Design and Feasibility of a Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial to Reduce Exposure and Cognitive Risk Associated With Advanced Glycation End Products in Older Adults With Type 2 Diabetes

Roni Lotan, Ithamar Ganmore, Abigail Livny, Shahar Shelly, Moran Zacharia, Jaime Uribarri, Paul Beisswenger, Weijing Cai, Michal Schnaider Beeri, Aron M. Troen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in diet and serum are positively correlated with chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and cognitive decline. Dietary reduction of AGEs was shown to reduce their level in serum and to have a beneficial effect on metabolic biomarkers. However, in part due to limitations of feasibility, clinical trials have not tested its effect on cognition in elderly. The current pilot study examines the feasibility of AGE reduction in elderly with diabetes in terms of recruitment and retention. Methods: The design is a randomized controlled pilot trial of dietary AGEs in elderly with type 2 diabetes ( NCT02739971). Recruitment followed two stages: we first recruited participants with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and after expanding inclusion criteria, we later recruited cognitively normal participants with subjective memory complaints (SMCs). Participants were randomized to two arms. Participants in the control arm received standard of care (SOC) guidelines for good glycemic control; those in the experimental arm, in addition to SOC guidelines, were instructed to lower their dietary AGE intake, primarily by changing their cooking methods. Participants were closely followed for dietary adherence over 6 months and evaluated before and after the intervention for adherence to the assigned diet, blood tests, cognitive performance, and brain MRI. Results: Seventy-five participants (52 with MCI and 23 cognitively normal with SMCs) were recruited primarily through mass mailing and advertising in social media websites. Seventy participants finished the study, and dropout was similar in both groups (7.5% in control vs. 5.7% in intervention, p = 0.757). The majority (57.5%) of participants in the AGEs-lowering arm showed very high adherence with the dietary guidelines. Discussion: Targeting feasible lifestyle modifications in high-risk populations could prevent substantial cases of cognitive decline. Observational evidence supports that AGEs may contribute to cognitive decline; however, the cognitive effect of reducing AGEs exposure has yet to be evaluated in a randomized controlled trial (RCT). The results of our pilot trial delineate a methodology including effective recruitment strategies, population of choice, and ways to assure high adherence during lifestyle modifications, and significantly advance progress toward a definitive and well-powered future RCT.

Original languageEnglish
Article number614149
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2021


  • advanced glycation end products
  • diet
  • feasibility
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • pilot
  • randomized controlled trial
  • type 2 diabetes


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