Science Café Cleveland presents


Risk Factors for Aging and Age-Related Diseases


NOVEMBER 14, 2016




Vincent M. Monnier, MD

Professor of Pathology and Biochemistry, Case Western Reserve University




As we age, our risk for diseases increases and research seeks to identify more clearly the causal connection so that at least some of these negative effects of aging can be combated. The Maillard Reaction is the process by which reducing sugars non-enzymatically react ('glycate') with proteins, DNA and other body molecules, eventually resulting in damage that accumulates during aging.

In the kitchen, the Maillard Reaction is what makes our foods brown and delicious, but studies suggest that consumption of heat processed foods rich in advanced glycation endproducts (AGE) is a risk factor for obesity, inflammation, and worsening of diabetes. The reaction is dramatically accelerated by diabetes because of elevated blood sugar levels and the reaction is associated with the risk of diabetes-related complications, cataract, and neurodegenerative diseases. In the lens of the eye and in aging neurons this reaction is surprisingly catalyzed by vitamin C.

What can we do about it?

Vincent Monnier is a researcher in the Department of Pathology at Case Western Reserve University who has been studying the Maillard Reaction in diabetes and aging for over 30 years. He will answer questions concerning its chemistry, biology, and role as a biomedical risk factor.



Les Copeland (2016). "The Chemical Reactions That Make Food Taste Awesome." Discover Magazine, June 3.


Dr. Leslie Baumann (2016)."Want plump, soft skin? Keep your blood sugar levels low." Miami Herald, June 22.


Merlin C. Thomas and Josephine Forbes. The Maillard Reaction: Interface between Aging. Royal Society of Chemistry, 2010.


Wikipedia contributors. "Maillard reaction." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 18 Sept. 2016. Web.

The International Maillard Reaction Society




The Music Box Supper Club - Concert Hall

1148 Main Avenue

Cleveland, Ohio 44113



November 14, 2016

Doors will be open 5:30 - 9:00 PM (Last call at 8:45PM). Presentation and discussion is 7:00 - 8:00 PM. The Concert Hall will also host a limited menu before and during the event. Not to mention a full bar! (Click here to view menu). Come early, get a good seat, grab a bite and a beverage and enjoy the discussion!


WHO: Sponsored by Case Western Reserve University chapter of Sigma Xi, WCPN ideastream, and the Music Box Supper Club.


Click here for an event flyer (.pdf)