Substance produced by cooking food may increase inflammation

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 14, 2007

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Eating animal products such as meats or cheeses that have been grilled, broiled or fried may increase inflammation because of a toxin created during the cooking process. This increase, in turn, may translate to a higher risk of chronic disease, according to a paper published in the April Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.

Researchers assessed the levels of advanced glycation end products or AGEs in 172 healthy subjects and determined that the AGEs increased with age and appeared to be the result of diet. Those who had higher levels also had higher markers of oxidative stress and inflammation.

"AGEs are quite deceptive since they also give our food desirable tastes and smells," said Helen Vlassara, MD, senior author and professor of medicine and geriatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. "So, consuming high amounts of grilled, broiled or fried food means consuming significant amounts of AGEs, and AGEs in excess are toxic."

The authors recommend steaming or boiling to reduce the amount of this substance in food.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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