Dogs and cats getting fatter and fatter

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According to a report dogs and cats are getting fatter and fatter:

The Wire: It’s Not Just Us: Even American Animals Are Getting Fatter

Discovery News: Animals Getting Fatter Too

As long as the calorie fundamentalism continues, the situation will likely only get worse. Animals CAN’T even count calories and yet they manage to maintain their weight in the wild. Recommending that pet owners count calories for their pets is perhaps the most ridiculous idea ever.

Feed pets the food that they’re genetically adapted to (hint: not cheap pet food chock-full of nutrient-poor carbohydrates) and they will eat just enough.

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67 comments

  1. Galina L.
    Somehow every dog I knew died from a cancer, not a cardiovascular disease.I wonder why.
  2. Jan
    I have to say I do not have a house pet. But that aside, it's my view that you should love and respect your pet, and surely if you do, then the food you give it, whether it's a dog, cat, or whatever should be healthy. So many people use the wonderful array of tinned pet foods which are processed. Now if humans can 'go down' with obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart issues, cancer and others then it's my view that pets can do. Do our pets deserve this NO they don't, But if we are ignorant about our own health issues what chance do our pets stand?

    What a crazy world this can be at times.

    Should we be saying LCHF for all?

    What do you think.....I'm just off to enjoy a lovely tasty real food meal LCHF of course !

    All the best Jan

  3. AnnFlan
    I am planning to raw feed my two bouviers - just need to get a chest freezer first! As feeding them grain whilst I avoid it like the plague, makes me feel really guilty.
  4. Boundless
    Neither of the articles referenced seems to have the least clue about what the problem is. In the case of pet carnivores, it's carbs.

    The majority of pet food in the US is high carb, and loaded with mutant semi-dwarf hybrid goatgrass (misleadingly sold as "wheat"). Wheat is in a class by itself for being a toxin to carnivores.

    Our last two cats (some years ago, before LCHF enlightenment) died of complications from diabetes. Our current dog is on wheat-free food, but we're thinking that the food may yet have too much other carb.

  5. François
    Somehow, only humans and the animals they "take care" of get diabetes and degenerative disease including cancer. It struck me recently that every food add in the US (and they are countless ones) is proud to state that it is either low calories or state the "actual" number of calories per portion. Even dog and cat foods kibble have a low cal counterpart. Another interesting phenomenon is the number of ads for diabetics and people suffering from auto-immune conditions and stomach heartburn. The message is "keep on eating crap, get sick and take our pills".

    It is essential tat sites like this one continue their teaching. America is a very sick place.

