Advanced Glycation End Products – The Impact on Your Dog’s Health
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs), also known as glycotoxins (the name says it all!), are a diverse group of highly oxidant compounds now known to have a pathogenic significance in chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, liver disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, kidney failure, and high blood pressure. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
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 (5). 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. (6,7)
In addition to AGEs that form within the body, AGEs also exist in foods. AGEs are naturally more prevalent in uncooked animal-derived foods than carbohydrate-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains (9), and cooking, particularly at high heat, results in the formation of new, and increased levels of, AGEs within these animal-derived foods.
Dietary AGEs (dAGE’s) are also created through a reaction between reducing sugars and free amino groups of proteins, lipids, or nucleic acids when foods are cooked. This reaction is also known as the Maillard (or browning) reaction. (8)
Because it had previously been assumed that dietary AGEs (dAGEs) were poorly absorbed, their potential role in human and animal health and disease was largely ignored. However recent studies have shown that dAGE’s can have a profound impact on health for both you and your dog – promoting damaging inflammation, oxidative stress and related chronic disease. (10)
The majority of dog foods are produced using high heat methods – heat extrusion in the case of dry food or retort for wet food – designed to kill pathogens and extend shelf life. This makes them more prone to the creation of these harmful AGE’s. Retort (wet food) processing resulted in higher levels of AGE’s than dry food. (11)
The Maillard reaction occurs at temperatures above 90 ºC and accelerates as processing temperature increases.
Temperatures used in heat extruded (dry) dog food range generally range from 120 – 150ºC and from 120 – 130ºC for retort processed (wet) food.
To minimise the creation of AGE’s we cook your dog’s Bonza food gently at a temperature of 70ºC or less. As Bonza is also 100% plant-based, the levels of AGE’s in your dog’s food is kept to a minimum reducing the potentially harmful effects these glycotoxins have on your dog’s health.