Research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York), investigating the effect of Advanced Glycation End (AGEs) on mice and people, suggests that browning meat produces chemicals which may increase the risk of developing dementia.
Mice fed on a high-AGEs diet were found to develop a build-up of defective beta amyloid protein (linked to Alzheimer’s Disease) in the brain and show impaired cognitive functioning in tests.
A short-term analysis of humans over 60 of age also suggests there may be a link between high levels of AGEs in the blood and cognitive decline.
The authors tentatively suggest:
“ …age-related dementia may be causally linked to high levels of food advanced glycation end products. Importantly, reduction of food-derived AGEs is feasible and may provide an effective treatment strategy”.
Cooking meat ‘may be dementia risk’. London: BBC Health News, February 25th 2014.
The NHS Choices Behind the Headlines service has prepared a critical appraisal of this research.
Is cooked meat linked to increased dementia risk? London: NHS Choices Behind the Headlines, February 25th 2013.
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Cai, W. Uribarri, J. [and] Zhu, L.[et al] (2014). Oral glycotoxins are a modifiable cause of dementia and the metabolic syndrome in mice and humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), February 2014. [Epub. ahead of print February 24th 2014].