(NaturalNews) 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 that occur with overcooking 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.
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. The study team expanded well documented prior works showing that heat-processed meats contain high levels of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). These compounds have been associated with the worsening of many degenerative diseases, including diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.
Latest research shows that increased brain blood sugar levels and AGE accumulation raise dementia risk
Scientists know that AGEs 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 AGEs 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.
An analysis of people over the age of 60 has shown a definitive link between high levels of AGEs 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 AGEs to metabolic and neurological disorders... by cutting AGEs, we bolster the body's own natural defenses against Alzheimer's disease as well as diabetes."
About the author: John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.