Higher habitual intake of dietary dicarbonyls is associated with higher corresponding plasma dicarbonyl concentrations and skin autofluorescence: the Maastricht Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

59 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Dicarbonyls are highly reactive compounds and major precursors of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Both dicarbonyls and AGEs are associated with development of age-related diseases. Dicarbonyls are formed endogenously but also during food processing. To what extent dicarbonyls from the diet contribute to circulating dicarbonyls and AGEs in tissues is unknown.Objectives: To examine cross-sectional associations of dietary dicarbonyl intake with plasma dicarbonyl concentrations and skin AGEs.Methods: In 2566 individuals of the population-based Maastricht Study (age: 60 +/- 8 y, 50% males, 26% with type 2 diabetes), we estimated habitual intake of the dicarbonyls methylglyoxal (MGO), glyoxal (GO), and 3-deoxyglucosone (3-DG) by combining FFQs with our dietary dicarbonyl database of MGO, GO, and 3-DG concentrations in> 200 commonly consumed food products. Fasting plasma concentrations of MGO, GO, and 3-DG were measured by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Skin AGEs were measured as skin autofluorescence (SAF), using theAGE Reader. Associations of dietary dicarbonyl intake with their respective plasma concentrations and SAF (all standardized) were examined using linear regression models, adjusted for age, sex, potential confounders related to cardiometabolic risk factors, and lifestyle.Results: Median intake of MGO, GO, and 3-DG was 3.6, 3.5, and 17 mg/d, respectively. Coffee was the main dietary source of MGO, whereas this was bread for GO and 3-DG. In the fully adjusted models, dietary MGO was associated with plasma MGO (beta: 0.08; 95% CI: 0.02, 0.13) and SAF (beta: 0.12; 95% CI: 0.07, 0.17). Dietary GO was associated with plasma GO (beta: 0.10; 95% CI: 0.04, 0.16) but not with SAF. 3-DG was not significantly associated with either plasma 3-DG or SAF.Conclusions: Higher habitual intake of dietary MGO and GO, but not 3-DG, was associated with higher corresponding plasma concentrations. Higher intake of MGO was also associated with higher SAF. These results suggest dietary absorption of MGO and GO. Biological implications of dietary absorption of MGO and GO need to be determined. The study has been approved by the institutional medical ethical committee (NL31329.068.10) and the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sports of the Netherlands (Permit 131088-105234-PG).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-44
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • dicarbonyls
  • diet
  • skin autofluorescence
  • advanced glycation end products
  • type 2 diabetes
  • cardiovascular complications
  • glycation
  • methylglyoxal
  • FOOD

Cite this