ScienceDirect® Home Skip Main Navigation Links
My Settings
 Quick Search
 Search tips (Opens new window)     Clear all fields          Advanced Search
Font Size: Decrease Font Size  Increase Font Size
Relevant terms from this article
Click for Data Correlations, Clinical Trials and more
Powered by NextBio

What is this?

ScienceDirect has partnered with NextBio to connect articles with additional research content and experimental data from sources such as PubMed, GEO, and Using life science relevant ontologies, synonym recognition, gene and protein linkages, and tissue and disease nomenclature, links are made between experimental data and peer-reviewed content.

This box contains the key terms extracted from this ScienceDirect article. Clicking on a term will take you to an overview page where you will see associated content and will be able to find relevant information fast, thereby accelerating your scientific discovery.

Related Articles
View More Related Articles
Get Full Text Elsewhere
PANGAEA Supplementary Data
Thumbnails - selected | Full-Size Images
Article - selected
Figures/Tables - selected
References - selected
doi:10.1016/j.jada.2010.03.018 | How to Cite or Link Using DOI
Copyright © 2010 American Dietetic Association Published by Elsevier Inc.
  Permissions & Reprints


Advanced Glycation End Products in Foods and a Practical Guide to Their Reduction in the Diet

Jaime Uribarri MD, Sandra Woodruff RD, Susan Goodman RD, Weijing Cai MD, Xue Chen MD, Renata Pyzik MA, MS, Angie Yong MPH, Gary E. Striker MD and Helen Vlassara MDCorresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author

Revised 23 October 2009. 
Available online 22 May 2010.


Modern diets are largely heat-processed and as a result contain high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Dietary advanced glycation end products (dAGEs) are known to contribute to increased oxidant stress and inflammation, which are linked to the recent epidemics of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This report significantly expands the available dAGE database, validates the dAGE testing methodology, compares cooking procedures and inhibitory agents on new dAGE formation, and introduces practical approaches for reducing dAGE consumption in daily life. Based on the findings, dry heat promotes new dAGE formation by >10- to 100-fold above the uncooked state across food categories. Animal-derived foods that are high in fat and protein are generally AGE-rich and prone to new AGE formation during cooking. In contrast, carbohydrate-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and milk contain relatively few AGEs, even after cooking. The formation of new dAGEs during cooking was prevented by the AGE inhibitory compound aminoguanidine and significantly reduced by cooking with moist heat, using shorter cooking times, cooking at lower temperatures, and by use of acidic ingredients such as lemon juice or vinegar. The new dAGE database provides a valuable instrument for estimating dAGE intake and for guiding food choices to reduce dAGE intake.

Article Outline

AGE Content of Foods
AGE Inhibitory Agents
Statistical Analysis
Results and Discussion
AGE Content of Foods as Determined by CML Levels
AGE Content of Foods as Determined by MG Levels
Effect of Cooking Procedures on AGE Formation in Foods
Effect of AGE Inhibitors on New AGE Formation in Foods
Implications for Practice

Advanced glycation end products (AGEs), also known as glycotoxins, are a diverse group of highly oxidant compounds with pathogenic significance in diabetes and in several other chronic diseases ([1], [2], [3], [4], [5] and [6]). AGEs are created through a nonenzymatic reaction between reducing sugars and free amino groups of proteins, lipids, or nucleic acids. This reaction is also known as the Maillard or browning reaction (7). The formation of AGEs is a part of normal metabolism, but if excessively high levels of AGEs are reached in tissues and the circulation they can become pathogenic (2). The pathologic effects of AGEs are related to their ability to promote oxidative stress and inflammation by binding with cell surface receptors or cross-linking with body proteins, altering their structure and function ([8], [9] and [10]). Among the better-studied AGEs are the stable and relatively inert Nε-carboxymethyl-lysine (CML) and the highly reactive derivatives of methyl-glyoxal (MG). Both these AGEs can be derived from protein and lipid glycoxidation ([11] and [12]).

In addition to AGEs that form within the body, AGEs also exist in foods. AGEs are naturally present in uncooked animal-derived foods, and cooking results in the formation of new AGEs within these foods. In particular, grilling, broiling, roasting, searing, and frying propagate and accelerate new AGE formation ([7] and [13]). A wide variety of foods in modern diets are exposed to cooking or thermal processing for reasons of safety and convenience as well as to enhance flavor, color, and appearance. The fact that the modern diet is a large source of AGEs is now well-documented ([3], [7] and [13]). Because it had previously been assumed that dietary AGEs (dAGEs) are poorly absorbed, their potential role in human health and disease was largely ignored. However, recent studies with the oral administration of a single AGE-rich meal to human beings as well as labeled single protein-AGEs or diets enriched with specific AGEs such as MG to mice clearly show that dAGEs are absorbed and contribute significantly to the body's AGE pool ([14], [15] and [16]).

Consumption of AGE-rich diets by mice is associated with elevated circulating and tissue AGEs and conditions such as atherosclerosis (17) and kidney disease (18). On the other hand, restriction of dAGEs prevents vascular and kidney dysfunction ([18] and [19]), diabetes type 1 or type 2 (20), improves insulin sensitivity ([21] and [22]), and accelerates wound healing (23). Low dAGE intake has also been shown to lengthen lifespan to the same extent as does energy restriction in mice (16). Studies in healthy human beings show that dAGEs directly correlate with circulating AGEs, such as CML and MG, as well as with markers of oxidative stress (24). Moreover, restriction of dAGEs in patients with diabetes (25) or kidney disease ([26] and [27]) as well as in healthy subjects (28) also reduces markers of oxidative stress and inflammation. Together, the findings from animal and human studies suggest that avoidance of dAGEs in food helps delay chronic diseases and aging in animals and possibly in human beings (3).

From a practical perspective, aside from a few reports, which include an initial dAGE database on 249 foods (13), this area is void of relevant information and guidance for professionals. The purpose of this report is to expand the existing dAGE database by more than twofold, validate the methods used to test AGEs in food, examine different procedures and reagents on new dAGE formed, and introduce practical methods to reduce the consumption of dAGEs in daily life.


AGE Content of Foods

The AGE content of food samples was analyzed during the period 2003-2008. Foods were selected on the basis of their frequency on 3-day food records collected from healthy subjects in a catchment population in the Upper East Side and East Harlem in Manhattan, New York, NY. Therefore, these foods represent foods and culinary techniques typical of a Northeastern American multiethnic urban population. Foods were obtained from the cafeteria of The Mount Sinai Hospital, from local restaurants or supermarkets, or were prepared in the General Clinical Research Center at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Foods were subjected to standard cooking methods such as boiling (100°C), broiling (225°C), deep-frying (180°C), oven-frying (230°C), and roasting (177°C), unless otherwise stated in the database (see Table 1 available online at The time of cooking varied as described in the database. Test procedures such as marinating, application of differing heating conditions, or cooking foods in differing fats or oils are also described in the database.

Table 1.

The advanced glycation end product (AGE) content of 549 foods, based on carboxymethyllysine content

