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The chemicals that result from grilling a steak can make you fat, and contribute to other diseases, according to research one Purdue University professor published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry (h/t Futurity.org).It’s all about how proteins and sugars come together at high temperatures. That process creates glycated proteins that, research indicates, are connected to age related diseases (like cardiovascular disease) and help fat cells mature.
Immature fat cells are called “precursor” cells and they usually lose their ability to become mature as humans age. Glycated proteins change that, according Professor Kee-Hong Kim’s findings.
The byproducts of glycated proteins—advanced glycation end products, or AGEs—interfere with cellular processes that should kill immature fat cells in older animals. That means those animals, or people, may accumulate more fat cells than they should, and those cells store compounds that can lead to inflammation and certain types of diseases.
AGEs interact with a protein called p53, which usually begins cell death and ageing programs for immature fat cells. With p53 disrupted, the immature fat cells survive and can accumulate lipids.
“It’s not immediately toxic, but if you’re exposed over a long period of time, some portions of the glycated materials accumulate in the cells or tissues, and over time, that contributes to inflammation and oxidative stress,” Kim says.
Kim is working on confirming this info in an animal model. Full disclosure — we hope he finds out he’s wrong.