  6. Marcy
    I have had 3 dogs at one time throughout my whole adult life. The trend in quality pet foods now is grain free. I have fed my dogs grain free kibble mixed with grass fed beef and organic green beans now for years. Their treats are also grain free. There are so many of these products to chose from out there now. Only the cheapest crap out there here in the US still contains wheat and other grains. I always feel sorry for those pets when I see people buying it.
    Reply: #9
  7. smc
    Unfortunately "grain-free" does not mean carb-free. Many of the foods which proudly proclaim that they are free of grains are loaded with other unhealthy carbs. I have seen potato, potato starch, carrots, peas and other such cheap fillers in cat foods. Cats need a 100% meat diet. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/10/13/dr-merc...
  8. TJ the Grouch
    As a life-long dog lover (we have adopted over 30 of them over the last thirty or so years) we never had a fat dog. Maybe it was just us, but none of our dogs had thumbs or access to their food storage containers. One of them, a service dog, is able to open the refrigerator but is not allowed to sample the contents. Dogs are genetically wired to "feast or famine" and many will not stop when "sated". Who in his/her sane mind will stuff their pets until they get fat? On the brighter side, the quality of commercial dog food has improved significantly over the last years.
  9. bonita
    "Only the cheapest crap out there here in the US still contains wheat and other grains"... that is so NOT true. i worked in a pet store for a few years and applied my interest in nutrition to cat and dog food. I read and memorized the ingredient labels so i could inform customers on their choices. foods like Royal Canin, Science Diet, Natural Balance, etc are among the most expensive and the first two are virtually built on a foundation of grains. natural balance a least has grain free options... but none have great protein/fat ratios and they are deceitful. the ingredient that is greatest (by weight) gets listed first, therefore the companies will make it with 3 types of grains or more so that none will individually outweigh the chicken or other meat. also the carb content is never listed so you have to do some calculating.
    cats are pure carnivores while dogs are flexible carnivores. i was always stunned by dog owners that didn't know their dogs were carnivores. so i would offer the example of what would happen if they set both their dog and cat free in the woods to fend for themselves, what did they think each would eat? the same thing! they'd both be hunting mice, rabbits, chipmunks etc--neither would be snacking on berries. this realization changed a lot of minds about what people were willing to buy.
    obviously raw, whole animal products are the better option--meaty bones, beef heart, liver, chicken feet, etc, but not everyone can afford it. so we can a least choose the lowest carb dry and canned foods that we can afford. i always pick the highest protein/fat foods for my cat and dog--they have the advantage of being higher calorie as well because of the fat, so even though they're more expensive than the mediocre food, i can feed them less. i also supplement the dog with meat scraps and some chicken feet and raw bones. unfortunately when cats aren't introduced to something as kittens they will often reject it as adults, otherwise he would get scraps too.

    here's a website that is a starting point for dog food. if you're going to feed your pets food with labels make sure you read them, just like you would for yourself.
    http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/

    Replies: #14, #20
  10. Sarah
    I've been feeding my dogs Evo Red for years. My last Bulldog lived over 12 years and remained lean, healthy and energetic until the last 3 months of his life. I will never go back to a grain based diet for my dogs. I'd love to raw feed them but running two businesses, I just don't have the time.
  11. J. Miller
    I own a Welsh Corgi, over 9 years she's had both the problem of being underweight AND on the other side of the spectrum. Scientists would like to think they know what is "perfect nutrition" for my dog.

    I think that it's torture to give an animal "scientifically-formulated" frankenfood. I feed my Corgi with bone-in beef, lamb and some fruit, and her weight is now perfect, and of course the vet thinks that now she needs to gain one pound. What a buffoon.

    Don't give into these so-called "groundbreaking" formulas like Blue Buffalo, they are just as bad as the old Science Diet or whatnot. My dog has always been pretty lazy, and most of the time refuses to walk unless it's to the car (stubborn!).

    I think if dogs could talk they'd be asking for us to mass hashtag ourselves with JERF.

    Reply: #28
  12. Paul the rat
    J Nutr Biochem. 2013 Nov;24(11):1945-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2013.06.004. Epub 2013 Sep 24.
    Dietary carbohydrate dictates development of Type 2 diabetes in the Nile rat.

    Bolsinger J, Pronczuk A, Hayes KC.
    Author information

    Abstract
    Amount and type of dietary carbohydrate (CHO), as well as the CHO:fat ratio, are thought to be critical for both the rate of development and severity of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Thus, these nutritional considerations were examined in the previously described "spontaneous" model of diabetes and metabolic syndrome, the Nile rat. Weanling male Nile rats (n=92) were fed semipurified diets, modifying glycemic index and load by changing the amount of fiber or altering the CHO:fat ratio. Random and fasting blood glucose and body weight were assessed, and diabetes was characterized in terms of blood glucose, relevant plasma and liver parameters, food and water intake and terminal organ weights. Nile rats fed with hiCHO became more hyperglycemic than rats fed with modCHO (P<.05), while loCHO and hiCHO+hiFiber rats remained essentially normoglycemic. Liver lipid and glycogen accumulation was associated with severe hyperlipemia in diabetic rats, analogous to metabolic syndrome in humans. Advanced diabetes was linked to liver and kidney damage and elevated blood urea nitrogen with weight loss. Dispersing dietary CHO by fiber or replacing it by moderate fat (reducing the glycemic index and load) delayed the onset of diabetes but did not prevent signs of insulin resistance.

