02 May 2024

A love of fried and grilled foods has been linked to the risk of depression and sleep disorders in young adults

Turkish scientists conducted an observational cross-sectional study and concluded that consumption of large amounts of glycation end-products is associated with an increased risk of depression and decreased sleep quality in young adults. A publication about this appeared in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

Glycation end products (AGEs) are products of non-enzymatic glycation (mainly lysine and arginine residues) of proteins and lipids by carbohydrates at high temperatures as a result of the Maillard reaction. They are formed during frying, grilling, baking and are responsible for the flavor and aroma of the crust formed. Their use is known to be associated with various somatic and psychiatric disorders in the general population. Animal experiments suggest that this may be due to neuroinflammation and impaired lipid metabolism in the brain.

To clarify the effects of dietary consumption of CPG at a young age, Büşra Demirer of Karabük University and Gülhan Samur of Hacettepe University invited 420 students (80.2 percent female) between the ages of 19 and 24 to participate. The study excluded people with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cancer, history of liver and kidney disease, cognitive dysfunction and psychiatric disorders, those taking hypolipidemic and sugar-reducing drugs, sleeping pills, antidepressants and nutritional supplements, as well as those with eating disorders and those following strict dietary restrictions.

All participants kept a MEDAS screening food diary, according to which they were categorized into low, medium, and high CPG intake groups (6410.80 ± 1183.24; 10,062.59 ± 1043.71 and 14,376.51 ± 1495.96 kilo units per day, respectively). Their depressive symptoms were assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scale and their sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Inventory (PSQI) scale. Statistical analysis was performed using linear regression models with adjustment for associated factors.

It was found that dietary energy-adjusted CPG intake was statistically significantly (p < 0.001) associated with both BDI (β = 0.722; 95% confidence interval 0.639-0.811) and PSQI (β = 0.286; 95% confidence interval 0.179-0.431). A similar correlation persisted when adjustments were made for age, sex, smoking, body mass index, and chronic disease (p < 0.001). No significant association of CRP intake with caloric intake, macronutrient intake, and body mass index was found. The proximity of the participants' diet to the Mediterranean diet also did not play a significant role.

Thus, the level of CPG intake is positively associated with the risk of depression and decreased sleep quality in young people, which should be taken into account when analyzing secondary causes of such disorders at this age, the authors conclude.

Cooking seems to be an uncomplicated skill that most people possess to some degree. However, the culinary processing of food is often based on complex physical and chemical processes.

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