Two days ago we talked about how exercise may reduce the deleterious advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs).
Researchers from France have investigated the effects of a different approach: dietary manipulation.
AGEs are formed during heating processes in food preparation.
The standard western diet commonly uses high temperature cooking techniques such as grilling. It also includes industrial prepared food items such as cookies, which are produced by high heat processes.
Researchers wanted to investigate the effects of such a diet on various biomarkers, when compared to a diet that avoids high heat processing. Therefore they designed an alternative diet that included raw foods and exclusively used steaming to prepare food items.
In total, 64 healthy subjects participated in the randomized crossover trial. This means that the subjects were randomly allocated to one of the diets for four weeks. This was followed by a 10 day break period and finally the subjects switched to the other diet for four weeks. This allowed the researchers to compare the data collected of a subject after the first treatment, to the data collected on the same subject after the second treatment. This removes the so called interpersonal variation and increases the certainty of the results of the study.
The concentration CML, a major marker for AGEs, was 7% higher after the standard diet. The steam diet also had a positive influence on other biomarkers as can be seen in the figure below:
The standard diet induced lower insulin sensitivity, concentrations of long-chain omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins C and E. It also increased the concentration of cholesterol and triglycerides. The effects on these biomarkers suggest that the standard induces an increased risk for cardiovascular disease compared to the steamed diet.
Therefore, the researchers conclude that replacing high heat treatment techniques for mild cooking techniques might help to reduce the risk on cardiovascular disease.
Source: Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;91(5):1220-6. Epub 2010 Mar 24.
Excerpt image by Alexandre Chang