Dietary Intervention

Plant-Based Diet Reduces Harmful Advanced Glycation End-Products

A plant-based diet reduces inflammatory dietary advanced glycation end-products (AGEs)—compounds that form in the bloodstream when protein or fat combine with sugar. The decrease in AGEs was found to be associated with weight loss and improved insulin sensitivity.

According to a recent study, replacing a diet that includes fatty meats and dairy products with a low-fat plant-based diet led to a decrease in AGEs. Previous studies focused on cooking methods to lower AGEs, but the authors directed their research on a change in diet as a possible option.

In total, 244 individuals who were overweight participated in the study for 16 weeks. Participants were equally divided into two cohorts: people eating a plant-based diet (n = 122), and a control group (n = 122). The researchers measured body composition prior to and after the study, as well as assessed insulin sensitivity.

As a result of the plant-based diet, dietary AGEs decreased by 8768 ku/day compared with the control group. The researchers observed a decrease in body weight by 6.4 kg (14.1 pounds) in the intervention group. Comparatively, participants in the control group had a 0.5 kg (1.1 pound) decrease in body weight.

Further, changes in dietary AGEs correlated with changes in body weight (correlation coefficient [r] = +0.41; p = 0.001), fat mass (r = + 0.38; p < 0.001), visceral fat (r = + 0.23; p < 0.001), and insulin sensitivity (r = -0.28; p < 0.001). Changes remained significant for body weight, fat mass, visceral fat, and insulin sensitivity after an adjustment for changes in energy intake.

“Dietary AGEs decreased on a low-fat plant-based diet, and this decrease was associated with changes in body weight, body composition, and insulin sensitivity, independent of energy intake,” the researchers concluded. “These findings demonstrate positive effects of qualitative dietary changes on dietary AGEs and cardiometabolic outcomes.”


—Jessica Ganga


Kahleova H, Znayenko-Miller T, Uribarri J, Holubkov R, Barnard ND. Dietary advanced glycation products and their associations with insulin sensitivity and body weight: a 16-week randomized clinical trial. Obes Sci Pract. Published online October 17, 2022. doi:10.1002/osp4.646