Attention to dAGE Warning! dietary advanced glycation end products


I would like to bring forth the attention to dAGE to the Soylent community as it could be a major threat manly for the DIY Population as we often have whey as our main protein source, as it contains a big amount of dAGE in it compared to “normal” mule foods as grilled meat

as dAGE in whey is mainly created from the high heat of the ultra pasteurized dairy and is probably often the case with cheap whey.

as AGE is now a major research field in anti aging research with a lot of questions for the moment, but we know its bad for us.

dAGE(dietary advanced glycation end products) is manly in heated animal products and in some smaller quantities in oats,masa and other non animalistic products. and high fructose products as glucation occurs with fructose


Dietary AGEs (dAGEs) can be present in some foods (particularly meat, also butter and some vegetable products), and can form in food during cooking, particularly in dry cooking such as frying, roasting and baking, far less so in boiling, stewing and microwaving.[2]

In addition some foods promote glycation within the body. The total state of oxidative and peroxidative stress on the healthy body, with the AGE-related damage to it,[citation needed] is proportional to the dietary intake of exogenous (preformed) AGEs and the consumption of sugars with a propensity towards glycation such as fructose[8] and galactose.[9]
as this is some info on wikipedia

and this old forum discussion


I will as of now try and remove my whey protein source if it’s from a ultra pasteurized source and replace it with ether a low dAGE Whey or use a blend of mainly soy and pea protean.

i recommend others to reconsider the use of whey in the DIY recipes


I’ve been shifting over to using rice protein (as inspired by Soylent, and exemplified in my Schmoylent recipe) so I guess this just gives me one more incentive to continue the trend…


wish we knew this before tho, would have spared us a lot of unnecessary damage. its sad that rise protein is not as cheap as whey


Well, whey protein seems to be rising in price these days, so there’s hardly a difference anymore. :stuck_out_tongue:


well we have after all ben doing this for over a year soon :confused:

But i hope al of the DIY’ers get the message



Thanks @Myarter for notice,
we use Soy Non-GMO Protein in 100%FOOD, so no worries,
but I will reposted you message at Powdered Foods forum and asked Dietitian to comment.


OP do you have a citation for whey protein being high in dAGEs? I thought they were caused by very high heat processes. Is pasteurization sufficient to form them in whey/milk/cheese?

Thanks for posting this.


her i have a quotation from the page with source, it’s mainly whey concentrate, but also isolat when they originate from a high heat treatment source. and yea it’s sufficient with the pasteurization of the milk, the worst kind is the ultra pasteurization of milk

And similar to the glycation phenomenon which occurs in our body under the conditions of aging, certain types of food processing are known to result in the production of high amounts of furosine as well.

As relates specifically to protein powders, the following study tested the furosine content of several commercially available sports supplements produced using milk based ingredients like whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and casein. The furosine levels the researchers found was shockingly high in products which contained whey protein concentrate:

Study Link – Assessing nutritional quality of milk–based sport supplements as determined by furosine.

Quote from the above study:

Furosine content ranged from 2.8 to 1125.7 mg/100 g protein in commercial sport supplements being usually lower in samples containing mainly whey protein isolates or casein, as compared with whey protein concentrates. It is estimated that 0.1–36.7% of the lysine content is not available in this type of products. The use of high quality ingredients for the manufacture of sport supplements reveals important, since it could be the major source of protein intake of certain group of consumers in high or moderate training regime. Furosine is an appropriate indicator to estimate the nutritional quality of sport supplements. A reference value of 70 mg furosine/100 g protein content in dried sport supplements could be set up for controlling the quality of milk–based ingredients used in the formulation. Samples with higher levels are suspected of use of low quality milk–based ingredients or inappropriate storage conditions.

Knowing that glycation products formed in our body may be partly responsible for the degenerative effects of aging, and knowing that glycation products have repeatedly been associated with various degenerative diseases, it’s logical to think that perhaps eating these same glycated proteins may not be such a great idea if we value our long–term health.


Thanks - I will check it out.


This claim seems dubious.

This latest quote is pasted with a link as if it’s from a Wikipedia article, but the text is not within that article.

Much of the quoted text in the opening post comes from the site of a company selling their whey as “safer” than other whey.

The actual Wikipedia article on dietary AGE’s contains this following, paragraph, which was omitted above:

[Quote] Outside the body, AGEs can be formed by heating (for example, cooking).[2][3] While endogenous AGEs have been shown to be deleterious to physiological processes in the body, there is little evidence suggesting exogenous (dietary) AGEs bear the same harmful effects.[4][5][/Quote]


yes that quote was from wikipedia, but then you should not generally use wikipedia, at least thers sources on wikipedia. this site may be dubious as they sell protein, but he provide sources for the clames.

but the fact that dAGE and AGE is the same just from a dietary source,
we know AGE is dangerous and not good for you, we are just not sure about dAGE if it gets completely absorbed in the guts, but the fact of hige dosage does not make it better

and the fact AGE is related to a lot of health risks, and the fact of hig amount of dAGE is found in them


I did some reading, and a vast majority of studies have found that A) dietary intake of AGEs increases serum levels of AGEs, and B) high serum AGEs are correlated with many nasty things (inflammation, diabetes, Alzheimer’s). The article linked to on Wikipedia seems to be cherry picking its data. I mean, they reference a study where they tracked ingested CML (an AGE, often used as an indicator), and they lost track of 50% of it. They didn’t measure the serum levels, but instead concluded that it must have been broken down by gut bacteria. Not a particularly great article.

