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Benfotiamine Product Summary 2 of 7 – Make that: AGEing you.
Two Ways to AGE
There are two major ways that AGEs can form inside the body. One way is through a simple series of chemical reactions known as the “Maillard Pathway,” known from food chemistry for a century.
But more recently, scientists have come to understand another pathway of AGE formation – a distinctly biological pathway, which only occurs within your cells because of the body’s metabolism of carbohydrates.
When blood sugar levels rise, some key kinds of cell – including- nerve cells (neurons) and the cells that make up the fine blood cells of the retina of the eye and the filtering units (glomeruli) of the kidney – are also flooded with glucose. The resulting high sugar levels within these cells cause a logjam in the normal cellular metabolism of glucose. This backlog results in a buildup within the cell of super-reactive glucose-metabolic intermediates known as triosephosphates. And once that happens, the excess triosephosphates attack the surrounding proteins, lipids, and DNA, causing AGE damage from within the heart of the cell. It’s these cells that are thus the most vulnerable to the complications of diabetes.
Drugs do exist which can inhibit the formation of AGE, but none are available on the market as yet, and one of the most promising candidate (aminoguanidine) has shown signs of toxicity in human trials and appears to have been abandoned by its developers. On the other hand, some companies are selling supplements marketed as “AGE-inhibitors.” But while many of these herbs and other nutrients may be valuable, and may even inhibit AGEing in a test tube, there’s no evidence that most of these “AGE-blocking” ingredients have any effect on AGEing in your body at the dosages used. Examples include thyme extract, inositol, acetyl-L-carnitine, and a whole host of antioxidants (including NAC and flavonoids, such as quercetin and resveratrol).