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The researchers here show an association between greater presence of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) in skin and worse pulmonary function – which sounds plausible if we think of AGEs as a cause of loss of elasticity in tissues. Cross-links are formed by AGEs, and by linking and restricting the dynamics of structural proteins, they degrade the important structural properties of tissues, particularly elasticity. The details always bear examining however. In this study, the level of AGEs in skin was assessed using fluorescence, and based on the research of recent years, the important AGE when it comes to aging, glucosepane, is not fluorescent. Glucosepane forms truly persistent cross-links that human biochemistry struggles to remove, while other AGEs are transient in their effects, and more amenable to removal.

advanced glycation end-products (AGEs)pulmonary functionCross-links are formed by AGEsfluorescencethe research of recent yearsglucosepane

In people who do not have an abnormal metabolism characterized by raised levels of various AGEs, as is observed in diabetic patients, it is entirely plausible that glucosepane levels are fairly well correlated to levels of other, fluorescent AGEs. But it still makes this paper one that is most likely observing a relationship based on inflammation rather than structural properties: short-lived (and fluorescent)

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