So this may be something to keep in mind when picking foods. Butter, oils, and cooked meat are all relatively high in CML. Also important to note is that, even though the article cited by wikipedia is a little iffy, there are a lot of results showing no negative effect from AGEs. I haven’t read through them all, but I doubt they’re all poorly conducted. This issue is far from settled.

AGEs are a category of substances; CML is the most commonly measured and studied one. The article linked in the original post specifically concerns furosine. When protein is heated (cooked), it can become denatured and less useful, so it would be nice to have some indicator of how denatured the protein has become. Furosine is derived from the more useful amino acid lysine, and usually the amount of furosine correlates with the amount of heating. Furosine is therefore often used as an indicator of protein quality. The more furosine there is, the more the proteins have been broken down and possibly turned into harmful AGEs.
(EDIT: The above is mostly incorrect. Denaturing is not an issue, but heating converts lysine and glucose into furosine, which our bodies can not break back up into lysine. Furosine is an indicator of converted lysine and the presence of other AGEs, not necessarily an indicator of how denatured the proteins are. See @MentalNomad’s post below for a better description.)

The real core of Integrated Supplements’ argument relies on this paper, which evaluates the amount of furosine in various whey proteins. The general finding was that whey protein concentrate had much more furosine than whey protein isolate, which had somewhat more than casein. The authors attribute much of the difference to the early removal of sugars in the production of isolate (and I don’t know enough about casein to talk about that). I’m not really sure about bad WPI’s 1mg of furosine per g of protein actually is, but at least we can see that it’s low relative to WPC’s ~6mg furosine per g of protein. We know our bodies can process and remove some amount of AGEs, but I don’t know how much. Integrated Supplements is using this to say “our stuff is whey protein isolate, not concetrate, so it’s better”, and in that I think they’re probably right.

And finally, a quick note: AGEs are bad; this is a legitimate concern. But the information we’ve gathered in this thread provides absolutely no evidence that soy or rice proteins are any better. From the little I’ve read, it seems the process of creating soy protein has its own heating steps which could create some AGEs. Unless someone knows more details about the process, all we can really take away is that if you’re using whey protein and are worried about AGEs, use isolate and not concentrate.


Most vegetable proteins are extracted mechanically and isolated chemically. For example, dried soybeans are crushed into a fine flour, then churned in a mixture of water and ammonium sulfate to precipitate the protein. The mixture is dehydrated, then rinsed and filtered in a water solution to remove the ammonium sulfate salt residues, until you’re left with concentrated protein.

This is a very efficient process that allows reuse of the ammonium sulfate, and can also produce starches and oils as byproduct.


Yes, a protein that is cooked becomes denatured. It sounds scary, until you learn that another word for “denatured,” is, “cooked.”

For proteins, cooking denatures them, and denaturation is cooking. This makes the protein more easily digestible.

You can also denature protein with an acid; this is why you can “cook” fish with lemon juice. Heat is faster and effective on more types of foods than weak acids.

When you heat an egg, the whites turn from liquid to solid. This is because the protein in the white becomes denatured, which means that shape of the protein chain changes. Normally, a protein is tightly folded into a ball, with the hydrophobic parts tucked away inside, and the hydrophillic parts outside. A denatured protein has uncurled. It can no longer function the same way as the original, but it contains all the same peptide bonds and amino acids.

You can also cook an egg white by blending it with an acid like aceton; it will set up and turn solid because it has been chemically cooked instead of thermally cooked. (DO NOT EAT THEM, YOU DO NOT WANT TO EAT ACETONE.)

If a protein is not denatured before you eat it, it will be denatured by your stomach acids and enzymes, after which it which it is cleaved by enzymes into single amino acids that can be absorbed.

If you eat uncooked meat in large hunks that don’t get chewed up, much of it never gets denatured in the stomach and ends up rotting in the intestines before being passed.

Proteins from plant sources also get denatured by the acids in your stomach as part of the digestive process.


You’re right; I had gotten mixed up with what the authors were referring to as 'heat damage". The denaturing isn’t bad, it’s more that the combination of heat and glucose can create compounds from lysine in which the lysine is no longer nutritionally available (furosine and the other AGEs). So as it relates to this paper, the presence of furosine indicates reduced amounts of available lysine, and as it relates to the topic of AGEs as a whole, the presence of furosine also indicates the presence of the other possibly harmful AGEs.

Thanks for the correction.