AGE Content
Food itemAGEa kU/100gServing size (g)AGE kU/serving
Almonds, blanched slivered (Bazzini's Nut Club, Bronx, NY)5,473301,642
Almonds, roasted6,650301,995
Butter, whippedb26,48051,324
Butter, sweet cream, unsalted, whipped (Land O'Lakes, St Paul, MN)23,34051,167
Cashews, raw (Bazzini's Nut Club)6,730302,019
Cashews, roasted9,807302,942
Chestnut, raw2,72330817
Chestnut, roasted, in toaster oven 350°F for 27 min5,353301,606
Cream cheese, Philadelphia soft, (Kraft, Northfield, IL)10,883303,265
Cream cheese, Philadelphia original (Kraft)8,720302,616
Margarine, tub17,5205876
Margarine, tub, I Can't Believe it's Not Butter (Unilever, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)9,9205496
Margarine, tub, Smart Balance (CFA Brands, Heart Beat Foods, Paramus, NJ)6,2205311
Margarine, tub, Take Control (Unilever Best Foods)4,0005200
Mayonnaise, imitation (Diet Source, Novartis Nutriton Group, East Hanover, NJ)200510
Mayonnaise, low fat (Hellman's, Unilever Best Foods)2,2005110
Olive, ripe, large (5 g)1,67030501
Peanut butter, smooth, Skippy (Unilever)7,517302,255
Peanuts, cocktail (Planters, Kraft)8,333302,500
Peanuts, dry roasted, unsalted (Planters, Kraft)6,447301,934
Peanuts, roasted in shell, salted (Frito-Lay, Plano, TX)3,440301,032
Pine nuts (pignolias), raw (Bazzini's Nut Club)11,210303,363
Pistachios, salted (Frito Lay)38030114
Pumpkin seeds, raw, hulled (House of Bazzini, Bronx, NY)1,85330556
Soybeans, roasted and salted (House of Bazzini)1,67030501
Sunflower seeds, raw, hulled (House of Bazzini)2,51030753
Sunflower seeds, roasted and salted (House of Bazzini)4,693301,408
Tartar Sauce, creamy (Kraft)2471537
Walnuts, roasted7,887302,366
AGE kU/100 mLServing size (mL)AGE kU/serving
Fat, liquid
Cream, heavy, ultra-pasteurized (Farmland Dairies, Fairlawn, NJ)2,16715325
Oil, canola9,0205451
Oil, corn2,4005120
Oil, cottonseed (The B Manischewitz Company, Cincinnati, OH)8,5205426
Oil, diaglycerol, Enova (ADM Kao LLC, Decatur, IL)10,4205521
Oil, olive11,9005595
Oil, olive, extra virgin, first cold pressed (Colavita, Linden, NJ)10,0405502
Oil, peanut (Planters)11,4405572
Oil, safflower (The Hain Celestial Group, Inc, Melville, NY)3,0205151
Oil, sesame (Asian Gourmet)21,68051084
Oil, sunflower (The Hain Celestial Group, Inc)3,9405197
Salad dressing, blue cheese (Kraft)2731541
Salad dressing, caesar (Kraft)74015111
Salad dressing, French (H. J. Heinz Co, Pittsburgh, PA)1131517
Salad dressing, French, lite, (Diet Source, Novartis Nutr Corp)0150
Salad dressing, Italian (Heinz)2731541
Salad dressing, Italian, lite (Diet Source, Novartis Nutr Corp)0150
Salad dressing, thousand island (Kraft)1871528
Beef, bologna1,631901,468
Beef, corned brisket, deli meat (Boar's Head, Sarasota, FL)19990179
Beef, frankfurter, boiled in water, 212° F, 7 min7,484906,736
Beef, frankfurter, broiled 450°F, 5 min11,2709010,143
Beef, ground, boiled, marinated 10 min w/lemon juice1,538901,384
Beef, ground, pan browned, marinated 10 min w/lemon juice3,833903,450
Beef, ground, 20% fat, pan browned4,928904,435
Beef, ground, 20% fat, pan/cover5,527904,974
Beef, hamburger (McDonald's Corpd, Oak Brook, IL)5,418904,876
Beef, hamburger patty, olive oil 180°F, 6 min2,639902,375
Beef, meatball, potted (cooked in liquid), 1 hc4,300903,870
Beef, meatball, w/saucec2,852902,567
Beef, meatloaf, crust off, 45 min1,862901,676
Beef, raw70790636
Beef, roastb6,071905,464
Beef, salami, kosher (Hebrew National, ConAgra Foods, Omaha, NE)62890565
Beef, steak, broiledc7,479906,731
Beef, steak, grilled 4 min, George Foreman grill (Salton Inc, Lake Forest, IL)7,416906,674
Beef, steak, microwaved, 6 min2,687902,418
Beef, steak, pan fried w/olive oil10,058909,052
Beef, steak, raw80090720
Beef, steak, strips, 450°F, 15 minc6,851906,166
Beef, steak, strips, stir fried with 1 T canola oil, 15 min9,522908,570
Beef, steak, strips, stir fried without oil, 7 min6,973906,276
Beef, stewed, shoulder cutc2,230902,007
Beef, stewedb2,657902,391
Beef, stewed, (mean)2,443902,199
Chicken, back or thigh, roasted then BBQb8,802907,922
Chicken, boiled in water, 1 h1,123901,011
Chicken, boiled with lemon95790861
Chicken, breast, skinless, roasted with BBQ saucec4,768904,291
Chicken, breast, skinless, breadedb4,558904,102
Chicken, breast, skinless, breaded, reheated 1 minb5,730905,157
Chicken, breast, boiled in waterc1,210901,089
Chicken, breast, breaded, deep fried, 20 min9,722908,750
Chicken, breast, breaded, oven fried, 25 min, with skinc9,961908,965
Chicken, breast, breaded/pan friedc7,430906,687
Chicken, breast, grilled/George Foreman grill (Salton Inc)4,849904,364
Chicken, breast, pan fried, 13 min, highc4,938904,444
Chicken, breast, pan fried, 13 min high/microwave 12.5 secc5,417904,875
Chicken, breast, poached, 7 min, medium heatc1,10190991
Chicken, breast, potted (cooked in liquid), 10 min medium heatc2,480902,232
Chicken, breast, roasted, 45 min with skinc6,639905,975
Chicken, breast, skinless, microwave, 5 min1,524901,372
Chicken, breast, skinless, poached, 15 min1,07690968
Chicken, breast, skinless, raw76990692
Chicken, breast, steamed in foil, 15 min, medium heatc1,05890952
Chicken, breast, strips, stir fried with canola oil, 7 min4,140903,726
Chicken, breast, strips, stir fried without oil, 7 min3,554903,199
Chicken, breast, with skin, 450°F, 45 minc8,244907,420
Chicken, breast, skinless, broiled, 450°F, 15 min5,828905,245
Chicken, crispy (McDonald'sd)7,722906,950
Chicken, curry, cube skinless breast, panfry10 min, broiled 12 minc6,340905,706
Chicken, curry, cube skinless breast, steam 10 min, broiled 12 minc5,634905,071
Chicken, dark meat, broiled, inside, 450°F, 15 min8,299907,469
Chicken, fried, in olive oil, 8 min7,390906,651
Chicken, ground, dark meat with skin, rawc1,223901,101
Chicken, ground, dark w/skin, pan fried, w/canola oil, 2.5 min, high heatc3,001902,701
Chicken, ground, white meat, pan fried, no added fat, 5 min, high heatc1,808901,627
Chicken, ground, white meat, pan fried, with oil1,647901,482
Chicken, ground, white meat, raw87790789
Chicken, kebab, cubed skinless breast, pan fried, 15 minc6,122905,510
Chicken, leg, roastedb4,650904,185
Chicken, loaf, roastedc3,946903,551
Chicken, loaf, roasted, crust offc1,420901,278
Chicken, meat ball, potted (cooked in liquid), 1 h1,501901,351
Chicken, nuggets, fast food (McDonald'sd)8,627907,764
Chicken, potted (cooked in liquid) with onion and water3,329902,996
Chicken, roastedc6,020905,418
Chicken, selects (McDonald's)9,257908,331
Chicken, skin, back or thigh, roasted then BBQb18,5209016,668
Chicken, skin, leg, roastedb10,997909,897
Chicken, skin, thigh, roastedb11,1499010,034
Chicken, thigh, roastedb5,146904,631
Turkey, burger, pan fried with cooking spray, 5 min, high heatc7,968907,171
Turkey, burger, pan fried with cooking spray, 5 min, high heat, microwaved 13.5 sec, high heatc8,938908,044
Turkey, burger, pan fried with 5 mL canola oil, 3.5 min, high heatc8,251907,426
Turkey, ground, grilled, crust6,351905,716
Turkey, ground, grilled, interior5,977905,379
Turkey, ground, raw4,957904,461
Turkey, burger, broiled5,366904,829
Turkey, breast, roasted4,669904,202
Turkey, breast, smoked, searedc6,013905,412
Turkey, breast, steak, skinless, marinated w/orange juice, broiledc4,388903,949
Bacon, fried 5 min no added oil91,5771311,905
Bacon, microwaved, 2 slices, 3 min9,023131,173
Ham, deli, smoked2,349902,114
Liverwurst (Boar's Head)63390570
Pork, chop, marinated w/balsamic vinegar, BBQb3,334903,001
Pork, chop, raw, marinated w/balsamic vinegarb1,188901,069
Pork, chop, pan fried, 7 min4,752904,277
Pork, ribs, roasted, Chinese take out4,430903,987
Pork, roast, Chinese take out3,544903,190
Sausage, beef and pork links, pan fried5,426904,883
Sausage, Italian, rawb1,861901,675
Sausage, Italian, BBQb4,839904,355
Sausage, pork links, microwaved, 1 min5,943905,349
Lamb, leg, boiled, 30 min1,218901,096
Lamb, leg, broiled, 450°F, 30 min2,431902,188
Lamb, leg, microwave, 5 min1,02990926
Lamb, leg, raw82690743
Veal, stewed2,858902,572
Crabmeat, fried, breaded (take out)3,364903,028
Fish, loaf (gefilte), boiled 90 min76190685
Salmon, Atlantic, farmed, prev. frozen, microwaved, 1 min, high heatc95490859
Salmon, Atlantic, farmed, prev. frozen, poached, 7 min, medium heatc1,801901,621
Salmon, Atlantic, farmed, prev. frozen, steamed, 10 min, medium heatc1,212901,091
Salmon, Atlantic, farmed, prev. frozen, steamed in foil, 8 min, medium heatc1,00090900
Salmon, breaded, broiled 10 min1,498901,348
Salmon, broiled with olive oil4,334903,901
Salmon, canned pink (Rubenstein, Trident Seafoods, Seattle, WA)91790825
Salmon, fillet, boiled, submerged, 18 min1,08290974
Salmon, fillet, broiled3,347903,012
Salmon, fillet, microwaved91290821
Salmon, fillet, poached2,292902,063
Salmon, pan fried in olive oil3,083902,775
Salmon, raw, previously frozen51790465
Salmon, raw52890475
Salmon, smoked57290515
