Eating well-done steak may lead to a higher risk of diabetes and symptoms related to Alzheimer’s, according to a new study.
The study, conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, found that when certain foods are browned or blackened, they develop a type of glycotoxin, a compound that was shown to cause insulin resistance, which precedes diabetes, and memory and cognitive problems closely related to dementia.
The first experiment controlled the diets of lab mice — one group was fed a Westernized diet rich in a specific glycotoxin called advanced glycation end products (AGE), and another group was fed a low-AGE diet. The high-AGE diet caused mice to develop a build-up of a protein called amyloid in their brains, which caused them to develop cognitive and movement problems associated with dementia — the changes were not seen in the low-AGE diet mice.
The second part of the research looked at 93 healthy humans over the age of 60. Over nine months, the individuals with higher levels of AGEs in their system experienced higher instances of cognitive decline as well as insulin resistance.
Of course, no ongoing research is definitive. Doug Brown, director of research and development at the Alzheimer’s Society, explained:
“Diets with low levels of the compounds show promising effects in mice and should be further explored as a way to prevent dementia through changes in diet. Of course, we must not forget that the majority of research was conducted in mice and the human element of this study is too small to draw any conclusions.”
Glycotoxins are found in animal products like meat and dairy produce — when those foods are fried, grilled, pasteurized or smoked, the levels of glycotoxins increase. Past studies have also shown that high-glycotoxin foods cause inflammation, oxidative stress and premature aging.
That means that even though eating bacon might help you live longer, crispy bacon lovers could also be killing themselves at the same time.
It’s time to man up and start ordering your steaks rare.