It’s tough and complex area. It’s also easily misrepresented by media, never mind those trying to sell you on a product or idea.

It’s also hard to find figures for dietary AGE contents of whey so that you can see where it falls relative to something like grilled beef… and to see if it’s in a range that “matters.”

The fact that you can’t find figures for whey suggests that it’s not in the danger “zone,” but that remains to be seen. They don’t use a lot of heat in pasteurization or in spray-drying for concentrates - it may be enough heat to hit the lysine, but not enough to cause AGE’s. I can have this conjecture because pasteurized egg whites are one of the very-low AGE foods one can eat, so the heat of pasteurization is not high enough to cause problems (at least in egg whites - AGEs are a function of protein plus carbs plus heat, if I understand properly.)

Proponents of vegetarianism tend to be big on “AGEs are terrible!”

Whey may have other advantages over other proteins, irrespective of AGEs… and if your total dietary intake of proteins is not lysine-limited, it may make no difference whether your whey loses some of the lysine to furosine (which makes the lysine indidestable for you.)

Here’s the discussion from a whey proponent, who would NOT advise replace it with rice or soy:

One of the protein powders commonly used here - NOW Foods Whey Protein Isolate, is a product where furosine should not be a concern (pure whey isolate.)


Thanks for this info, but I thawt soy isolate was made very differently. Originally it was, and maybe still is, a by-product of soy oil making. Hexane, a petroleum solvent, dissolves the oil out of soy meal, and the defatted meal is then processed with hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, water,and ends up as soy protein isolate (90%). An intermediate protein, as with whey, is soy concentrate (70%), used to make textured soy, of “chili” etc.


Right, soy isolate is different. Also, whey isolate is made very differently from whey concentrate. Whey concentrate is the subject of the papers above noting furosine content, so we’ve been talking more about whey isolate and how it’s made (liquid whey is typically spray-dried with a little heat to make the powder.)

I have yet to find material implicating any protein powders as containing high amounts of AGEs, or specifying amounts of AGEs in different kinds of protein powders. There are many lists of AGEs in foods, especially those foods high in AGEs, but am not finding the same for protein powders.

There is also considerable debate about just how much dietary AGEs matter. We know that the body forms AGEs irrespective of consumption; AGEs are produced/present in many disease conditions. In addition, we can consume AGEs in foods, and some of those make it into our system.

Using the old, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” metaphor… One approach says that AGEs produced in the body are like smoke produced by fire, and are a sign of a problem, but the fire is the real problem… while AGE’s consumed in food are just eating some smoke, which does not point to a fire. If there’s no fire, it’s not as bad, but the question remains how much smoke one can take before it’s a problem.

Another approach says that dietary AGEs are pro-imflammatory, so eating a lot of them over time is a bad thing, but in a completely different way than the body’s internal fires that produce AGEs.

The last approach - which is basically, “AGEs are bad in the body so AGEs are bad to eat so avoid all AGEs” is too simplistic for me, and is usually voiced loudest by someone selling something.

There is some interesting research that suggest dietary AGEs are not associated with the same problems as endogenous (bodily-produced) AGEs. Again, it’s possible that endogenous AGEs are not so much the cause of cancers, but rather a symptom of something else that is related to causing cancer. Conversely, dietary AGEs do seem to be associated with things like colon cancer - eating a large amount of something that’s pro-imflammatory which gets through most of your digestive system to your colon and then sits there is liable to help promote cancer, so that makes sense.

It’s a complicated matter to resolve.

Here’s a study that implies dietary AGEs do not relate to internal cancers:

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Jun;1043:467-73.
Are food advanced glycation end products toxic in biological systems?
Chuyen NV, Arai H, Nakanishi T, Utsunomiya N.
Japan Women’s University, Department of Food and Nutrition, 2-8-1 Mejiro-dai, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 8681, Japan.

Model food advanced glycation end products (AGEs) were prepared as glycated casein (GC) and glycated soy protein (GS) by the reaction of casein or soy protein with glucose at 50 degrees C, relative humidity 75% for seven days in a powder state. These browned proteins were used as materials for animal experiments. A mixture of 20% glycated proteins (GC:GS = 1:1) diet was fed to streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetic rats for 11 weeks. The results showed that: (1) fructoselysine was observed in the hepatic portal veins, arteries, and femoral veins of rats fed with glycated proteins after 2 h of feeding; (2) blood sugar of glycated protein-fed rats was lower than that of diabetic rats fed with intact protein, while HbA1C in blood and glucose in urine of both groups were similar; (3) lipid peroxidation status in serum, liver, and kidney of both groups was similar; (4) superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) enzymatic activity in serum and liver of both groups were also similar; (5) there were no differences in degree of cataract formation and concentration of glucose, fructose, sorbitol, and lipid peroxide in the lenses of both groups. From the above results, it can be estimated that food AGEs are not toxic in biological systems, and reactive oxygen species increase in diabetic rats is not caused by glycated proteins but by other pathways.
PMID: 16037268