    A very low content of dietary CHO (high fat) seemed to prevent even these early indicators of insulin resistance. Thus, the Nile rat represents a novel CHO-sensitive model for study of Type 2 diabetes that reliably follows the course of disease in humans.

  13. Ellie
    I am so glad you finally addressed this. When my husband I went low carb my animals came along for the ride. We were amazed at how much crap they put into dog and cat food. I had one cat who didn't over eat but was fat and got heart disease and died, my other cat was always thin and sickly. When my fatty cat got sick and dramatically lost weight we started looking into what she was eating and switched to grain free cat food, it was too late in her case but the sickly cat gained muscle weight and is now a monster. There are more choices for cats but we found it extremely hard to find grain free & corn free dog food in the pet store, we spent over an hour reading every dog food label but finally found some. It's a shame what they call pet food and it's sad how many people don't realize they are slowly killing their pets. Thanks for putting this up front so people become more aware.

    P.S. when did dogs and cats EVER hunt wheat?

  14. Lisa
    I feed my dog beef, chicken, pork, lamb and kangaroo - all from the human produce aisle, not the pet food aisle. I divide it up and freeze the portions. She eats it raw and even likes it slightly frozen on a hot day. She loves raw bones with meat and fat on it. When we go out for the day, I bring along freeze dried liver. Processed dog food smells so disgusting and I don't believe wheat, rice and sugar were ever meant to be a part of a dog's diet.
  15. Andy
    Here in the UK we have a brand of cat food called Felix. 'Various sugars' is listed in the ingredients. It is made by Purina, a branch company of Nestle. Possibly a deliberate ploy to cause cravings in the animal for more food so the owner buys more product. For now i've switched to Whiskas brand but i wonder how long before sugar is added to that too, as Whiskas is manufactured by Mars.
  16. Michelle
    Here in the UK we are being bombarded by the 'new' astounding revelation that too much added sugar is bad for us. My mother-in-law came over last night and told me all about it. I sat there fuming (seething) inside because I have been telling her this for 4 years! When she left she asked me if I was OK because I didn't seem to be my 'chipper' self; I told her it must be all that added sugar I've been eating and swore to her that I would cut down.

    At least she is now listening to someone; with that I comfort myself.

    Wonderful blog Doc, thanks to all who contribute.

    Mx

    Reply: #17
  17. Murray
    Yes, Michelle, I've experienced that many times. As my friend Jay observes, you cannot be a prophet in your own land. Now I try to say nothing until they ask me how I stay so lean or don't seem to age.
  18. Murray
    Three years ago we got a Rottweiler rescue as a six month pup. Already aware of LCHF, I did a lot of reading n dog diet and concluded that the same issues are being debated as with human diet. Most dogs seem to be getting all the nutritional chronic diseases. So we decided our dog would go "Paleo" and avoid kibble foods altogether. We tried raw food, but our dog has never seemed to develop the right gut flora. Messy. Another consideration was joint development, as large dogs these days seemed plagued by it. I think it is another nutritional disease, much like people and joint issues and hip fractures.

    Where we ended up is mostly lightly cooked Costco hamburgers, Costco omega 3 eggs, chicken strip treats (100% dried chicken breast), bones (joint bones for collagen and marrow bones), lots of bacon fat and meaty leftovers. The veterinarian freaked we were not feeding kibble. (Of course, there goes her pension income.) "But where does he get calcium," she sputtered to my wife. Uh, how about bones? Rottweilers have the highest jaw strength of domestic dogs and he totally devours a lamb shank in under twenty minutes. Totally. Nothing left.

