How your steak is cooked could increase your chances of suffering from dementia. A recent study has indicated that overcooking food might make you more vulnerable to dementia.
Do you like your steak rare or well done? A simple question that all good meat connoisseurs are asked on a regular basis, but it may significantly influence your mental agility as you age. Scientists have discovered that the compounds, commonly referred to as glycotoxins, may increase the risk of age-related dementia. Incidentally, glycotoxins increasingly develop in higher quantities as we brown or blacken certain foods. In simpler terms, regularly consuming steak that is “well done” may increase chances of contracting age-related dementia.
Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the U.S. strongly linked diets high in glycotoxins to age-related dementia, obesity, and diabetes in both humans and mice.
Mice that were raised on a diet high in glycotoxins (specifically a type called Advanced Glycation End products, or AGEs), were more likely to develop dementia-like cognitive and movement problems as they aged than mice fed a low-glycotoxin diet. Interestingly, the mice that were fed a lot of AGEs also had increased amounts of amyloid beta proteins in their brains, which are the sticky proteins that form plaque in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
As for hunting similar pattern in humans, the team then monitored the amount of AGEs in the blood of 93 New Yorkers aged over 60 for a period of nine months. Their eating habits, specifically pertaining to food products that sent glycotoxins into the body as well as their cognitive function, were logged. As an added measure, the participants had their insulin sensitivity – which is a major marker for the risk of metabolic syndromes such as diabetes and obesity – measured.
As expected, the participants who had more AGEs in their blood over the course of the study experienced more cognitive decline than their peers. Additionally, the participants had reduced insulin sensitivity as well, indicating that regular consumption of over-cooked food may cause obesity and diabetes and other similarly dangerous diseases.
Remarkably, dementia experts have said that, while the results are interesting, they are not necessarily conclusive demanding further investigation. They have raised their doubts because the diets of these participants weren’t monitored in the lab.
Nonetheless, the study seems to strongly suggest not overcooking your food and preferring rarer meat than the one that has been browned or blackened in the name of taste.
[Image Credit | Daily Mail, Liza O’Connor]