Dietary Advanced Glycation End products interacting with the intestinal epithelium: What do we really know?

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Background: Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs) are a heterogeneous group of stable reaction products formed when amino acids, peptides, or proteins are glycated by the non-enzymatic Maillard Reaction. The formation and accumulation of these products in vivo are linked to many inflammation-based pathological outcomes and part of the pathophysiology of non-communicable diseases like eye cataracts and Alzheimer's disease. Since our diet contains high levels of the same compounds, it has been questioned whether their consumption is also detrimental to health. However, this is still under debate. In this context, the intestinal epithelium is an important target tissue since it is chronically exposed to relatively high concentrations of dietary AGEs. Scope of review: This review summarizes the current evidence on the impact of dietary AGEs on the intestinal epithelium and critically reflects on its methodology. Major conclusions: In healthy rodent models, an inflammation-independent impaired intestinal barrier function is claimed; however, dietary AGEs showed anti-inflammatory activity in IBD models. In vitro studies could be a valuable tool to unravel the underlying mechanisms of these effects, however the available studies face some limitations, e.g. lack of the physicochemical characterization of the glycated proteins, the inclusion of the proper controls and the dose-dependency of the effect. In addition, studies using more advanced in vitro models like intestinal organoids and co-cultures with immune cells exposed to gut microbial metabolites derived from the fermentation of AGEs are still needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101734
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Metabolism
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • Dietary advanced glycation end products
  • In vitro
  • In vivo
  • Intestinal epithelium
  • Methodology


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