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Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are cross-sectionally associated with insulin secretion in healthy subjects


It has been postulated that chronic exposure to high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), in particular from dietary sources, can impair insulin secretion. In the present study, we investigated the cross-sectional relationship between AGEs and acute insulin secretion during an intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) and following a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in healthy humans. We report the cross-sectional association between circulating AGE concentrations and insulin secretory function in healthy humans (17 F: 27 M, aged 30 ± 10 years) with a wide range of BMI (24.6–31.0 kg/m2). Higher circulating concentrations of AGEs were related to increased first phase insulin secretion during IVGTT (r = 0.43; p < 0.05) and lower 2-h glucose concentrations during OGTT (r = −0.31; p < 0.05). In addition, fasting (r = −0.36; p < 0.05) and 2-h glucose concentrations were negatively related to circulating levels of soluble receptor for AGE (RAGE) isoforms (r = −0.39; p < 0.01). In conclusion, in healthy humans, we show a cross-sectional association between advanced glycation end products and acute insulin secretion during glucose tolerance testing.

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Advanced glycation end product


Homeostatic model of insulin resistance


Receptor for advanced glycation end products


Intravenous glucose tolerance test


Oral glucose tolerance test


Body mass index


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We wish to thank all volunteers for their participation in the study. We wish to also thank the Nutrition Department at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne Australia and Dr. Malcolm Riley, Ms. Mariee Grima, Mr Donovan Martin, at Baker IDI. This research was also in part supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, Victorian Government’s Operational Infrastructure Support Program, Bennelong Foundation, Cardiovascular lipid grant,; Diabetes Australia Research Trust Millennium Award. BdC, JMF, BAK, MEC, MPS are all fellows of the NHMRC of Australia. MTC is a Roche/ANZSN Career Development Fellow. KCS is supported by a Viertel Diabetes Australia Research Trust Fellowship and JGL is supported by the National Heart Foundation of Australia and Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. No sponsor had any role in the study design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation, or writing of the manuscript.

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There are no conflicts of interest, which exist for the data presented within this manuscript.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Karly C. Sourris.

Additional information

J. M. Forbes and K. C. Sourris contributed equally to this manuscript.

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Forbes, J.M., Sourris, K.C., de Courten, M.P.J. et al. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are cross-sectionally associated with insulin secretion in healthy subjects. Amino Acids 46, 321–326 (2014).

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  • Insulin secretion
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Central obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes