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Methylglyoxal regulates glycolysis in a way that prevents dangerous accumulation of glyceraldehyde, and that conserves glucose during carbohydrate restriction. Its rise on a low-carb Atkins diet makes physiological sense because it conserves glucose and even allows gluconeogenesis from fatty acids. Nevertheless, high methylglyoxal levels causally contribute to diabetes, and this seems to be a stress response that should not be chronically elevated.

Mastering Nutrition Episode 13: Wait a Second, Is Glycation Actually GOOD For You?

  In this episode, I wrap up glycation week by discussing why glycation may play essential physiological roles in the body. In the early days of methylglyoxal research, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, who won the 1937 Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of vitamin C and critical steps in energy metabolism, saw the molecule …

Hba1c is confounded not only by red blood cell turnover, but also by the activity of fructosamine 3-kinase (FN3K). Surprisingly, lower Hba1c due to higher FN3K activity could actually mean MORE glycation if your downstream metabolism of 3-deoxyglucosone is not in order.

Mastering Nutrition Episode 012: What Is Measuring Our Hba1c REALLY Telling Us About Our Blood Glucose and Diabetes Risk?

In response to popular demand, this week is glycation week. In this episode, I discuss the strengths and limitations of using Hba1c to measure our cumulative recent exposure to blood glucose and diabetes risk. Many people will be familiar with the fact that variation in red blood cell turnover confounds this measurement. Less well known …

Sugar is the Ultimate Antioxidant and Insulin Will Make You Younger

No, I don’t mean that ironically. A little hyperbolic? A little, but not ironic. This is my new Examine.Com Research Digest Editorial about some underappreciated benefits of glucose and insulin. The Research Digest costs money, but as a member of my audience you can read my editorial and also get a sneak peak at the …

Dr. Chris Masterjohn talks about Why "Glycation" Is a Bad Reason to Restrict Carbs

Mastering Nutrition Episode 6: Why “Glycation” Is a Bad Reason to Restrict Carbs

In this episode, I respond to a listener’s question about whether glycation is a good argument against a high-carbohydrate diet. I agree that we should avoid refined carbs and empty calories, but in this episode I describe why “glycation” is really a misnomer and why carbohydrate is actually likely to protect against glycation. Listen on …

We Really Can Make Glucose From Fatty Acids After All! O Textbook, How Thy Biochemistry Hast Deceived Me!

Biochemistry textbooks generally tell us that we can’t turn fatty acids into glucose.  For example, on page 634 of the 2006 and 2008 editions of Biochemistry by Berg, Tymoczko, and Stryer, we find the following: Animals Cannot Convert Fatty Acids to Glucose It is important to note that animals are unable to effect the net …