it isn’t subject to the same lipoxidation as polyunsaturated fats. I also take carnosine to help with endogenous AGEs. IMO, a properly supplemented vegan diet that takes into concern type and preparation method of fats will be superior to an omnivore diet from an AGE perspective.
This is another stud which looks at the benefits of carnosine. Obviously, I don’t agree with the carnivorous diet, but I do agree with carnosine supplementation. Carnosine is known for it’s anti-glycation properties as well as it’s chelating ability with zinc and copper, reactivity with potentially destructive carbonyl groups, and possible activity against age-related protein carbonyl stress. Carnosine is also thought to help with neuro-degeneration.
This was an AGE refresher, and reminder to watch you AGEs!