AGEs Formed Through Dry Cooking Methods, Inflammation and Premature Aging

Written by Kristen McNary

In the latest blog we discussed the impact of sugar and AGEs on our bodies and the role that they play in premature aging. When it comes to food and advanced glycation end products (AGEs), it has been shown that we should take a look at the way our food is being prepared along with what we are eating. 

Advanced Glycation End Products 

AGEs are created through a nonenzymatic reaction between reducing sugars and free amino groups of proteins, lipids, or nucleic acids. This reaction is also known as the Maillard or browning reaction in cooking. The formation of AGEs is a part of normal metabolism, but if excessively high levels of AGEs are reached in tissues and the circulation they can become pathogenic. The pathologic effects of AGEs are related to their ability to promote oxidative stress and inflammation by binding with cell surface receptors or cross-linking with body proteins, altering their structure and function. Dietary advanced glycation end products (dAGEs), also known as glycotoxins, are known to contribute to increased oxidant stress and inflammation. 

Dry Cooking Methods Increase AGEs 

Modern diets are largely heat-processed and as a result contain high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Based on findings, cooking with dry heat promotes new dAGE formation by >10- to 100-fold in comparison to the uncooked state. In particular, grilling, broiling, roasting, searing, and frying propagate and accelerate new AGEs formation.

On the other hand, the formation of new AGEs is significantly reduced by cooking with moist heat, using shorter cooking times, cooking at lower temperatures, and by use of acidic ingredients such as lemon juice or vinegar. Low-AGE–generating cooking methods include poaching, steaming, stewing, and boiling. The use of acidic marinades, such as lemon juice and vinegar, before cooking has also been shown to limit dAGE generation.

Load up on soups, stews, steamed veggies, and all the fresh foods your heart desires while being mindful of excessive AGEs. 

Head to Sapien Universe for healthy, skin friendly new recipes every month. All of our recipes are nutrient dense, gluten and corn free, low sugar, soy-free, anti-inflammatory, easy, delicious, whole food recipes to help you glow from the inside out!



Uribarri J, Woodruff S, Goodman S, et al. Advanced glycation end products in foods and a practical guide to their reduction in the diet. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010;110(6):911-16.e12. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2010.03.018

Jinluan Chen, Komal Waqas, Robby Carlo Tan, Trudy Voortman, M Arfan Ikram, Tamar E C Nijsten, Lisette C P G M de Groot, André G Uitterlinden, M Carola Zillikens, The association between dietary and skin advanced glycation end products: the Rotterdam Study, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 112, Issue 1, July 2020, Pages 129–137,

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