    Our dog's preferences are interesting. I would rank marrow bones number one. He goes nuts for marrow. He is not big on fruit or vegetables. I gave him some meat with peas and carrots and he took big bites and then carefully spit out each pea and carrot, like a kid eating sunflower seeds and spitting out the shells. For the first while I was giving him the same eggs we have, from Mennonite farms. Then, to reduce cost, I switched him to costco omega-3 eggs. He charged over to the dish as usual, stopped abruptly, sniffed and then turn his head back to look at me. Busted.

    Our Rotty was 90 pounds when we got him at six months old and is 95 pounds after three years. He has a deep chest and wasp waist. You can see muscle definition through his fur, which is glossy from the eggs. When he gets his bacon fat, he tears through the woods on his off leash walks, leaping logs and crashing through brush. The only exception to this was a period we fed a high quality no grain kibble (the vet spooked my wife) and he went up over 100 pounds. The vet told Tracey she has to limit the food (count calories). Vindicated, I put him back to the diet I had him on and he is back at 95 with more energy again. He was also getting a bit ADD on kibble, but has since settled back into the remarkably patient dog that rotties should be.

    As for counting calories, here is an interesting observation in a WSJ article this weekend on improvements in American eating during the past couple of years: " While there is no sign the high level of obesity has fallen, Americans say they are consuming fewer calories and cutting back on fast food, cholesterol and fat." Yes, counting calories and cutting back cholesterol and fat is not resulting in any sign that the level of obesity has fallen.

  19. Marcy
    I know this isn't a pet food site, but before I get off the subject, I do have a couple questions about the previous posts. First, here in the USA, they keep warning us that most of our chickens have salmonella, and to cook and handle it carefully. I have no access to farms here so I have to buy chicken, organic, at the supermarket. How do dogs not get salmonella when they eat raw meats? Just wondering. Also, when I got our two Border Terrier pups, the breeder told us not to feed them too much protein because they can get kidney problems from it. I took her advice at first but then slowy kept increasing the protein by giving them cooked meat. They do really like veggies, though, peas, carrots, green beans, so I give them that with the cooked meat. Blue Buffalo has a meat based high protein kibble called Wilderness. Wonder if that is alright.
  20. Boundless
    > ... and they are deceitful. the ingredient that is greatest (by weight)
    > gets listed first, therefore the companies will make it with 3 types of
    > grains or more so that none will individually outweigh the chicken or other meat.

    I call this "ingredient dithering", and they do it with people food too. An egregious case is the notorious Twinkie. It contains 5 different sugars, which have the effect of making wheat flour the first listed, even though the product is principally sugars. Wheat, of course, is just as provocative to blood sugar as simple sugars, in addition to its other toxic effects.

  21. Debbie
    Animals in the wild get sick plenty very misleading article! Thats like saying every time a person or family pet gets sick it's their fault.. Oh well just eat bacon eggs and pork rinds and everything will be alright but don't go near that apple or banana cause you will get diabetes and become obese!
  22. Galina L.
    What is misleading? "Recommending that pet owners count calories for their pets is perhaps the most ridiculous idea ever". Do you think that counting calories for you pet is a good idea?

    If a pet gets diabetes and became fat it is the owners'f fault, in a wild it is not possible for most animals, unless getting fat is important for animals as a part of their life-cycle (hibernation is a good example).

    You are exaggerating as usual - no one is advising to live on bacon and eggs alone, rather to choose vegetables over fruits most of the time.