Scrod, broiled 450°F, 30 min47190424
Shrimp frozen dinner, microwaved 4.5 min4,399903,959
Shrimp, fried, breaded (take out)4,328903,895
Shrimp, marinated rawb1,00390903
Shrimp, marinated, grilled on BBQb2,089901,880
Trout, baked, 25 min2,138901,924
Trout, raw78390705
Tuna, patty, chunk light, broiled, 450°F, 30 min74790672
Tuna, broiled, with soy, 10 min5,113904,602
Tuna, broiled, with vinegar dressing5,150904,635
Tuna, fresh, baked, 25 min91990827
Tuna, loaf (chunk light in recipe), baked 40 min59090531
Tuna, canned, chunk light, w/water45290407
Tuna, canned, white, albacore, w/oil1,740901,566
Whiting, breaded, oven fried, 25 minc8,774907,897
Cheese, American, low fat (Kraft)4,040301,212
Cheese, American, white, processed8,677302,603
Cheese, brie5,597301,679
Cheese, cheddar5,523301,657
Cheese, cheddar, extra sharp, made with 2% milk (Cracker Barrel, Kraft)2,45730737
Cheese, cottage, 1% fat (Light & Lively, Kraft)1,45330436
Cheese, feta, Greek, soft8,423302,527
Cheese, mozzarella, reduced fat1,67730503
Cheese, parmesan, grated (Kraft)16,900152,535
Cheese, Swiss, processedb4,470301,341
Cheese, Swiss, reduced fat (Alpine Lace, Alpine Lace Brands, Inc, Maplewood, NJ)4,743301,423
Bacon bits, imitation, Bacos (Betty Crocker, General Mills, Minneapolis, MN)1,24715187
Meatless jerky, Primal Strips (Primal Spirit Inc, Moundsville, WV)1,398901,258
Soy burger, Boca Burger, 400°F, 8 min-4 each sidec (BOCA Foods Co, Mandison, WI)1303039
Soy burger, Boca Burger, microwaved, 1.5 minc (BOCA Foods Co)673020
Soy burger, Boca Burger, skillet, cook spray, 5 minc (BOCA Foods Co)1003030
Soy burger, Boca Burger, skillet, w/1 tsp olive oil, 5 minc (BOCA Foods Co)43730131
Soy burger, Boca Burger (BOCA Foods Co) (mean)1833055
Tofu, broiled4,107903,696
Tofu, raw78890709
Tofu, soft, raw48890439
Tofu, sautéed, inside3,569903,212
Tofu, sautéed, outside5,877905,289
Tofu, sautéed (mean)4,723904,251
Tofu, soft, boiled 5 min, +2 min to return to boilc62890565
Tofu, soft, boiled 5 min, +2 min,+ soy sauce, sesame oilc79690716
Egg, fried, one large2,749451,237
Egg white powder (Deb-El Products, Elizabeth, NJ)1,04010104
Egg white, large, 10 min433013
Egg white, large, 12 min633019
Egg yolk, large, 10 min1,19315179
Egg yolk, large, 12 min1,68015252
Egg, omelet, pan, low heat, cooking spray, 11 minc903027
Egg, omelet, pan, low heat, corn oil, 12 minc2233067
Egg, omelet, pan, low heat, margarine, 8 minc1633049
Egg, omelet, pan, low, butter, 13 minc50730152
Egg, omelet, pan, low, olive oil, 12 minc33730101
Egg, poached, below simmer, 5 minc903027
Egg, scrambled, pan, high, butter, 45 secc33730101
Egg, scrambled, pan, high, cooking spray, 1 minc1173035
Egg, scrambled, pan, high, corn oil, 1 minc1733052
Egg, scrambled, pan, high, margarine, 1 minc1233037
Egg, scrambled, pan, high, olive oil, 1minc2433073
Egg, scrambled, pan, med-low, butter, 2 minc1673050
Egg, scrambled, pan, med-low, cooking spray, 2 minc673020
Egg, scrambled, pan, med-low, corn oil, 1.5 minc1233037
Egg, scrambled pan, med-low, margarine, 2 minc633019
Egg, scrambled, pan, med-low, olive oil, 2 minc973029
AGE Content
CarbohydratesAGE kU/100 gServing size (g)AGE kU/serving
Bagel, small, Lender'sb1333040
Bagel, largeb1073032
Bagel, toastedb1673050
Biscuit (Mc Donald'sd)1,47030441
Biscuit, refrigerator, baked-oven, 350°F, 17 min (Pillsbury Grands, General Mills)1,34330403
Biscuit, refrigerator, uncooked (Pillsbury Grands, General Mills)82330247
Bread, 100% whole wheat, center, toasted (Wonder, Interstate Bakeries, Inc, Irving, TX)833025
Bread, 100% whole wheat, center (Wonder)533016
Bread, 100% whole wheat, top crust (Wonder)733022
Bread, 100% whole wheat, top crust, toasted (Wonder)1203036
Bread, Greek, hard1503045
Bread, Greek, hard, toasted60730182
Bread, Greek, soft1103033
Bread, pita533016
Bread, white, Italian, center (Freihoffer's, Bimbo Bakeries, Horsham, PA)23307
Bread, white, Italian, center, toasted (Freihoffer's)833025
Bread, white, Italian, crust (Freihoffer's)373011
Bread, white, Italian, top crust, toasted (Freihoffer's)1203036
Bread, white, slice (Rockland Bakery, Nanuet, NY)833025
Bread, white, slice, toasted (Rockland Bakery)1073032
Bread, whole wheat, slice (Rockland Bakery)1033031
Bread, whole wheat, slice, toasted, slice, (Rockland Bakery)1373041
Croissant, butter (Starbucks, Seattle, WA)1,11330334
Roll, dinner, inside23307
Roll, dinner, outside773023
Breakfast cereals
Bran flakes, from raisin bran (Post, Kellogg Co, Battle Creak, MI)333010
Cinnamon Toast Crunch (General Mills)1,10030330
Corn Flakes (Kellogg's)2333070
Corn Flakes, Honey Nut (Kellogg Co)3203096
Corn Flakes, Sugar Frosted (Kellogg Co)42730128
Corn Pops (Kellogg's)1,24330373
Cream of Wheat, instant, prepared (Nabisco, East Hanover, NJ)108175189
Cream of Wheat, instant, prepared with honey (Nabisco)189175331
Fiber One (General Mills)1,40330421
Froot Loops (Kellogg Co)673020
Frosted Mini Wheats (Kellogg Co)2103063
Granola, Organic Oats & Honey (Cascadian Farms, Small Planet Foods, Minneapolis, MN)42730128
Life, mean (Quaker Oats, Chicago, IL)1,31330394
Puffed Corn Cereal (Arrowhead Mills, The Hain Celestial Group, Inc)1003030
Puffed Wheat17305
Rice Krispies (Kellogg Co)2,00030600
Total, Wheat and Brown Rice (General Mills)2333070
Oatmeal, instant, dry (Quaker Oats)13304
Oatmeal, instant, prepared (Quaker Oats)1417525
Oatmeal, instant, prepared with honey (Quaker Oats)1817531
Breakfast foods
French toast, Aunt Jemima, frozen, microwaved 1 min (Pinnacle Foods)60330181
French toast, Aunt Jemima, frozen,10 min @ 400°F (Pinnacle Foods Corp)85030255
French toast, Aunt Jemima, frozen, not heated (Pinnacle Foods Corp, Cherry Hill, NJ)2633079
French toast, Aunt Jemima frozen, toaster medium-1 cycle (Pinnacle Foods)61330184
Hot Cakes (McDonald'sd)2433073
Pancake, from mix82330247
Pancake, frozen, toasted (General Mills)2,26330679
Pancake, homemade97330292
Waffle, frozen, toasted (Kellogg Co)2,87030861
Beans, red kidney, raw116100116
Beans, red kidney, canned191100191
Beans, red kidney, cooked 1 h298100298
Pasta, cooked 8 min112100112
Pasta, cooked 12 min242100242
Pasta, spiralb245100245
Rice, white, quick cooking, 10 min91009
Rice, Uncle Ben's white, cooked, 35 min (Mars, Inc, Houston, TX)91009
Rice, white, pan toasted 10 min, cooked 30 min3210032
Starchy vegetables
Corn, canned2010020
Potato, sweet, roasted 1 h7210072
Potato, white, boiled 25 min1710017
Potato, white, roasted 45 min, with 5 mL oil/servingc218100218
Potato, white, french fries (McDonald'sd)1,5221001,522
Potato, white, french fries, homemade694100694
Potato, white, french fries, in corn oil, held under heat lampb843100843
Potato, white, hash browns (McDonald'sd)129100129
Breadsticks, Stella D'oro hard (Brynwood Partners, Greenwich, CT)1273038
Cheez Doodles, crunchy (Wise Foods Inc, Berwick, PA)3,21730965
Chex mix, traditonal (General Mills, Inc)1,17330352
Chips, corn, Doritos (Frito Lay)50330151
Chips, corn, Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips (Frito-Lay)1,27030381
Chips, Platanitos, plantain (Plantain Products Co, Tampa, FL)37030111
Chips, potato (Frito Lay)2,88330865
Chips, potato, baked original potato crisps (Frito Lay)45030135
Combos, nacho cheese pretzel (M & M Mars, McLean, VA)1,68030504
Cracker, chocolate Teddy graham (Nabisco)1,64730494
Cracker, Pepperidge Farms Goldfish, cheddar (Campbell Soup Co, Camden, NJ)2,17730653
Cracker, Keebler honey graham (Kellogg Co)1,22030366
Cracker, Old London melba toast (Nonni's Food Co, Tulsa, OK)90330271
Cracker, oyster1,71030513
Cracker, rice cake, corn (Taanug)1373041
Cracker, saltine, hospital (Alliant)93730281
Cracker, Keebler sandwich, club+cheddar, (Kellogg Co)1,83030549
Cracker, toasted wheat91730275
Cracker, wheat, round85730257
Cracker, KA-ME rice crunch, plain (Liberty Richter, Bloomfield, NJ)91730275
Popcorn, air popped, with butter1333040
Popcorn, Pop Secret microwaved, fat free, no added fat (General Mills)333010
Pretzel, minis (Snyder's of Hanover, Hanover, NJ)1,79030537
Pretzel, Q rolled1,88330565
Pretzel, stick1,60030480
Pretzel (mean)1,75730527
Veggie Booty (Robert's American Gourmet, Seacliff, NY)98330295
Cookies, cakes, pies, pastries
Bar, granola, chocolate chunk, soft (Quaker)50730152
Bar, Nutrigrain, apple cinnamon (Kellogg's)2,14330643
Bar, Rice Krispies Treat (Kelloggs)1,92030576
Bar,Granola, peanut butter & choc chunk, hard (Quaker)3,17730953
Cake, angel food, Danish Kitchen (Sam's Club, Bentonville, AR)27308
Cookie, biscotti, vanilla almond (Starbucks)3,22030966
Cookie, chocolate chip, Chips Ahoy (Nabisco)1,68330505
Cookie, Golden Bowl fortune (Wonton Food, Inc, Brooklyn, NY)903027
Cookie, Greek wedding, nut cookie96030288
Cookie, meringue, homemade79730239
Cookie, Keebler oatmeal raisin (Kellogg Co)1,37030411
Cookie, Oreo (Nabisco)1,77030531
Cookie, Nilla vanilla wafer (Nabisco)49330148
Croissant, chocolate (Au Bon Pain, Boston, MA)49330148
