Can collagen glycation, caused by sugary foods, contribute to tendon and ligament injury?

  • Comment: In a paper about how obesity affects tendons published today, a group of Italian and Spanish scientists state that advanced glycation end products (AGEs), caused by the consumption of sugar-laden foods, can potentially affect tendons
  • This is because AGEs are known to damage the structure and functionality of collagen fibres in tendons, ligaments and skin, along with chronic, sub-clinical low grade inflammation, which also typically accompanies chronic sugar consumption, overweight/obesity and pre-diabetic metabolic syndrome states.
  • In these cases, the scientists advise low impact exercise, but we would also add sugar avoidance (most important) and also supplementation with carnosine, which is known to prevent the formation of AGEs in the body.
  • Source: How Obesity Affects Tendons?
  • Abstract: Several epidemiological and clinical observations have definitely demonstrated that obesity has harmful effects on tendons. The pathogenesis of tendon damage is multi-factorial. In addition to overload, attributable to the increased body weight, which significantly affects load-bearing tendons, systemic factors play a relevant role. Several bioactive peptides (chemerin, leptin, adiponectin and others) are released by adipocytes, and influence tendon structure by means of negative activities on mesenchymal cells. The ensuing systemic state of chronic, sub-clinic, low-grade inflammation can damage tendon structure. Metabolic disorders (diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, and dislipidemia), frequently associated with visceral adiposity, are concurrent pathogenetic factors. Indeed, high glucose levels increase the formation of Advanced Glycation End-products, which in turn form stable covalent cross-links within collagen fibers, modifying their structure and functionality. Sport activities, so useful for preventing important cardiovascular complications, may be detrimental for tendons if they are submitted to intense acute or chronic overload. Therefore, two caution rules are mandatory: first, to engage in personalized soft training program, and secondly to follow regular check-up for tendon pathology.

<Back to carnosine