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RICHARD BÉLIVEAU’S COLUMN

Tuesday April 15, 2014

RICHARD BÉLIVEAU’S COLUMN Healthy Aging – Try Less Meat on the Menu!

Cooking meats in high temperatures produces thousands of highly odorant molecules, which create the great taste of grilled meats. However, these high temperatures also create numerous toxic molecules such as heterocyclic amines and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, which can provoke DNA mutations and promote cancer development.   

In addition to these carcinogenic substances, proteins and sugars found in meats can get combines during the cooking process to create glycotoxins, a category of molecules that create oxidative stress and inflammatory conditions in the body. Results achieved on certain research models suggest that these toxic molecules could contribute to a significant deterioration of cognitive functions in these models – which translates into difficulty in carrying out simple tasks, reduced physical capabilities as well as an abnormal accumulation of beta-amyloids in the brain (a marker of Alzheimer’s disease).  

Human research conducted on 93 seniors aged 60 years and older have shown that seniors with a higher rate of  glycotoxins in their blood are more affected by a decline in their cognitive functions, compared to seniors with lower glycotoxin levels. In other words, the presence of glycotoxins in the blood provokes significant changes in the body, in both metabolism and neurological function.  Reducing one’s meat consumption, specifically meats grilled at high temperatures, constitutes a simple way to minimise exposure to these toxic molecules and thus benefit from a better protection against their adverse effects. 

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