Danish, cheese (Au Bon Pain)85730257
Donut, glazed devil's food cake (Krispy Kreme, Winston-Salem, NC)1,40730422
Donut, chocolate iced, crème filled (Krispy Kreme)1,80330541
Fruit pop, frozen (Dole, Westlake Village, CA)186011
Fruit roll up, sizzlin' red (General Mills)98030294
Gelatin, Dole strawberry (Nestle, Minneapolis, MN)21252
Gelatin, Dole strawberry, sugar free (Nestle)11251
Ice cream cone, cake (Haagen Dazs, Oakland, CA)1473044
Ice cream cone, sugar (Haagen Dazs)1533046
Muffin, bran (Au Bon Pain)34030102
Pie, apple, individual, baked (McDonald'sd)63730191
Pie, crust, frozen, baked per pkg, mean Mrs. Smith's Dutch Apple Crumb and Pumpkin Custard (Kellogg Co)1,39030417
Pie, Mrs. Smith's Dutch apple crumb, deep dish, apple filling (Kellogg Co)34030102
Pie, Mrs. Smith's Dutch apple crumb, deep dish, crumbs (Kellogg Co)1,03030309
Pie, Mrs. Smith's Dutch apple crumb, deep dish, crust (Kellogg Co)1,41030423
Pie, Mrs. Smith's Dutch apple crumb, deep dish, pie (Kellogg Co)89330268
Pie, Mrs. Smith's pumpkin custard, bake it fresh, original recipe, crust (Kellogg Co)1,37330412
Pie, Mrs. Smith's pumpkin custard, bake it fresh, original recipe, custard (Kellogg Co)61730185
Pie, Mrs. Smith's pumpkin custard, bake it fresh, original recipe, pie (Kellogg Co)88030264
Pop tart, microwave-3 sec high power (Kellogg Co)2433073
Pop tart, microwave-6 se medium high power (Kellogg's)2103063
Pop tart, not heated (Kellogg Co)1333040
Pop tart, toaster-low, 1 cycle (Kellogg Co)2603078
Scone, cinnamon (Starbucks)79030237
Sorbet, Edy's strawberry (Dryer's, Oakland, CA)21253
Sweet roll, cinnamon swirl roll (Starbucks)90730272
Apple, baked4510045
Apple, Macintosh1310013
Coconut cream, Coco Goya cream of coconut (Goya, Secaucus, NJ)93315140
Coconut milk, leche de coco, (Goya)3071546
Coconut, Baker's Angel Flake, sweetened (Kraft)59030177
Dates, Sun-Maid California chopped (Sun-Maid, Kingsburg, CA)603018
Fig, dried2,66330799
Plums, Sun-Maid dried pitted prunes (Sun-Maid)1673050
Raisin, from Post Raisin Bran (Kellogg Co)1203036
Vegetables (raw unless specified otherwise)
Carrots, canned1010010
Eggplant, grilled, marinated with balsamic vinegarb256100256
Eggplant, raw, marinated with balsamic vinegarb116100116
Green beans, canned1810018
Portabella mushroom, raw, marinated with balsamic vinegarb129100129
Tomato sauce (Del Monte Foods, San Francisco, CA)1110011
Vegetables, grilled (broccoli, carrots, celery)226100226
Vegetables, grilled (pepper, mushrooms)261100261
Other carbohydrates
Sugar, white050
Sugar substitute, aspartame as Canderel (Merisant, Chicago, IL)050
AGE Content
LiquidsAGE kU/100 mLServing size (mL)AGE kU/serving
Milk and milk products
Cocoa packet, Swiss Miss, prepared (ConAgra Foods)262250656
Cocoa packet, Swiss Miss sugar-free, prepared (ConAgra Foods)204250511
Ice cream, America's Choice vanilla (The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co, Montvale, NJ)3425084
Milk, fat-free (hospital)12502
Milk, Lactaid fat free (McNeil Nutritionals, Fort Washington, PA)1025026
Milk, fat free (Tuscan Dairy Farms, Burlington, NJ)22504
Milk, fat free, with A and D02501
Milk, fat free, with A and D (microwaved,1 min)22505
Milk, fat free, with A and D (microwaved, 2 min)825019
Milk, fat free, with A and D (microwaved, 3 min)3425086
Milk, soy (Imagine Foods, The Hain Celestial Group)3125077
Milk, whole (4% fat)525012
Pudding, instant chocolate, fat-free, sugar-free, prepared11201
Pudding, instant chocolate, skim milk11201
Pudding, Hunt Wesson snack pack, chocolate (ConAgra Foods)1712020
Pudding, Hunt Wesson snack pack, vanilla (ConAgra Foods)1312016
Yogurt, cherry, (Dannon, White Plains, NY)425010
Yogurt, vanilla, (Dannon)32508
Fruit juice
Juice, apple22505
Juice, cranberry32508
Juice, orange625014
Juice, orange, from fresh fruit02501
Juice, orange, with calcium32508
Vegetable juice
Vegetable juice, V8 (Campbell Soup Co)22505
Other carbohydrate liquids
Fruit pop, frozen (Dole)186011
Sorbet, strawberry (Edy's)21253
Syrup, caramel, sugar free0150
Syrup, dark corn0150
Syrup, pancake, lite0150
AGE Content
Combination foods and solid condimentsAGE kU/100 gServing size (g)AGE kU/serving
Combination foods
Bacon Egg Cheese Biscuit (McDonald'sd)2,2891002,289
Bacon, Egg and Cheese McGriddles (McDonald'sd)858100858
Big Mac (McDonald'sd)7,8011007,801
Casserole, tuna233100233
Cheeseburger (McDonald'sd)3,4021003,402
Chicken McGrill (McDonald'sd)5,1711005,171
Corned beef hash, canned, microwaved 2 min, high power (Broadcast)1,6911001,691
Corned beef hash, canned, stove top, medium heat, 12 min (Broadcast)2,1751002,175
Corned beef hash, canned, unheated (Broadcast)1,0631001,063
Double Quarter Pounder With Cheese (McDonald'sd)6,2831006,283
Filet-O-Fish (McDonald'sd)6,0271006,027
Gnocchi, potato/flour/Parmesan cheese, 3 min535100535
Gnocchi, potato/flour/Parmesan cheese, 4.5 min2,0741002,074
Hot Pocket, bacon, egg, cheese, oven, 350°F, 20 min (Nestle)1,6951001,695
Hot Pocket-bacon, egg, cheese, microwaved 1 min (Nestle)846100846
Hot Pocket-bacon, egg, cheese, frozen-not heated (Nestle)558100558
Hummus, commercial733100733
Hummus, with garlic and scallions884100884
Hummus, with vegetables487100487
Hummus (mean)701100701
Macaroni and cheeseb2,7281002,728
Macaroni and cheese, bakedc4,0701004,070
Pasta primavera959100959
Pesto, with basil (Buitoni, Nestle)150100150
Pizza, thin crust6,8251006,825
Salad, Italian pastac935100935
Salad, lentil potatoc123100123
Salad, tuna pastac218100218
Sandwich, cheese melt, open facedc5,6791005,679
Sandwich, toasted cheese4,3331004,333
Soufflé, spinachc598100598
Timbale, broccolic122100122
Taramosalata (Greek style caviar spread)678100678
Veggie burger, California burger, 400°F, 8 min-4 each side (Amy's Kitchen, Petaluma, CA)198100198
Veggie burger, California burger, skillet, with spray, 5 min (Amy's)149100149
Veggie burger, California burger, skillet, with 1 tsp olive oil, 5 min (Amy's)374100374
Veggie burger, California burger, microwave, 1 min (Amy's)6810068
Won ton, pork, fried (take out)2,1091002,109
Ziti, baked2,7951002,795
Ginger, crystallized4901049
Candy, Hershey Special Dark Chocolate (The Hershey Co, Hershey, PA)1,77730533
Candy, M & M's, milk chocolate (Mars)1,50030450
Candy, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (The Hershey Co)3,440301,032
Candy, Raisinets (Nestle)1973059
Candy, Snickers (Nestle)2633079
Pickle, bread and butter10303
AGE Content
Soups, liquid condiments, and miscellaneous liquidsAGE kU/100 mLServing size (mL)AGE kU/serving
Soup, beef bouillon0.402501
Soup, chicken bouillon1.202503
Soup, College Inn chicken broth, (Del Monte)0.802502
Soup, chicken noodle, (Campbell Soup Company)1.602504
Soup, couscous and lentil (Fantastic World Foods, Edison, NJ)3.602509
Soup, Knorr vegetable broth, (Unilever)1.602504
Soup, summer vegetablec1.202503
Soy sauce60.00159
Vinegar, balsamic33.33155
Vinegar, white40.00156
SoBe Adrenaline Rush (South Beach Beverage Co, Norwalk, CT)0.402501
Budwiser Beer (Anheuser-Busch, St Louis, MO)1.202503
Breast milk, fresh6.67302
Breast milk, frozen10.00303
Coca Cola, classic (The Coca-Cola Co, Atlanta, GA)2.802507
Coffee, with milk and sugar2.402506
Coffee, drip method1.602504
Coffee, heating plate >1 h13.6025034
Coffee, Taster's Choice instant (Nestle)4.8025012
Coffee, instant, decaf (mean Sanka [Kraft] and Taster's Choice)5.2025013
Coffee, Spanish4.8025012
Coffee, with milk6.8025017
Coffee, with sugar7.6025019
Coke, Diet (The Coca-Cola Company)1.202503
Coke, Diet 2008 (The Coca-Cola Company)4.0025010
Coke, Diet plus (The Coca-Cola Company)1.602504
Enfamil, old (Mead Johnson Nutritonal, Glenview, IL)486.6730146
Ensure plus12.8025032
Gelatin, Dole strawberry (Nestle)1.601252
Gelatin, Dole strawberry, sugar free (Nestle)0.801251
Glucerna (Abbott Nutrition, Columbus, OH)70.00250175
Malta (Goya)1.202503
NOFEAR Super Energy Supplement (Pepsico, Purchase, NY)0.402501
Pepsi, diet (Pepsico)2.802507
Pepsi, diet MAX (Pepsico)3.202508
Pepsi, diet, caffeine free (Pepsico)2.402506
Pepsi, regular (Pepsico)2.402506
Resource (Nestle)72.00250180
Rum, Bacardi Superior, 80 proof (Miami, FL)0.002500
Sprite (The Coca-Cola Company)1.602504
Sprite, diet (The Coca-Cola Company)0.402501
Tea, apple (RC Bigelow, Inc, Fairfield, CT)0.402501
Tea, Lipton Tea bag (Unilever)2.002505
Tea, Lipton Tea bag, decaf (Unilever)1.202503
Vodka, Smirnoff, 80 proof (Diageo, London, UK)0.002500
Whiskey, Dewar's White Label (Dewar's, Perthsire, UK)0.402501
Wine, pinot grigio (Cavit Collection, Port Washington, NY)32.8025082
Wine, pinot noir (Cavit Collection)11.2025028
a AGEs were assessed as carboxymethyllysine by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
b MSC=Mount Sinai Hospital cafeteria.
c CRC=Mount Sinai Hospital Clinical Research Center.
d All McDonald's products were purchased in New York, NY, before July 2008.

