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Am J Pathol. 2008 Aug;173(2):327-36. doi: 10.2353/ajpath.2008.080152. Epub 2008 Jul 3.

Oral glycotoxins determine the effects of calorie restriction on oxidant stress, age-related diseases, and lifespan.

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Department of Geriatrics,Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave Levy Place, New York, NY 10029, USA.


We previously showed that the content of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in the diet correlates with serum AGE levels, oxidant stress (OS), organ dysfunction, and lifespan. We now show that the addition of a chemically defined AGE (methyl-glyoxal-BSA) to low-AGE mouse chow increased serum levels of AGEs and OS, demonstrating that dietary AGEs are oxidants that can induce systemic OS. OS predisposes to the development of cardiovascular and chronic kidney diseases; calorie restriction (CR) is the most studied means to decrease OS, increase longevity, and reduce OS-related organ damage in mammals. Because reduction of food intake also decreases oxidant AGE s intake, we asked whether the beneficial effects of CR in mammals are related to the restriction of oxidants or energy. Pair-fed mice were provided either a CR diet or a high-AGE CR diet in which AGEs were elevated by brief heat treatment (CR-high). Old CR-high mice developed high levels of 8-isoprostanes, AGEs, RAGE, and p66(shc), coupled with low AGER1 and GSH/GSSG levels, insulin resistance, marked myocardial and renal fibrosis, and shortened lifespan. In contrast, old CR mice had low OS, p66(shc), RAGE, and AGE levels, but high AGER1 levels, coupled with longer lifespan. Therefore, the beneficial effects of a CR diet may be partly related to reduced oxidant intake, a principal determinant of oxidant status in aging mice, rather than decreased energy intake.

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