Antioxidants may help fight cancer by inhibiting AGES 抗氧化劑可能通過抑制 AGES 來幫助對抗癌症


Monday 07/05/2021 ( — Evidence indicates that antioxidants may help cancer treatment. For one thing, antioxidants such as green tea extract, cysteine, glutathione, low doses of vitamin C and many phytochemicals found in vegetables can help reduce the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGES) which are known to be implicated in cancer development and proliferation.

AGES – a term used by medical researchers – result from reaction of sugars with proteins, amino acids or lipids. The amine-sugar reaction is also known as browning reaction or Maillard reaction to food scientists who call AGES melanoidins.

AGES have been associated with aging, chronic diseases such as cancer, neuro-degenerative diseases, and diabetes among other diseases. If the formation of AGES can be slowed down or retarded, then cancer may be managed more easily.

Anil K Sharma from Maharishi Markandeshwar, Mullana- Ambala (Haryana), India and colleagues reviewed the relationship among AGES, glutathione, and breast cancer and published a report in 2019 in Current Drug Metabolism to demonstrate that AGES can be a target for breast cancer management.

According to the report, glutathione is associated with breast cancer prognosis and treatment. Glutathione is produced endogenously and can be depleted quickly in cancer patients during treatments. Studies have shown supplementation with antioxidants can help preserve glutathionine.

Glutathione is not the only protective factor that reduces the formation of AGES and helps fight breast cancer. In order for AGES to affect cancer cells, RAGE or receptors of advanced glycation end products are needed. If receptors are non-existent, AGES can impose no effect on cancer.

How to control RAGE formation? The formation of RAGE to some extent depends on the presence of ligands of RAGE. So if you can reduce the formation of RAGE ligands or dietary intake of RAGE ligands, RAGE can be reduced.   Some RAGE ligands have been “known to enhance RAGE expression which may further lead to increased proliferation, migration and metastatic nature of tumor cells.” according to the report.

Most recently, Ali El Far and colleagues conducted a review and concluded that RAGE-ligand complexes can upregulate “phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) pathways”  which help prevent apoptosis so cancer cells do not have to die.

On the other hand, some complexes according to the authors downregulate other factors like P53 which otherwise inhibits cancer progression.  In a word, RAGE-ligand complexes promote the progression of cancer cells.

If RAGE ligands can be identified, then measures can be developed to reduce the presence of RAGE ligands which can in turn reduce expression of RAGE. It seems that more work needs to be done in this area.

Another front: The RAGE inhibitors are likely future anticancer drugs. Again more work needs to be done to understand how RAGE can be inhibited. This can not only help cancer patients, but also healthy people to extend their lifespan.

For cancer patients, one thing they can do is reduce the formation of AGES endogenously. For that reason, it would be their interest not to eat too much of carbohydrate or sugars which are already known to be used as the main energy source for cancer. Also AGES can be ingested through their diet. Foods with brown color need to be limited in one’s diet. Brown foods can carry quite some AGES.

Also supplementation of antioxidants can also reduce the formation of AGES. That is why eating a lot of vegetables can not only help fight cancer, but also extend your life by reducing inflammation that causes diseases and promotes aging. (Dr. Lu)


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