  23. Oscar
    What's wrong with fresh fruit? Not EVERY food that contains sugar is bad for you! Fruit and carb vegetables like carrots, beets, parsnips and sweet potatoes are healthy for you especially compared to the processed junk most people eat. As far as pets are concerned weight is definitely the owners responsibility but not every disease the pets gets is the owners fault!
    Reply: #26
  24. Anne Robertson
    We've had dogs for 37 years and never had a fat one. We've always avoided dried dog food as it seemed too unnatural to us, long before we knew anything about LC/HF. All but one of our dogs have lived around 15 years, one even reached 16. She was a labrador-Irish setter cross. We currently have three dogs: my retired guide dog, a labrador/golden retriever aged 12, a pet labrador aged four, and my current guide dog, a labrador aged three. We feed them on canned dog food with very little carbohydrate, one 1.2 kg can each per day. The guide dog school recommends that we feed our guide dogs on a dried food, but I flatly refuse to do so, and they don't even argue with me since my dogs are always healthy and slim. My current guide dog who joined the family last August, had a pigeon-toed walk and her gait felt very strange to me. However, since the switch to canned meat, her legs have straightened and her gait is now smooth. She's also lost 3 kg and has grown much stronger. She's so strong now that I have to use a halti on her as she pulls too hard on a choke chain. We also have two cats who are 12 years old and very fit and healthy. When the black one was 5 years old, he was fat and sick and addicted to dried food. We used to give them both dried and wet food, but he would only eat the dried. We stopped giving him dried food and he slimmed down and got better. This was before we knew about LC/HF but it all made sense once we learned about the addictive qualities of carbs.
  25. JoAnne
    Marcy, dogs have much shorter digestive tracts and much stronger stomach acids than we do. They can handle bacteria much easier than we can. That said, I take care that the raw chicken I feed has been handled safely and is human grade and not left out very long. I've never had a dog get sick on it.

    There is also the problem of the heat it takes to extrude kibble.

    http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/05/19/t...

  26. Boundless
    > What's wrong with fresh fruit?

    Quite a bit, actually, particularly modern market fruits that have been bred for sweetness.

    > Not EVERY food that contains sugar is bad for you!

    If the serving size contains more than 15 grams net carb, it's a problem. Some fruits present additional hazards, due to the fructose, often free fructose, and quite a lot of it, in say, apples.

    Humans are adapted to pack on the pounds when fructose is available, which historically was seasonal fruits and brief. We would then burn off that fat in unplanned winter ketosis. Problem is, nowadays, metabolic summer never ends. Metabolic winter never comes. Metabolic syndrome comes instead.

    But that's about people. Cats aren't fruit eaters at all. Dogs will eat fruit, but it's not their first choice. We see coyotes eating fallen mulberries when they run low on mice and rabbits. Feed fruit regularly to carnivore pets, and they will get fat and diabetic.

    Reply: #29
  27. Marcy
    YES! I never really thought about that before, that fruit used to be seasonal and the season was really short, just few months at most for most of the world. When you look at it that way, it all makes so much sense about not eating a lot of fruit for people or cats and dogs.
  28. bonita
    "I think that it's torture to give an animal "scientifically-formulated" frankenfood."

    well, yes that's me torturer of animals. i agree that JERF is the best approach. however, as i pointed out, not everyone can afford it. i'm currently only partially employed and i'm doing the best i can for all of us. there's no pastured meet for any of us just now.

    my cat is 10 years old and never sick a day in his life. my dog is almost 6, also, never sick--though he was a mess when i first got him at one year old. both are fit, active, and playful and both have great fur and teeth.

    hey wait, what?

    newer foods are NOT the same as "science diet" and the rest. are they perfect? absolutely not. but the grain-free high fat/protein store-bought foods are still useful. i would love to feed my cat real food but he won't eat it. it's a great leap that he now demands canned food once a day. it's not what i prefer long-term, but when i can afford better again, i'll make a point of not being a condescending twit to those who choose otherwise.

    Reply: #43
  29. Jimmy
    You really gotta do more research buddy! I think you're getting high fructose corn syrup a highly refined product confused with fruit very uneducated statement! But eating dead animals and hen periods is good for the human body right??
    Reply: #32
  30. Jose
    So all the junk food is good its the fruit thats causing the obesity epidemic??? People on this blog have been brainwashed beyond belief :)
    Reply: #34
  31. Galina L.
    Fruits are definitely not a poison, but the message "eat more fruits and veggies" is often perceived in a way that you can eat as much of fruits as you can vegetables, which is not so, especially for .the people who have to limit their carbohydrates intake. Bananas are not much different than potatoes. Fruit is a sweet treat, not a staple food. Sweet potatoes are healthy for those who have a normal blood sugar after eating it.

