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J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Dec 17;62(50):12152-8. doi: 10.1021/jf504132x. Epub 2014 Dec 8.

Quercetin inhibits advanced glycation end product formation by trapping methylglyoxal and glyoxal.

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Department of Food Science and Technology, Ginling College, Nanjing Normal University , 122 Ninghai Road, Nanjing 210097, People's Republic of China.


Methylglyoxal (MGO) and glyoxal (GO) not only are endogenous metabolites but also exist in exogenous resources, such as foods, beverages, urban atmosphere, and cigarette smoke. They have been identified as reactive dicarbonyl precursors of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which have been associated with diabetes-related long-term complications. In this study, quercetin, a natural flavonol found in fruits, vegetables, leaves, and grains, could effectively inhibit the formation of AGEs in a dose-dependent manner via trapping reactive dicarbonyl compounds. More than 50.5% of GO and 80.1% of MGO were trapped at the same time by quercetin within 1 h under physiological conditions. Quercetin and MGO (or GO) were combined at different ratios, and the products generated from this reaction were analyzed with LC-MS. Both mono-MGO and di-MGO adducts of quercetin were detected in this assay using LC-MS, but only tiny amounts of mono-GO adducts of quercetin were found. Additionally, di-MGO adducts were observed as the dominant product with prolonged incubation time. In the bovine serum albumin (BSA)-MGO/GO system, quercetin traps MGO and GO directly and then significantly inhibits the formation of AGEs.


advanced glycation end products (AGEs); diabetic complications; glyoxal; methylglyoxal; quercetin

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