Preparation of food samples for AGE measurement was performed as previously described (13). Briefly, food samples were homogenized and dissolved in phosphate buffer saline and the supernatants tested for AGEs with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay based on a monoclonal anti-CML antibody (4G9) ([29] and [30]). The AGE content of each food item was based on the mean value of at least three measurements per sample and expressed as AGE kilounits/100 g food.

Selected items from different food categories were tested by a second enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for content of MG-derivatives using an anti-MG monoclonal antibody (3D11 mAb) (29) and the results were expressed as nmol/100 g or nmol/100 mL food. The test sensitivity for CML and MG was 0.1 U/mL and 0.004 nmol/mL, respectively; the intra-assay variation was ±2.6% (CML) and ±2.8% (MG) and the inter-assay variation was ±4.1% (CML) and ±5.2% (MG).

AGE Inhibitory Agents

Because a low or acidic pH arrests AGE development, new AGE formation in cooked meat was tested following exposure to acidic solutions (marinades) of lemon juice and vinegar. Samples from lean beef were marinated in acidic solutions of either lemon or vinegar for 1 hour before cooking (see the Figure). In addition, the effect of a prototypic AGE inhibitor (aminoguanidine, 200 μmol/L) was compared to that of a lipid antioxidant (butylated hydroxytoluene [BHT], 100 μmol/L) on new AGE formation during heating by assessing CML content in oil (extra virgin olive oil, Colavita, Linden, NJ) samples, heated at 100°C for 5 minutes.

Full-size image (12K) - Opens new windowFull-size image (12K)

Figure. Effect of acidic environment on the advanced glycation end product (AGE) content of beef. Beef (25 g) was roasted for 15 minutes at 150°C with or without premarinating in 10 mL vinegar (A) or lemon juice (B) for 1 hour. Samples were homogenized and AGE (Nε-carboxymethyl-lysine) content was assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay as described in the Methods section. Data are shown as % change from raw state. White bars represent raw state, hatched bars roasted without marinating and black bars marinated samples. *Significant changes compared to the raw state (P<0.05). #Significant changes compared to cooked without marinating samples. 1=raw beef. 2=roasted beef with no vinegar or lemon. 3=roasted beef after marinating with either vinegar or lemon for 1 hour.

