Study suggests changes in cooking habits might reduce levels of glycotoxins and help prevent diabetes and dementia
Toxic chemicals found at high concentrations in fried and grilled meats may raise the risk of diabetes and dementia, researchers say.
U.S. scientists found that rodents raised on a Western-style diet rich in compounds called glycotoxins showed early signs of diabetes, along with brain changes and symptoms that are seen in Alzheimer’s disease.
The findings matched what the researchers saw in a small number of older people, where those with higher levels of glycotoxins in their circulation had memory and other cognitive problems, and signs of insulin resistance, which precedes diabetes.
The results are tentative, but if confirmed by other studies, the work could transform hopes for tackling two major diseases that have reached epidemic proportions in the developed world.
The study suggests that changes in cooking practices might lower the risk of both diabetes and dementia, while a greater understanding of the biological mechanisms could lead to drugs that delay their onset.
“The findings are very promising, but the question that needs to be answered is whether cutting down on glycotoxins can prevent or reverse dementia,” said Helen Vlassara, who led the study at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
Vlassara raised groups of mice on diets that differed in their levels of a type of glycotoxin called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. Animals that ate a Westernised diet rich in AGEs experienced a build-up of protein called amyloid in their brains, and developed cognitive and movement problems typical of dementia. The same changes were not seen in mice raised on a low-AGEs diet… see more