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Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Sep;51(9):1075-8.

Dietary advanced glycation end products--a risk to human health? A call for an interdisciplinary debate.

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  • 1Institute of Food Chemistry, Technische Universit├Ąt Dresden, Germany.


Physiological consequences resulting from protein-bound Maillard compounds in foods must be discussed carefully. This was the idea behind the debate, which is put for discussion by the papers by Sebekova and Somoza, who argued for the motion that dietary advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are a health risk, and by Ames, who provided evidence against the motion. In this two excellent reviews, numerous arguments based on papers published in high-impact journals are given for each of the opinions. The fact that no final conclusion can be drawn, may reflect the need for a more comprehensive examination of this issue in the future. For a deeper understanding of biological consequences resulting from heated foods, the relationships between well-defined biological effects and well-characterized chemical structures must be studied. Prerequisite for this is profound chemistry--pure compounds, exact concentrations, and unambiguous analytical techniques. A real "risk assessment" is much too complex than to leave it up to one discipline alone. It must be a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach, joining the resources of biology, medicine, and chemistry.

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