Advanced glycation end products, called AGE’s, can have a devastating effect upon your health. AGE’s are compounds with potential carcinogenic effects in the body. They are one of several hundred volatile substances produced when food is heated at high temperatures. It is believed AGE’s can also be produced from hyperglycemia, when there are elevated levels of glucose in the serum.
AGE’s induce tissue damage through a process refered to as “cross linking”. In the body, AGE formation is consistent when there are elevated levels of fructose in the diet. Next time you reach for a can of soda, consider the HFCS’s (high fructose corn syrup) effect upon your body, and the resultant free radical activity and tissue destruction it may induce.
AGE’s have a cumulative effect in the tissues and are strongly implicated in the formation of atherosclerotic plaque. Many AGE’s form when proteins and fats are heated with sugar in the absence of water. A sign of glycation in foods is when foods are “browned”. Browning of foods and the formation of AGE’s may also result in acrylamides, another potential carcinogen formed during the healting process of food. AGE’s have been identified when sugars, proteins and/or fats are heated at temperatures of 248F and greater. However AGE’s can form at lower temperatures when certain foods are heated for longer periods of time.
AGE’s have been shown to decrease the body’s antioxidant defenses, including reduction in glutathione and ascorbic acid. In vitro studies have demonstrated that alpha-lipoic acid decreases AGE albumin-induced endothelial dysfunction.
Do NOT Fry Your Food: Cook At A Lower Temperature
It is very clear that high temperature cooking such as in frying, broiling and grilling will result in volatile carcinogenic activity. Many of these carcinogens have been implicated as causative in numerous diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
RAGE’s are the receptors for AGE’s. The expression of RAGE’s has been documented to enhance tumor formation.
One of the most fundamental ways to reduce AGE formation is by reducing the temperature of your cooking, especially if the food you are cooking has sugar added to it. Frying food, broiling and grilling are the 3 most definitive ways to increase AGE formation in your food.
My suggestion is when heating your food, use low temperature cooking only. This means either cooking in a glass casserole dish in the oven at 225F (no higher), or in the instance of cooking vegetables, either cook in the oven at 225F, or steam very lightly for 5 minutes.
Perhaps an even better method of food preparation is not heating your food at all. High quality, organic food in a raw form will have greater nutritional value, and will not contain carcinogenic end products such as AGE’s, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, acrylamides, or heterocyclic amines.