    I think that bacon and eggs are definitely better breakfast choice that bananas.

  32. Galina L.
    Jimmy and Jose,
    I just want to re-post a comment from a a post http://www.dietdoctor.com/monkeys-can-longer-bananas#comments about monkeys getting vegetables and leaves instead of fruits in order to be leaner, healthier and less aggressive

    "Have a look at this video: http://youtu.be/sTM47y6wziI

    Lots of people get fat on fruit. It's just that they are censored or banned on the sites that promote the diet.

    Andrew Perlot (a low fat raw vegan) did an experiment where he ate low fat raw vegan ad libitum and gained weight. He needs to restrict calories to stay lean.

    http://youtu.be/ShmoS0AnPNA

    Fruit is just not satiating for many people, which causes over-eating and weight-gain."

    Also, calling eggs "chicken periods" and being horrified of eating dead animals can impress only vegans, for normal people it is just a signal that they talk with an unreasonable person. We are the part of a food chain, it is normal for humans to eat like omnivores.

  33. Boundless
    > Fruit is just not satiating for many people, which causes over-eating and weight-gain.

    Well, fruits are predominantly carbs. And fructose in particular is known from clinical trials to be non-satiating. And fructose has been identified as a key factor in "The Fat Switch" for packing on fat. Triple whammy. Making the apple the go-to icon for healthy eating was one of the 20th century's huge mistakes. An apple a day keeps no doctor away.

    > ... just a signal that they talk with an unreasonable person.

    Vegetarians, vegans & fruitarians come in two main flavors:
    * hypotheticals, who think it's somehow an ideal human diet
    * philosophicals, who are doing it for reasons other than health outcomes

    Hypotheticals can often be persuaded to consider contrary evidence, or at least examine their own outcomes. Philosophicals are just like any other zealot. Blind obedience to principles trumps actual consequences, and actual communication is often impossible or not worth the effort.

    There is a huge amount to be learned about what constitutes an optimal human diet, and how to structure civilization to sustainably provide that food. Those stuck in dogma of any kind are not helping this process along.

  34. murray
    "So all the junk food is good its the fruit thats causing the obesity epidemic??? People on this blog have been brainwashed beyond belief"

    This is a straw man argument. Where has anyone pro-LCHF advocated junk food on this website? Quite the opposite, from what I have seen.

    As to the cause of the obesity epidemic, excess sugar is a good bet. And if 1+1+1+1 is excess, then any of the 1's is part of the cause, be it fruit, fruit juice or junk food. Sure, just one "1" may not be excess, but the inoffensive "1" could be junk food instead of fruit. Yes, eating fruit as the "1" is better than eating junk food as the "1", nutritionally, but regarding obesity, sugar is sugar, whatever its source.

    I get plenty enough sugar in vegetables and unprocessed cranberries. Sugar addicts find 100% chocolate not sweet enough, but I find it just right, since my tastebuds are not distorted from eating sugar-laden fruit out of season and I can taste the 1.8 grams of natural sugar per 100 in the cacao beans. Indeed, I can distinguish the sugar content of different vegetables, depending on the source (soil, sunshine, growing methods). Vegetables are an extraordinary source of flavour spectrum. Eating spinach that was grown in a home-garden terrace on the sun-drenched mountainside of Positano, Italy was an euphoric experience. Eat vegetables instead of fruit and preserve a natural palate. Fruit is at most a condiment.

