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article imageStudy warns barbecue lovers about toxin

By Lop the Rick     Apr 25, 2007 in Health
Barbecue lovers beware of toxin!
I know many people are getting excited about the start of barbecue season (especially Canadians), but a new study has found that grilling food over an open flame isn't a very healthy cooking method.
A class of toxin called "advanced glycation end products" (AGEs for short) can be created by grilling, boiling or frying meat. Food that has been pasteurized, such as cheeses, have AGEs which form when fats or protein in the food react with sugars.
Over the years, AGEs builds up in the body, which causes oxidative stress which is damage by rogue oxygen molecules.
The toxin AGEs also increases the likelihood of inflammation, which will lead to a range of conditions from heart disease to arthritis.
A study at Mount Sinai School of Medicine shows that AGE levels are generally elevated in older individuals than in younger people. But much to the researches' surprise, the study also showed that AGE levels could be very high in young healthy people who consumed a lot of AGEs in their diet.
AGEs are quite deceptive, since they also give our food desirable tastes and smells," says the study's author Dr. Helen Vlassara, the director of the Division of Experimental Diabetes and Aging at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
"So, consuming high amounts of grilled, broiled, or fried food means consuming significant amounts of AGEs, and AGEs in excess are toxic.
The new study showed measured AGE levels in 172 healthy men and women who were divided into two age groups: those who are between the ages of 18 and 45 and those between the ages of 60 and 80.
AGE levels were 35 percent higher in individuals age 65 and older compared with those younger than age 45, suggesting the lifetime accumulation of AGEs. This was what the blood tests showed.
The new study also revealed that in all of the participants, the higher the consumption of foods rich in AGEs, the higher the blood levels of AGEs and the higher the levels of markers on inflammation.
The study also showed that AGE levels could be quite high in young healthy people.
Excessive intake of fried, broiled, and grilled foods can overload the body's natural capacity to remove AGEs," Vlassara notes, "so they accumulate in our tissues, and take over the body's own built-in defenses, pushing them toward a state of inflammation.
After a while, this can precipitate disease or even early aging.
Once AGEs enter the body, it becomes more difficult to get them out, especially as people age. Older people have a reduced capacity for removing AGEs from the body, the researchers explain, most likely because kidney function slows as the body ages.
A nutrition expert says average Canadians should already be cutting back on the most worrisome foods.
these tips are some tips to lower the chances of getting AGEs:
-Steam, boil and stew your food, when possible.
-Slice foods into small pieces so that food can be cooked for a shorter amount of time.
-Use lower heat to maintain the water content of food.
-Use olive oil or lemon juice instead of butter.
-Eat more fruits and vegetables which are naturally lower in AGEs.
I find this very scary because over the years, I have been eating many things that were grilled, boiled and fried.
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