Dry-Cooked Foods May Raise Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

5:59:00 AM

Dry-heat cooking that produces advanced glycation end products (AGEs) may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in Diabetologia. While food AGEs are prevalent, particularly in Western diets, our study showed that avoiding foods high in AGEs could actually reverse the damage that had been done. This can provide us with new clinical approaches to pre-diabetes, potentially helping protect certain at-risk individuals from developing full diabetes and its devastating consequences.

Dry-Cooked Foods May Raise Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
The researchers randomly assigned study participants to 1 of 2 diet groups: a regular-AGE diet group included 49 people; a low-AGE diet group had 51. All were at least 50 years old, with at least 2 health conditions related to metabolic syndrome. Those in the low-AGE group were given instructions on how to lower the AGE content in their foods. They were told to avoid frying, baking, or grilling foods. Instead, they were encouraged to boil, steam, stew, or poach their meals. The regular-AGE group was instructed to continue cooking as they already did. The study lasted 1 year.

In the low-AGE group, "all the parameters in stress and inflammation we tested for improved. And we showed that insulin resistance came down," lead author, Jaime Uribarri, MD, a professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, told HealthDay. Body weight dropped slightly in the low-AGE group, and no side effects were seen, the authors said.

"Restricted AGE intake ameliorates insulin resistance in obese people with the metabolic syndrome, and may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, without necessitating a major reduction in adiposity," the authos wrote. "Elevated serum AGEs may be used to diagnose and treat 'at-risk' obesity."

Simple changes in how we cook could go a long way towards preventing diabetes, say researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. A new randomized controlled trial, published online July 29 in the journal Diabetologia, found that obese individuals with signs of insulin resistance showed improvement simply by avoiding the intake of advanced glycation endproducts, or AGEs, a byproduct of cooking found most commonly in dry heat-cooked or heat-processed foods. 

The researchers also found a positive effect on six key genes associated with the regulation of oxidant stress and inflammation. Four of these had been found to be suppressed at the baseline blood and urine analysis, but were markedly increased at the end, including anti-inflammatory SIRT1 and adiponectin, as well as the receptor for the removal of AGEs, AGER1, and glyoxalase-1.

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