    Reply: #38
  35. Johnny D
    Not my animal! His food is weighted at each meal.
    Reply: #37
  36. Phyllis
    My dog is eating low carb and grain free as I am. She is much healthier, happier, energetic and she loves her food! I had to search a lot for a good low carb dog food, but it was totally worth it! The thing is that dogs do not need grains, they are carnivores and grains can mess up their health...
  37. Paul the rat
    Yeah, I recall seeing on Discovery channel pride of lions on Savannah carefully weighing antelope meat and carefully counting bananas before they eat it. No wonder lions look lean.
  38. Phil
    Please show me one shred of scientific evidence or literature linking fruit consumption to obesity!? if you're idea of fruit is fruit juice dried fruit fruit snacks or fruit loops than yes that stuff does pack on the pounds or any type of refined fructose. I was referring to fresh fruit especially organically grown and in season. I have NEVER met an overweight or an obese person who claims they eat lots of fresh fruit. When ever I see an overweight person consume a meal they usually are eating lots of refined stuff like pizza bagels cakes doughnuts fried foods hoagies chips meat bacon eggs and other processed type foods. Usually the apple on the side which according to you is so bad usually ends up in the garbage in fact I see many people throwing away fruits and vegetables after eating and scarfing down the junk food! Even Robert Lustig who is the biggest name against sugar and fructose admits fruit is a decent nutritional choice!
    Reply: #39
  39. Galina L.
    On one hand you want scientific evidence that eating too much fruits contributes to obesity, on another hand, you base your opinion about non-obesogenic property of fruits on the observation of fat people who live on junk food.
    First of all, the blog which promotes LC diet doesn't advise people to gorge of a fast food and boxed food. If you don't see the difference between eating pizza, chips, frayed food, donuts and meat, eggs, butter with vegetables, then it is you who is delusional.

    There is existing evidence that animals use fruits to get fat before lean times. Here is the example http://thatpaleoguy.com/2011/12/15/what-can-we-learn-about-ourselves-..., there are a lot of testimonials of people who get fat eating fruits, but they are getting banned from fruteritarian web-sites http://youtu.be/sTM47y6wziI.

    Usually fruits are not being investigated for being fattening, but when they get investigated on the healthiness, things like that may get discovered

    "Katarína Sebeková, Marica Krajcovicová-Kudlácková, Reinhard Schinzel, et al. Plasma levels of advanced glycation end products in healthy, long-term vegetarians and subjects on a western mixed diet. Eur J Nutr 2001; 40 : 275-281.

    Summary

    Background Evidence indicates that food-derived Maillard's reaction products are absorbed and yet can be detected in the circulation.

    Aim of the study We postulated that consumption of the heat-treated food by omnivores could be reflected by higher plasma levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in comparison with vegetarians,who in cooking (by keeping away from meat) use lower temperatures and less time for heating.

    Methods Plasma fluorescent AGEs (350/450 nm) and Nå- (carboxymethyl)lysine (CML, competitive ELISA) levels were investigated in 3 groups of healthy vegetarians (9 vegans-V, 19 lactoovo-vegetarians — VLO and 14 semi-vegetarians — VS) and compared with those of age-matched omnivores (O, n=19). Mean duration of vegetarian diet was V: 7.2±1.0,VLO: 8.2±0.8 and VS: 7.9±1.1 years.

    Results Both fluorescent AGE (O: 9.9±0.5;V: 10.8±0.7, LO: 13.1±0.8* and SV: 11.6±1.2 x103 AU), and CML levels (O: 427.1±15.0,V: 514.8±24.6*, LO: 525.7±29.5**, SV: 492.6±18.0* ng/ml) were significantly lower in omnivores than in vegetarians. Plasma glucose, parameters of renal function (plasma concentration of creatinine and cystatin C, calculated glomerular filtration rate — GFR) as well as C-reactive protein levels were within the normal range and did not differ significantly between the groups. Thus, neither decline of kidney function nor inflammatory processes contributed to the rise in plasma AGEs.

    Conclusion Enhanced plasma AGE levels in vegetarians in comparison to omnivores are herein presented for the first time. Mechanisms of AGE elevation and potential pathophysiological relevance of this finding are to be elucidated in prospective studies."

