What is Advanced glycation end-product, and what should I know about it

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What is Advanced glycation end-product, and what should I know about it

In: Biology

Usually in your body there’s a process called glycosylation, where sugars are covalently bonded to lipids and proteins by an enzyme (eli5 an enzyme is a protein that makes other chemical reactions happen). This is necessary for some biochemical processes and since its controlled by an enzyme your body can control it pretty well by controlling the amount of the enzyme in your cells. Glycation is the same thing, but it’s not controlled by an enzyme – it just randomly happens on it’s own – and it makes products that are a little different than the ones formed in glycosylation. Foods, especially animal products, can also have AGEs in them and cooking at high temperatures can speed up the reaction causing more to be formed. For a long time we thought that your body couldn’t really absorb them from the diet and that only the ones made in your body mattered to health, but new experiments have shown they can definitely be absorbed – I think this is why they’re kind of a hot topic recently. The differences between glycosylation and glycation are way too complicated for an eli5 thread, but the important thing is that some of your cells have receptors called RAGE (receptor for advanced glycation endproducts) that specifically bind the AGEs. High levels of AGEs in your body is implicated in diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and a bunch of other diseases, presumably having something to do with binding RAGE receptors but I don’t know/I’m not sure if science knows exactly how or why yet.