Statistical Analysis

Data in the Table 1 (available online at, Table 2, and the Figure are presented as mean±standard error of the mean. Differences of mean values between groups were tested by unpaired Student t test or analysis of variance (followed by Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons), depending on the number of groups. For nonparametric values, the Mann-Whitney U unpaired test or the Kruskal-Wallis analysis of ranks was used, depending on the number of groups. Correlation analyses were evaluated by Pearson's correlation coefficient. Significant differences were defined as a P value <0.05 and are based on two-sided tests. Data were analyzed using the SPSS statistical program (version 15.0 for Windows, 2005, SPSS Inc, Chicago, IL). For data presentation, food groups were based on the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association exchange lists for diabetes (31).

Table 2.

Database of combined methylyglyoxal (MG) and carboxymetyllysine (CML) content of selected foods

Advanced Glycation End Product Content
Food itemTotal MG nmol/100 gTotal CML kU/100 g
Solid foods (per 100 g food)
Bread, white3,6308.3
Bread, wheat4,840105
Cereal, Life (Quaker Oats, Chicago, IL)9,0001,452
Cheese, American16,7908,677
Cheese, Brie5,6705,598
Chicken, grilled14,4404,848
Chicken, microwaved (5 min)8,3501,524
Chicken, raw4,170769
Crackers, Pepperidge Farms Goldfish (Campbell Soup Co, Camden, NJ)4,1702,176
Egg, fried13,6702,749
French fries13,130843
Margarine, Smart Balance (CFA Brands, Heart Beat Foods, Paramus, NJ)10,7906,229
Salmon, broiled with olive oil14,9504,334
Salmon, broiled, plain9,3503,347
Salmon, pan fried in olive oil9,0903,083
Salmon, raw6,820527
Salmon, raw, previously frozen6,190517
Steak, broiled, plain17,6707,478
Steak, pan fried in olive oil18,15010,058
Steak, raw5,860800
Tuna, solid white packed in water4,060452
Total MG nmol/100 mLTotal CML kU/100 mL
Liquids (per 100 mL food)
Ice cream, vanilla620352
Milk, whole6204.9
Olive oil, fresh (Colavita, Linden, NJ)7,7005,852
Olive oil, heated at 100°C for 5 min (Colavita, Linden, NJ)9,7006,295
Olive oil, heated at 100°C for 5 min + butylated hydroxytoluene (Colavita, Linden, NJ)8,2006,682
Olive oil, heated at 100°C for 5 min + aminoguanidine (Colavita, Linden, NJ)7,9005,763
Pudding, chocolate16016
Pudding, vanilla11013
Yogurt, Dannon (White Plains, NY)8303
Coke, diet (Coca-Cola Co, Atlanta, GA)3344
Coke, Diet Plus (Coca-Cola Co, Atlanta, GA)4222
Coca Cola Classic (Coca-Cola Co, Atlanta, GA)133
Pepsi, diet (PepsiCo, Purchase, NY)333
Pepsi, regular (PepsiCo, Purchase, NY)3252
Pepsi, diet, caffeine free (PepsiCo, Purchase, NY)2012.6
Pepsi Max, diet (PepsiCo, Purchase, NY)2023.3
SoBe Adrenaline Rush (South Beach Beverage Co, Norwalk, CT)8210.4
SoBe NO FEAR Super Energy (South Beach Beverage Co, Norwalk, CT)3390.06

Results and Discussion

AGE Content of Foods as Determined by CML Levels

The AGE content in 549 foods, based on CML, is presented in Table 1 (available online at

The new database contains more than twice the number of food items than the previously reported database (13) and shows that, based on standard serving sizes, the meat group contained the highest levels of AGEs. Although fats tend to contain more dAGE per gram of weight, meats will likely contribute more to overall dAGE intake because meats are served in larger portions than are fats. When items in the meat category prepared by similar methods were compared, the highest dAGE levels were observed in beef and cheeses followed by poultry, pork, fish, and eggs. Lamb ranked relatively low in dAGEs compared to other meats (Table 1 available online at It is noteworthy that even lean red meats and poultry contain high levels of dAGEs when cooked under dry heat. This is attributable to the fact that among the intracellular components of lean muscle there exist highly reactive amino-lipids, as well as reducing sugars, such as fructose or glucose-6-phosphate, the combination of which in the presence of heat rapidly accelerates new dAGE formation ([30] and [32]).

Higher-fat and aged cheeses, such as full-fat American and Parmesan, contained more dAGEs than lower-fat cheeses, such as reduced-fat mozzarella, 2% milk cheddar, and cottage cheese. Whereas cooking is known to drive the generation of new AGEs in foods, it is interesting to note that even uncooked, animal-derived foods such as cheeses can contain large amounts of dAGEs. This is likely due to pasteurization and/or holding times at ambient room temperatures (eg, as in curing or aging processes) (33). Glycation-oxidation reactions, although at a slower rate, continue to occur over time even at cool temperatures, resulting in large accumulation of dAGEs in the long term.

High-fat spreads, including butter, cream cheese, margarine, and mayonnaise, were also among the foods highest in dAGEs, followed by oils and nuts. As with certain cheeses, butter and different types of oils are AGE-rich, even in their uncooked forms. This may be due to various extraction and purification procedures involving heat, in combination with air and dry conditions, however mild they are.

Of note, with heat kept constant, the type of cooking fat used led to different amounts of dAGEs. For instance, scrambled eggs prepared with a cooking spray, margarine, or oil had not, vert, similar50% to 75% less dAGEs than if cooked with butter (Table 1 available online at

In comparison to the meat and fat groups, the carbohydrate group generally contained lower amounts of AGEs (Table 1 available online at This may be due to the often higher water content or higher level of antioxidants and vitamins in these foods, which may diminish new AGE formation. Furthermore, in this food category, most polysaccharides consist of nonreducing sugars, less likely to give rise to AGEs. The highest dAGE level per gram of food in this category was found in dry-heat processed foods such as crackers, chips, and cookies. This is likely due to the addition of ingredients such as butter, oil, cheese, eggs, and nuts, which during dry-heat processing substantially accelerate dAGE generation. Although AGEs in these snack types of food remain far below those present in meats, they may represent an important health hazard for people who consume multiple snacks during the day or as fast meals (34).

Grains, legumes, breads, vegetables, fruits, and milk were among the lowest items in dAGE, unless prepared with added fats. For instance, biscuits had more than 10 times the amount of dAGEs found in low-fat breads, rolls, or bagels.

Nonfat milk had significantly lower dAGEs than whole milk. Whereas heating increased the dAGE content of milk, the values were modest and remained low relative to those of cheeses (Table 1 available online at Likewise, milk-related products with a high moisture index such as yogurt, pudding, and ice cream were also relatively low in AGEs. However, hot cocoa made from a dehydrated concentrate contained significantly higher amounts of AGEs.

AGE Content of Foods as Determined by MG Levels

Selected common foods were simultaneously analyzed for MG derivatives to determine whether food AGEs other than CML followed the same pattern (Table 2). A highly significant linear correlation (r=0.8, P=0.0001) was observed between the CML and MG content of foods prepared by different cooking techniques. As with CML, foods high in protein and fat contained higher amounts of MG than did carbohydrate-rich foods. Noncooked butter and oil contained low amounts of MG, but in dry-heated fat, as in french fries, MG content was significantly higher (Table 2). The highly significant internal correlation between two chemically distinct AGEs (CML and MG) in a variety of foods prepared by different methods validates the methodology applied and supports the choice of CML levels as a useful marker of dAGE content.

Effect of Cooking Procedures on AGE Formation in Foods

Preparation of common foods under varying conditions of water and heat had a different effect on dAGE content. For example, scrambled eggs prepared in an open pan over medium-low heat had about one half the dAGEs of eggs prepared in the same way but over high heat. Poached or steamed chicken had less than one fourth the dAGEs of roasted or broiled chicken. In all food categories, exposure to higher temperatures and lower moisture levels coincided with higher dAGE levels for equal weight of food as compared to foods prepared at lower temperatures or with more moisture. Thus, frying, broiling, grilling, and roasting yielded more dAGEs compared to boiling, poaching, stewing, and steaming. Microwaving did not raise dAGE content to the same extent as other dry heat cooking methods for the relatively short cooking times (6 minutes or less) that were tested.

Effect of AGE Inhibitors on New AGE Formation in Foods

The heat-induced new AGE formation in olive oil was completely prevented in the presence of the AGE inhibitor, aminoguanidine, but only partly blocked by the antioxidant BHT (Table 2). The amelioration of new AGE formation by the AGE inhibitor aminoguanidine compared to the anti-oxidant BHT suggests that the process seems to be driven by glycation rather than oxidation.

