October 20, 2018

Research Suggests Grilled Meat Tied to Higher Risk of Disease

New research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that grilled meats, which are high in compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), may be a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s and diabetes. When meats and other protein and fat-rich foods are cooked at high temperatures, these compounds form. AGEs contribute to oxidant stress and inflammation in the body.

The scientists at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York studied AGE levels in humans over the age of 60. Over a nine month time frame, those with a high AGE blood level developed signs of insulin resistance, sirtuin suppression, and cognitive decline. Sirtuin is a compound that is a natural defense against both Alzheimer’s disease and metabolic syndrome, which is a condition that can lead to diabetes.

Mice, who were also subjects in the study, developed amyloid-β deposits in their brains, which are compounds indicative of Alzheimer’s disease. The mice also developed cognitive and motor deficits, sirtuin deficiency, and MS. In addition to an increased Alzheimer’s and diabetes risk, consuming AGEs can cause accelerated atherosclerosis (heart and artery disease) in diabetics.

Those humans in the study did not have dementia, but those with high AGE levels experienced cognitive decline that was not due to aging or caloric intake. On a more positive note, sirtuin deficiency is reversible by reducing the intake of AGEs. Cooking foods at lower temperatures and adding water by steaming or braising meats instead of frying or grilling are simple ways to reduce the AGE content in these foods.

Authors of the study believe that more and larger clinical trials are needed to study this issue. This new study is the most comprehensive research of AGEs and affect on human health to date.

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