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Carbonyl stress is a condition characterized by an increase in the steady-state levels of reactive carbonyl species (RCS) that leads to accumulation of their irreversible covalent adducts with biological molecules. RCS are generated by the oxidative cleavage and cellular metabolism of lipids and sugars. In addition to causing damage directly, the RCS adducts, advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) and advanced lipoxidation end-products (ALEs), cause additional harm by eliciting chronic inflammation through receptor-mediated mechanisms. Hyperglycemia- and dyslipidemia-induced carbonyl stress plays a role in diabetic cardiovascular complications and diabetes-related cancer risk. Moreover, the increased dietary exposure to AGEs/ALEs could mediate the impact of the modern, highly processed diet on cardiometabolic and cancer risk. Finally, the transient carbonyl stress resulting from supraphysiological postprandial spikes in blood glucose and lipid levels may play a role in acute proinflammatory and proatherogenic changes occurring after a calorie dense meal. These findings underline the potential importance of carbonyl stress as a mediator of the cardiometabolic and cancer risk linked to today's unhealthy diet. In this review, current knowledge in this field is discussed along with future research courses to offer new insights and open new avenues for therapeutic interventions to prevent diet-associated cardiometabolic disorders and cancer.


Carla Iacobini, Martina Vitale, Jonida Haxhi, Carlo Pesce, Giuseppe Pugliese, Stefano Menini. Food-Related Carbonyl Stress in Cardiometabolic and Cancer Risk Linked to Unhealthy Modern Diet. Nutrients. 2022 Mar 03;14(5)

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PMID: 35268036

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