Dietary AGEs May Have Different Effects in People with Vegetarian versus Omnivorous Eating Patterns
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are implicated in pathophysiology of aging and different noncommunicable diseases. Vegetarians, presenting generally better cardiometabolic characteristics and lower risk for many chronic degenerative diseases in comparison with omnivores, paradoxically present higher circulating AGE levels. In comparison with omnivorous diet, vegetarian diets are usually rich in carbohydrates, n-6 fatty acids, dietary fiber, and vitamins, and poorer in proteins, saturated fat, long-chain n-3 fatty acids, and retinol. Health benefits of vegetarian diet are associated with low rates of obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancers, and increased longevity. Skin autofluorescence (SAF) is a noninvasive method enabling to approximate the tissue accumulation of glycemic-, oxidative-, and carbonyl stress–derived AGEs. In comparison with omnivorous patients, vegetarian hemodialyzed patients present significantly lower SAF. Higher circulating AGE levels are generally considered to be associated with negative health effects, but vegetarians present more favorable cardiometabolic profile in comparison with age-matched omnivores.