Dementia is considered by many people to be a disease that accompanies age. Contrary to popular belief, however, dementia isn’t a specific malady, but a general term that encompasses a variety of cognitive impairments in memory, thinking and communication.
It’s unsurprising that food alters our brains. What is surprising is that certain foods contain ingredients that can damage our brains. Consider the following as a list of ingredients that are best classified as brain poison.
1. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) may cause plaque buildup in brain
AGEs, also known as glycotoxins, are proteins that have become glycated through exposure to sugars. Cooking foods at high temperatures, including fries and meats, can produce AGEs. These harmful compounds have been linked to hypertension and diabetes; however, recent evidence suggests that AGEs are associated with dementia as well.
Increased levels of AGEs may cause amyloid plaques, which are protein pieces that are characteristic of dementia, to concentrate in the brain. A study published in journal PNAS found that the consumption of glycotoxins led to dementia in mice. The team tracked the cognitive health of young, middle-aged and old mice that were fed diets with portions of AGEs similar to a Western diet. The researchers found that old mice that were fed high amounts of AGEs developed amyloid plaque. The researchers noted that the mice’s cognitive decline was not associated with age, since these symptoms were not found in aged mice on a low-AGE diet.