New AGE formation in cooked meat was also inhibited following exposure to acidic solutions (marinades) of lemon juice and vinegar. Beef that was marinated for 1 hour in these solutions formed less than half the amount of AGEs during cooking than the untreated samples (Figure).

Implications for Practice

Currently, there are limited data on dAGE intakes in the general population. The average dAGE intake in a cohort of healthy adults from the New York City area was recently found to be 14,700±680 AGE kU/day (24). These data could tentatively be used to define a high- or low-AGE diet, depending on whether the estimated daily AGE intake is significantly greater or less than 15,000 kU AGE. From the data presented in Table 1 (available online at, it is easy to see how people who consume a diet rich in grilled or roasted meats, fats, and highly processed foods could achieve a dAGE intake in excess of 20,000 kU/day. Conversely, people who regularly consume lower-meat meals prepared with moist heat (such as soups and stews) as part of a diet rich in plant foods could realistically consume half the daily intake seen in this cohort. A safe and optimal dAGE intake for the purposes of disease prevention has yet to be established. However, in animal studies, a reduction of dAGE by 50% of usual intake is associated with reduced levels of oxidative stress, less deterioration of insulin sensitivity and kidney function with age, and longer life span (16).

Reducing dAGE may be especially important for people with diabetes, who generate more endogenous AGEs than those without diabetes (5) and for those with renal disease, who have impaired AGE clearance from the body (14). Recently there has been heightened interest in therapeutic diets that are higher in protein and fat and lower in carbohydrate for weight loss, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease ([35], [36], [37], [38], [39], [40] and [41]). This type of dietary pattern may substantially raise dAGE intake and thus contribute to health problems over the long term.


AGEs in the diet represent pathogenic compounds that have been linked to the induction and progression of many chronic diseases. This report reinforces previous observations that high temperature and low moisture consistently and strongly drive AGE formation in foods, whereas comparatively brief heating time, low temperatures, high moisture, and/or pre-exposure to an acidified environment are effective strategies to limit new AGE formation in food (13). The potentially negative effects of traditional forms of cooking and food processing have typically remained outside the realm of health considerations. However, accumulation of AGEs due to the systematic heating and processing of foods offers a new explanation for the adverse health effects associated with the Western diet, reaching beyond the question of overnutrition.

The current dAGE database demonstrates that a significantly reduced intake of dAGEs can be achieved by increasing the consumption of fish, legumes, low-fat milk products, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and by reducing intake of solid fats, fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and highly processed foods. These guidelines are consistent with recommendations by organizations such as the American Heart Association (42), the American Institute for Cancer Research (43), and the American Diabetes Association (44). It should, therefore, be possible to integrate this new evidence into established guidelines for disease prevention as well as medical nutrition therapy for a wide variety of conditions.

Equally important, consumers can be educated about low-AGE–generating cooking methods such as poaching, steaming, stewing, and boiling. For example, the high AGE content of broiled chicken (5,828 kU/100 g) and broiled beef (5,963 kU/100 g) can be significantly reduced (1,124 kU/100 g and 2,230 kU/100 g, respectively) when the same piece of meat is either boiled or stewed. The use of acidic marinades, such as lemon juice and vinegar, before cooking can also be encouraged to limit dAGE generation. These culinary techniques have long been featured in Mediterranean, Asian, and other cuisines throughout the world to create palatable, easily prepared dishes.

The new database may have limitations, including the fact that foods were selected from diets common in a northeastern metropolitan US area, and may thus not represent the national average. Another limitation is that only two of many AGEs have been measured. However, the fact that both are associated with markers of disease in healthy subjects and are elevated in patients with diabetes and kidney disease lends credibility to their role as pathogens in foods consumed by the general public and persons with certain chronic diseases.

Ongoing studies are needed to further expand the dAGE database and investigate additional methods for reducing AGE generation during home cooking and food processing. Future studies should continue to investigate the health effects of AGEs and refine recommendations for safe dietary intakes. However, current data support the need for a paradigm shift that acknowledges that how we prepare and process food may be equally important as nutrient composition.

STATEMENT OF POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST: No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.

FUNDING/SUPPORT: This work was supported by the National Institute on Aging (MERIT AG-23188 and AG-09453) and by the National Institute of Research Resources, MO1-RR-00071, awarded to the General Clinical Research Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.


1 M. Brownlee, Biochemistry and molecular cell biology of diabetic complications, Nature 414 (2001), pp. 813–820. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (2050)

2 P. Ulrich and A. Cerami, Protein glycation, diabetes, and aging, Recent Prog Horm Res. 56 (2001), pp. 1–21. View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (235)

3 H. Vlassara and J. Uribarri, Glycoxidation and diabetic complications: Modern lessons and a warning?, Rev Endocrin Metab Disord. 5 (2004), pp. 181–188. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (25)

4 A. Goldin, J.A. Beckman, A.M. Schmidt and M.A. Creager, Advanced glycation end products: Sparking the development of diabetic vascular injury, Circulation 114 (2006), pp. 597–605. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (171)

5 A.G. Huebschmann, J.G. Regensteiner, H. Vlassara and J.E.B. Reusch, Diabetes and advanced glycoxidation end products, Diabetes Care 29 (2006), pp. 1420–1432. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (36)

6 J.M. Bohlender, S. Franke, G. Stein and G. Wolf, Advanced glycation end products and the kidney, Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 289 (2005), pp. F645–F659. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (90)

7 J. O'Brien and P.A. Morrissey, Nutritional and toxicological aspects of the Maillard browning reaction in foods, Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 28 (1989), pp. 211–248. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (150)

8 A.S. Eble, S.R. Thorpe and J.W. Baynes, Nonenzymatic glycosylation and glucose-dependent cross-linking of proteins, J Biol Chem. 258 (1983), pp. 9406–9412. View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (62)

9 H. Vlassara, The AGE-receptor in the pathogenesis of diabetic complications, Diabetes Metab Rev. 17 (2001), pp. 436–443. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (115)

10 A.M. Schmidt, S.D. Yan, J.L. Wautier and D. Stern, Activation of receptor for advanced glycation end products: A mechanism for chronic vascular dysfunction in diabetic vasculopathy and atherosclerosis, Circ Res. 84 (1999), pp. 489–497. View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (354)

11 E.A. Abordo, H.S. Minhas and P.J. Thornalley, Accumulation of alpha-oxoaldehydes during oxidative stress: A role in cytotoxicity, Biochem Pharmacol. 58 (1999), pp. 641–648. Abstract | PDF (481 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (87)

12 M.X. Fu, J.R. Requena, A.J. Jenkins, T.J. Lyons, J.W. Baynes and S.R. Thorpe, The advanced glycation endproduct N-[carboxymethyl]-lysine, is a product of both lipid peroxidation and glycoxidation reactions, J Biol Chem. 271 (1996), pp. 9982–9986. View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (392)

13 T. Goldberg, W. Cai, M. Peppa, V. Dardaine, B.S. Baliga, J. Uribarri and H. Vlassara, Advanced glycoxidation end products in commonly consumed foods, J Am Diet Assoc. 104 (2004), pp. 1287–1291. Article | PDF (72 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (114)

14 T. Koschinsky, C.J. He, T. Mitsuhashi, R. Bucala, C. Liu, C. Bueting, K. Heitmann and H. Vlassara, Orally absorbed reactive advanced glycation end products (glycotoxins): An environmental risk factor in diabetic nephropathy, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 94 (1997), pp. 6474–6479. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (251)

15 C. He, J. Sabol, T. Mitsuhashi and H. Vlassara, Dietary glycotoxins: Inhibition of reactive products by aminoguanidine facilitates renal clearance and reduces tissue sequestration, Diabetes 48 (1999), pp. 1308–1315. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (56)

16 W. Cai, J.C. He, L. Zhu, X. Chen, F. Zheng, G.E. Striker and H. Vlasara, Oral glycotoxins determine the effects of calorie restriction on oxidant stress, age-related diseases, and lifespan, Am J Pathol. 173 (2008), pp. 327–336. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (20)

17 R.Y. Lin, R.P. Choudhury, W. Cai, M. Lu, J.T. Fallon, E.A. Fisher and H. Vlassara, Dietary glycotoxins promote diabetic atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice, Atherosclerosis 168 (2003), pp. 213–220. Article | PDF (400 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (69)

18 F. Zheng, C. He, W. Cai, M. Hattori, M. Steffes and H. Vlassara, Prevention of diabetic nephropathy in mice by a diet low in glycoxidation products, Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 18 (2002), pp. 224–237. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (79)

19 R.Y. Lin, E.D. Reis, A.T. Dore, M. Lu, N. Ghodsi, J.T. Fallon, E.A. Fisher and H. Vlassara, Lowering of dietary advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) reduces neointimal formation after arterial injury in genetically hypercholesterolemic mice, Atherosclerosis 163 (2002), pp. 303–311. Article | PDF (497 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (59)

20 M. Peppa, C. He, M. Hattori, R. McEvoy, F. Zheng and H. Vlassara, Fetal or neonatal low-glycotoxin environment prevents autoimmune diabetes in NOD mice, Diabetes 52 (2003), pp. 1441–1445.

