High levels of food toxins found in infants that can lead to diabetes

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
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Researchers say they have found high levels of food toxins in adults and infants that contribute to a variety of diseases including diabetes. The toxins, known as Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs), are glucose by-products that are linked to diabetes.

Food toxins in formula set infants up for diabetes late in life

According to Helen Vlassara, MD, Professor and Director of the Division of Experimental Diabetes and Aging at Mount Sinai School of Medicine:

“Modern food AGEs can overwhelm the body’s defenses, a worrisome fact especially for young children. More research is certainly needed, but the findings confirm our studies in genetic animal models of diabetes. Given the rise in the incidence of diabetes in children, safe and low cost AGE-less approaches to children’s diet should be considered by clinicians and families.”

AGEs are found in high levels in infant’s formula and are transmitted to newborns from maternal blood. Two studies, publishes in the journal Diabetes Care, show Advanced Glycation End products can become elevated at birth that could lead to inflammation and insulin resistance later in life.

The researchers looked at 60 women and their infants for their study. They found that newborn infants had levels of AGEs in their blood that was as high as their adult mothers. The authors explain infants should be free of toxins, but the study showed AGEs are transferred to infants from their mother’s blood.

When infants are switched from breast milk to formula, their bodies are bombarded with toxic AGEs that are the result of formulas processed under high heat. Formula for infants contains 100 times more AGEs than breast milk, according to the researchers.

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In a second study, the researchers found adults with diabetes can reduce toxins that produce inflammation by lowering intake of processed, grilled, and fried foods, which also improves insulin resistance.

Avoiding heat processed foods lowers markers of inflammation that can lead to diabetes

Avoiding foods that are heat processed in order to lower intake of toxic AGEs was found by the researchers to improve overall health and insulin levels for diabetics quickly.

The researchers tested an AGE restricted diet in 18 overweight people with type 2 diabetes and 18 healthy adults. One group was given a diet focusing on poached or stewed foods. The other group was given a standard diet. Both groups consumed the same number of carbohydrates and calories.

The finding showed adults given less toxic diet – foods that keep inflammation at bay - had a 35 percent decrease in blood insulin levels. The diet outperformed the participants’ previous food regimen that instead promoted insulin resistance; perhaps leading to diabetes.

The AGE restricted diet improved the body’s natural defense systems and was also associated with lower levels of inflammatory markers in the body. The researchers note the positive health changes happened quickly from reducing the amount of Advanced Glycation End products in the diet.

“This clinical study begins to expose the double role food AGEs play in obesity and in diabetes, a major concern for everyone today, particularly young children. It is especially exciting that a simple intervention such as AGE-restriction or future drugs that block AGE absorption could have a positive effect on these epidemics,” said Dr. Vlassara. “The tenets of the diet could not be simpler; turn down the heat, add water, and eat more at home.”

The study shows toxins in food may be contributing to diabetes. High levels of AGEs found in infant formula and transferred from mother to infants could significantly increase the chances of diabetes. The authors note for people with insulin resistance – or pre-diabetes-eating fewer processed, grilled, and fried foods, could improve health and perhaps prevent type 2 diabetes.

Source: Diabetes Care
"Diabetes and Advanced Glycoxidation End Products"
Amy G. Huebschmann, MD et al
doi: 10.2337/dc05-2096
October 4, 2011

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Comments

Great article--learned sometihing new.