Meat that is barbecued, grilled or fried may contribute to accelerated ageing and Alzheimer's, a study has suggested. But academics have said the evidence is "compelling" but said it did not yet provide "definitive answers".
Academics have said evidence linking meat to dementia is "compelling" but said it did not yet provide "definitive answers".
US scientists have suggested that chemicals produced when browning meat may contribute to the development of dementia.
"Some of the proposed 'bad guys' in the diet are Ages, which are present in especially high quantities in meat that is cooked by frying or grilling," Professor Derek Hill, from University College London, said.
"The results are compelling. Because cures for Alzheimer's disease remain a distant hope, efforts to prevent it are extremely important. But this study should be seen as encouraging further work, rather than as providing definitive answers."
The chemicals produced when browning meat may contribute to the development of dementia, a study suggests.
Advanced glycation endproducts (Ages) are abundant in "browned" meat cooked at high temperatures, while barbecued and fried meat may also contain high levels of Ages.
Scientists in the US found evidence that Ages may aid the development of dementia by suppressing a protective anti-ageing enzyme.
Researchers writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences fed mice a high-Ages diet and found that they accumulated harmful proteins in the brain and displayed signs of mental impairment.
Academics said the research was "compelling" but did not provide "definitive answers".