21 S.M. Hofmann, H.J. Dong, Z. Li, W. Cai, J. Altomonte, S.N. Thung, F. Zeng, E.A. Fisher and H. Vlassara, Improved insulin sensitivity is associated with restricted intake of dietary glycoxidation products in the db/db mouse, Diabetes 51 (2002), pp. 2082–2089. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (93)

22 O. Sandu, K. Song, W. Cai, F. Zheng, J. Uribarri and H. Vlassara, Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in high-fat-fed mice are linked to high glycotoxin intake, Diabetes 54 (2005), pp. 2314–2319. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (43)

23 M. Peppa, H. Brem, P. Ehrlich, J.G. Zhang, W. Cai, Z. Li, A. Croitoru, S. Thung and H. Vlassara, Adverse effects of dietary glycotoxins on wound healing in genetically diabetic mice, Diabetes 52 (2003), pp. 2805–2813. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (42)

24 J. Uribarri, W. Cai, M. Peppa, S. Goodman, L. Ferruci, G. Striker and H. Vlassara, Circulating glycotoxins and dietary advanced glycation endproducts: Two links to inflammatory response oxidative stress, and aging, J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 62 (2007), pp. 427–433. View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (47)

25 H. Vlassara, W. Cai, J. Crandall, T. Goldberg, R. Oberstein, V. Dardaine and E.J. Peppa M Rayfield, Inflammatory mediators are induced by dietary glycotoxins: A major risk factor for diabetic angiopathy, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 99 (2002), pp. 15596–15601. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (212)

26 J. Uribarri, M. Peppa, W. Cai, T. Goldberg, M. Lu, C. He and H. Vlassara, Restriction of dietary glycotoxins reduces excessive advanced glycation end products in renal failure patients, J Am Soc Nephrol. 14 (2003), pp. 728–731. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (99)

27 J. Uribarri, M. Peppa, W. Cai, T. Goldberg, M. Lu, S. Baliga, J.A. Vassalotti and H. Vlassara, Dietary glycotoxins correlate with circulating advanced glycation end product levels in renal failure patients, Am J Kidney Dis. 42 (2003), pp. 532–538. Article | PDF (72 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (56)

28 H. Vlassara, W. Cai, S. Goodman, R. Pyzik, A. Yong, L. Zhu, T. Neade, M. Beeri, J.M. Silverman, L. Ferrucci, L. Tansman, G.E. Striker and J. Uribarri, Protection against loss of innate defenses in adulthood by low AGE intake: Role of a new anti-inflammatory AGE-receptor-1, J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 94 (2009), pp. 4483–4491. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (0)

29 W. Cai, Q.D. Gao, L. Zhu, M. Peppa, C. He and H. Vlassara, Oxidative stress-inducing carbonyl compounds from common foods: Novel mediators of cellular dysfunction, Mol Med. 8 (2002), pp. 337–346. View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (77)

30 R. Bucala, Z. Makita, T. Koschinsky, A. Cerami and H. Vlassara, Lipid advanced glycosylation: Pathway for lipid oxidation in vivo, Proc Nat Acad Sci. 90 (1993), pp. 6434–6438. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (365)

31 M.L. Wheeler, A. Daly, A. Evert, M.J. Franz, P. Geil, L.A. Holzmeister, K. Kulkarni, E. Loghmani, T.A. Ross and P. Woolf, Choose Your Foods: Exchange Lists for Diabetes, Sixth Edition, 2008: Description and guidelines for use, J Am Diet Assoc. 108 (2008), pp. 883–888. Article | PDF (454 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (1)

32 B. Levi and M.J. Werman, Fructose and related phosphate derivatives impose DNA damage and apoptosis in L5178Y mouse lymphoma cells, J Nutr Biochem. 14 (2003), pp. 49–60. Article | PDF (299 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (12)

33 N. Ahmed, B. Mirshekar-Syahkal, L. Kennish, N. Karachalias, R. Babaei-Jadidi and P.J. Thornalley, Assay of advanced glycation endproducts in selected beverages and food by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometric detection, Mol Nutr Food Res. 49 (2005), pp. 691–699. View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (22)

34 M. Story, M. Hayes and B. Kalina, Availability of foods in high schools: Is there cause for concern?, J Am Diet Assoc. 96 (1996), pp. 123–126. Article | PDF (484 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (49)

35 I.S. Shai, D. Schwarzfuchs, Y. Henkin, D.R. Shahar, S. Witkow, I. Greenberg, R. Golan, D. Fraser, A. Bolotin, H. Vardi, O. Tangi-Rozental, R. Zuk-Ramot, B. Sarusi, D. Brickner, Z. Schwartz, E. Sheiner, R. Marko, E. Katorza, J. Thiery, G.M. Fiedler, M. Blüher, M. Stumvoll, M.J. Stampfer and Dietary Intervention Randomized Controlled Trial (DIRECT) Group, Weight loss with a low-carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or low-fat diet, N Engl J Med. 359 (2008), pp. 229–241. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (144)

36 C.D. Gardner, A. Kiazand, S. Alhasan, S. Kim, R.S. Stafford, R.R. Balise, H. Kraemer and A. King, Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women, JAMA 297 (2007), pp. 969–977. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (148)

37 J.K. Kirk, D.E. Graves, T.E. Craven, E.W. Lipkin, M. Austin and K.L. Margolis, Restricted-carbohydrate diets in patients with type 2 diabetes: A meta-analysis, J Am Diet Assoc. 108 (2008), pp. 91–100. Article | PDF (349 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (10)

38 T.L. Halton, W.C. Willett, S. Liu, J.E. Manson, C.M. Albert, K. Rexrode and F. Hu, Low-carbohydrate diet score and the risk of coronary heart disease in women, N Engl J Med. 355 (2006), pp. 1991–2002. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (84)

39 E.R. Miller, T.P. Erlinger and L.J. Appel, The effects of macronutrients on blood pressure and lipids: An overview of the DASH and OmniHeart trials, Curr Atheroscler Rep. 8 (2006), pp. 460–465. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (5)

40 R.J. De Souza, J.F. Swain, L.H. Appel and F.M. Sacks, Alternatives for macronutrient intake and chronic disease: A comparison of the OmniHeart diets with popular diets and with dietary recommendations, Am J Clin Nutr. 88 (2008), pp. 1–11. View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (6)

41 J.F. Swain, P.B. McCarron, E.F. Hamilton, F.M. Sacks and L.J. Appel, Characteristics of the diet patterns tested in the optimal macronutrient intake trial to prevent heart disease (OmniHeart): Options for a heart-healthy diet, J Am Diet Assoc. 108 (2008), pp. 257–265. Article | PDF (121 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (6)

42 A.H. Lichtenstein, L.J. Appel, M. Brands, M. Carnethon, S. Daniels, H.A. Franch, B. Franklin, P. Kris-Etherton, W.S. Harris, B. Howard, N. Karanja, M. Lefevre, L. Rudel, F. Sacks, L. Van Horn, M. Winston and J. Wylie-Rosett, Diet and lifestyle recommendations revision 2006: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee, Circulation 114 (2006), pp. 82–96. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (429)

43 World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective, American Institute for Cancer Research, Washington, DC (2007).

44 American Diabetes Association position statement, Nutrition recommendations and interventions for Diabetes, Diabetes Care 31 (suppl) (2008), pp. S61–S78.

Corresponding Author Contact InformationAddress correspondence to: Helen Vlassara, MD, Division of Experimental Diabetes and Aging, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Box 1640, One Gustav Levy Place, New York, NY 10029


J. Uribarri is a professor of medicine, Division of Nephrology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY

G. E. Striker is a professor, Division of Nephrology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY

H. Vlassara is a professor and director, Division of Experimental Diabetes and Aging, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY

S. Goodman is a study dietitian, Department of Geriatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY

W. Cai is a senior scientist, Department of Geriatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY

X. Chen is a research coordinator, Department of Geriatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY

R. Pyzik is a senior research coordinator, Department of Geriatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY

A. Yong is a senior clinical research coordinator, Department of Geriatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY

S. Woodruff is a dietitian consultant, Nutrition Options, Inc, Tallahassee, FL

- selected
My Settings
Help (Opens new window)
About ScienceDirect  |  Contact Us  |  Information for Advertisers  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. ScienceDirect® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V.