, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 365-373

Glucose, glycation and aging

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Abstract

Glycation, a deleterious form of post-translational modification of macromolecules has been linked to diseases such as diabetes, cataract, Alzheimer’s, dialysis related amyloidosis (DRA), atherosclerosis and Parkinson’s as well as physiological aging. This review attempts to summarize the data on glycation in relation to its chemistry, role in macromolecular damage and disease, dietary sources and its intervention. Macromolecular damage and biochemical changes that occur in aging and age-related disorders point to the process of glycation as the common event in all of them. This is supported by the fact that several age-related diseases show symptoms manifested by hyperglycemia. Free radical mediated oxidative stress is also known to arise from hyperglycemia. There is evidence to indicate that controlling hyperglycemia by antidiabetic biguanides prolongs life span in experimental animals. Caloric restriction, which appears to prolong life span by bringing about mild hypoglycemia and increased insulin sensitivity further strengthens the idea that glucose via glycation is the primary damaging molecule.