Dr. Bita Zahedi MD MA Endocrinologist Massachusetts General Hospital

ENDO23: Study Correlates Dietary Sugar End Products with Skin Autofluorescence Findings

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Bita Zahedi MD MAEndocrinologist Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Zahedi

Dr. Bita Zahedi MD MA
Massachusetts General Hospital

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a measure of dietary advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) to investigate the role of dietary AGEs in diabetic disease processes.  AGEs are a group of highly reactive compounds involved in the pathophysiology of diabetic complications, such as microvascular disease, cardiomyopathy, and possibly bone health. AGEs form through a nonenzymatic reaction between reducing sugars and free amino groups of proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids, also known as a Maillard or browning reaction.

Endogenous AGE formation and accumulation is a normal part of metabolism and aging, however the process of glycation can be enhanced by hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and increased oxidative stress. Additionally, AGEs can be absorbed from exogenous sources via consumption of various food items. Prior studies demonstrate that skin AGEs are predictive of Dietary AGEs (dAGEs) which are naturally present in certain uncooked foods, mainly animal-derived products, furthermore the method of food preparation can result in significant AGE formation. Considering the ubiquitous intake of dAGEs, it is possible that the consumption of exogenous AGEs contribute to AGE-induced oxidative stress, inflammation, and its subsequent detrimental sequalae.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response:  The primary goal of our study was to develop and validate a measure of dAGEs utilizing the Block Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). Participants were from an ongoing prospective cohort study: Type 1 Diabetes Bone Health Connection Study (T1D BEACON). The cohort included 77 older adults (average age 62 years; 49% female and 51% male) who were diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) for an average duration of 46 years. To quantify dAGEs, we developed a novel crosswalk algorithm that associates items from the Block FFQ with their AGE content as determined by ELISA from a published database (Uribarri et al., J Am Diet Assoc 2010). Values were then energy adjusted using the nutrient density method.

Our results showed a correlation between calculated dietary and skin AGE values (determined by autofluorescence) with an r=0.5806 (p<0.0001).  This association between dietary and skin AGE values remained significant after statistical adjustments for age and sex, and demonstrates that our novel dietary measure of AGEs has effects on systemic AGE levels, with implications for impacting the development of diabetic complications.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Dietary AGEs as measured by our crosswalk algorithm are significantly correlated with skin AGE values measured by autofluorescence, a method which has previously been shown to predict diabetic microvascular disease, diabetic fractures, and other complications.

Given these findings, it appears likely that certain foods and preparation methods can affect systemic AGE levels and may contribute to the AGE-induced progression of diabetic complications.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a results of this study?

Response: In future research, we will be examining the association of dAGEs with serum AGE levels, and expanding our investigation to adults without diabetes.  We will also study whether dAGEs directly impact microvascular disease and skeletal fragility within the T1D BEACON cohort.  Future studies can also use this newly validated algorithm to further our understanding of the role of specific food items and preparation methods (frying, grilling, or barbecuing) in the oxidative stress, inflammation, and aging process. Furthermore, the impact of these dietary AGEs can be studied in common chronic conditions such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease or atherosclerosis, and evaluating whether limiting their consumption can potentially delay the progression of disease. 

No disclosures


Correlation Between Dietary Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs) and Skin AGEs in Adults with Longstanding T1D (ENDO 2023 Poster)

  • Study Author: Bita Zahedi MD MA
  • Study Co-Authors: Ananya Murthy, BS, Brianna Gray, LDN, Andria Fremaint, BS, Maya Cote, BS, Bita Zahedi, MD, Elaine Yu, MD

Uribarri, J., Woodruff, S., Goodman, S., Cai, W., Chen, X., Pyzik, R., Yong, A., Striker, G. E., & Vlassara, H. (2010). Advanced glycation end products in foods and a practical guide to their reduction in the diet. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 110(6), 911–16.e12. https://doi-org.treadwell.idm.oclc.org/10.1016/j.jada.2010.03.018

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Last Updated on June 26, 2023 by Marie Benz