The Effects of Dietary Advanced Glycation End-Products on Neurocognitive and Mental Disorders

Nathan M. D’cunha, Domenico Sergi, Melissa M. Lane, Nenad Naumovski, Elizabeth Gamage, Anushri Rajendran, Matina Kouvari, Sarah Gauci, Thusharika Dissanayka, Wolfgang Marx, Nikolaj Travica*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
55 Downloads (Pure)


Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are glycated proteins or lipids formed endogenously in the human body or consumed through diet. Ultra-processed foods and some culinary techniques, such as dry cooking methods, represent the main sources and drivers of dietary AGEs. Tissue accumulation of AGEs has been associated with cellular aging and implicated in various age-related diseases, including type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The current review summarizes the literature examining the associations between AGEs and neurocognitive and mental health disorders. Studies indicate that elevated circulating AGEs are cross-sectionally associated with poorer cognitive function and longitudinally increase the risk of developing dementia. Additionally, preliminary studies show that higher skin AGE accumulation may be associated with mental disorders, particularly depression and schizophrenia. Potential mechanisms underpinning the effects of AGEs include elevated oxidative stress and neuroinflammation, which are both key pathogenetic mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration and mental disorders. Decreasing dietary intake of AGEs may improve neurological and mental disorder outcomes. However, more sophisticated prospective studies and analytical approaches are required to verify directionality and the extent to which AGEs represent a mediator linking unhealthy dietary patterns with cognitive and mental disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2421
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


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