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The Grilling Mistake That Boosts Your Risk for Developing Dementia and Diabetes


A research team from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, publishing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has found that that consuming heat-processed animal products, such as grilled or broiled meats, may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.

Scientists have known for the better part of the past decade that cooking meats with high heat and grilling or barbequing dramatically increases the risk of developing colon cancer, as the heterocyclic amines — chemicals produced in the high-heat or charring cooking process — disrupt normal cellular metabolism during digestion. It should then come as no surprise to health-conscious individuals that these same food preparation methods are now associated with a significant risk for diabetes and dementia, both diseases increasing exponentially with the proliferation of processed foods and poor food preparation standards over the course of decades of life.

Blood Sugar Levels + AGE Accumulation = Increased Dementia Risk

The study team expanded well documented prior works showing that heat-processed meats contain high levels of advanced glycation end-products (AGE’s). These compounds have been associated with the worsening of many degenerative diseases, including diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists know that AGE’s are formed when proteins or fats react with sugar in a process that takes place naturally during the normal course of cellular metabolism, though it is greatly exacerbated during the cooking process when high heat methods are utilized. Using a mouse model, researchers in this study were able to show that a diet rich in AGE’s affects the chemistry of the brain leading to a build-up of defective beta amyloid protein, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. The team noted that mice eating a low-AGE diet were able to prevent the production of damaged amyloid.

Employ Low Heat Cooking Methods to Significantly Reduce Alzheimer’s Disease and Diabetes Risks

An analysis of people over the age of 60 has shown a definitive link between high levels of AGE’s in the blood and cognitive decline. Additionally, this research found that those subjects with high blood AGE levels developed metabolic syndrome, therefore significantly increasing their risk of diabetes and heart disease. Lead author, Dr. Helen Vlassara commented, “The findings point to an easily achievable goal that could reduce the risk of these conditions through the consumption of non-AGE-rich foods… For example, foods that are cooked or processed under lower heat levels and in the presence of more water – cooking methods employed for centuries.”

Prior studies have made an association between diabetes incidence and risk of dementia, with some classifying Alzheimer’s disease as Type III diabetes due to a connection with elevated blood sugar levels in the brain and this devastating form of dementia. This study indicates that AGE accumulation may be another confounding factor leading to disease progression. Dr. Vlassara concludes, “more research needs to be done to discover the exact connection of food AGE’s to metabolic and neurological disorders… by cutting AGE’s, we bolster the body’s own natural defenses against Alzheimer’s disease as well as diabetes.”

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John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and diet, health and nutrition researcher and author with a passion for understanding weight loss challenges and encouraging health modification through natural diet, lifestyle and targeted supplementation. John’s passion is to research and write about the cutting edge alternative health technologies that affect our lives. Discover the latest alternative health news concerning diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia and weight loss at My Optimal Health Resource

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