Eating grilled or fried meat linked to higher dementia risk

Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that grilling or frying meat in the oven or a frying pan produces advanced glycation end (AGE) products, which may affect cognitive function and increase the risk of developing dementia. AGEs are made when proteins or fats respond with sugar in a certain way. This formation can naturally occur in cooking.

For the study, a group of mice were fed a diet high in AGEs by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. These mice developed hazardous proteins in the brain and cognitive impairment. The proteins produced were damaged beta amyloid, which have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The mice also showed diminished physical and thinking capabilities. The mice that ate a low-AGEs diet did not produce the damaged proteins.

A short-term analysis was conducted on people over the age of 60, which suggested a possible connection between increased AGEs in the blood and cognitive impairment. However, one researcher noted these people did not have dementia and that the findings are very preliminary. It is still unclear if AGEs in the diet do lead to dementia or Alzheimer’s.

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