Glycation is part of high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries

October 05, 2007

Diseases of the blood vessels, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis (clogging of larger blood vessels) accounts for a very large number of deaths globally. Both high blood pressure and hardening of blood vessel walls contain an element of insulin resistance. The insulin resistance causes inappropriate sugar and fat metabolism leading to the formation of aldehydes (toxic-unstable alcohol like substances). These aldehydes combine with amino acids to create AGEs (advanced glycation end products). AGEs are like twisted-curly cued ladders that damage tissue and are toxic to cells. The AGEs disrupt the function of cells lining blood vessel walls leading to blood vessel dysfunction, free radical damage, and inflammation on blood vessel walls. Animal studies show that AGEs are involved with both increasing blood pressure and hardening of arterial walls. Studies also show that agents that improve insulin resistance help normalize blood pressure and attenuate damage to blood vessel walls. These agents include antioxidants such as Alpha-Lipoic Acid, aldehyde-binding agents such as N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC), and AGE breakers such as L-Carnosine. The research is published in the September 2007 issue of Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics.