AGE compounds in meat and dairy

| 24 January 2023
minute reading time

Linked to obesity, diabetes and heart disease

Sixty-three per cent of UK adults are overweight or obese. However, it may not be just a simple case of their eating too much; the extra weight and associated health problems may be in part due to harmful compounds found in some people’s diets.

Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are formed in the body when protein or fat combine with sugar. AGEs are also naturally present in uncooked animal foods and cooking, especially grilling, roasting, searing or frying them results in the formation of new AGEs.

AGEs cause inflammation and oxidative stress (cell damage), which can lead to chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. They may also interfere with a person’s weight. In this 16-week study, 244 overweight adults followed either a low-fat vegan diet or a control diet containing meat and dairy. Results showed dietary AGEs fell in the vegan group by 79 per cent compared to just 15 per cent in the control group. The reduction was associated with an average weight loss of 14 pounds and improved insulin sensitivity, making people less likely to develop diabetes.

These findings support previous studies showing favourable effects of vegan diets on weight, obesity and diabetes.

Kahleova, H, Znayenko-Miller, T, Uribarri, J et al. 2022. Dietary advanced glycation products and their associations with insulin sensitivity and body weight: a 16-week randomized clinical trial. Obesity Science and Practice. 1-8.

About the author
Dr. Justine Butler
Justine joined Viva! in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. After working as a campaigner, then researcher and writer, she is now Viva!’s head of research and her work focuses on animals, the environment and health. Justine’s scientific training helps her research and write both in-depth scientific reports, such as White Lies and the Meat Report, as well as easy-to-read factsheets and myth-busting articles for consumer magazines and updates on the latest research. Justine also recently wrote the Vegan for the Planet guide for Viva!’s Vegan Now campaign.

View author page | View staff profile

Tags: ,

Scroll up