    Reply: #49
  40. Humgruffin
    I suspect I'm drifting off topic a bit, but I'd love your opinions/advice, and this follows from the "fruit bad for all?" debate above, so please bear with me!

    I follow fairly strict LCHF myself (because I have done so much damage to my metabolism from years of sugar bingeing and it's the only thing that keeps my weight vaguely in check). This means I generally avoid fruit, though I do have berries occasionally. My children, young enough that their diets are still in my hands, eat mostly meat/fish/cheese with oodles of veggies, quite a lot of fruit and small servings of any carbohydrate element. They get sweet treats rarely enough for them to really feel like treats, and for the most part are very happy that way.

    I sometimes feel, reading this blog, that I'm almost a child abuser for feeding them the whole grain pasta and fruit, never mind a weekly sniff at a biscuit.... My rationale is that it took me 40 years to screw up my own system badly enough to be unable to handle even the occasional sweet treat, and my issues were not eating wholegrain pasta or potatoes; they were white bread, sugar and chocolate. I hope that the biasing of my children's diets heavily in favour of full fat whole foods and away from carb filled junk will be sufficient to stop them doing similar damage to their own systems in years to come, without making them feel deprived in comparison to their peers...

    I suppose I would like to know if people feel the "remedial" diet I'm following is equally vital for my metabolically pristine children -don't get me wrong, I don't think LCHF hurts children at all, but I question whether it is entirely necessary.

    Am I deluding myself?
    x

    Replies: #41, #42, #44
  41. Galina L.
    I don't think that feeding children potatoes or fruits is a child abuse or harmful in any way if children do not have special medical conditions. It is not true that everyone should be eating a low-carbohydrate diet. I don't think, however, that a whole wheat pasta is a valuable part of their menu.
    We do not live in an isolation, and it is important to remember that one day your children would leave your house and start to make their own choices. From my experience it was enough to not have junk food, snacks and sweets in our house, and offering water as a default drink to my son. He lives in another city while attending university at the moment. If your children eat some fruits after dinner or berries with whipped cream for a desert, or have an ice-cream once in a while, it is very different that modern practices to give children sugared fruit smoothies as a snack or a breakfast, to keep a gallon of an ice-cream in your fridge all the time, or encourage them to eat a fruit every time when they are bored. People get adapted to the diet they eat, you don't want your children to became too sensitive to carbohydrates as well and get a high blood sugar when they would be eating a cake or a pizza during social occasions. My son was allowed to eat all junk he wanted at other people houses or while eating out. You do not want to give sweets and junk food the image of forbidden and desirable food, and refusing other people's foods could be very wrong for social reasons. It is important not to develop a military approach to the food children eat and avoid being unreasonable zealots like most vegans. I asked my son, however, to try to stay away from vegans and other religious groups on a campus.
  42. murray
    Humgruffin, we have kept out kids off sodas, cereals, potato chips and candies, and consider that a victory in today's world. I give leeway on fresh fruit for a couple of reasons.

    One, there are good antoxidants in lots of fruits. Apples, for example, have antioxidants that specifically lower oxy-LDL levels in studies. Berries have vitamin C that neutralizes the formation of carcinogens from bacon in the gut.

    Two, fruit has naturally delightful flavour, instead of chemically manipulated flavour, and eating should be a delight. We keep the amount of fruit low enough so as not to skew taste for subtleties of more sophisticated cuisine. I concede that fruit is indeed chemically manipulated by plants to lure animals into spreading their seeds, but we seem to have evolved a tolerance for some fruit in season. Again, I realize that we are metabolically programmed to store fat eating plenty of fruit in season, so we keep the amount low outside season.

    Three, it seems younger people have higher carb tolerance, at least in my ancestry. There is plainly a large variation of carb tolerance among cultures, as reflected in the number of alleles for amylase enzyme (to break down starch), for example. It would seem sexual selection would be responsible for that, as few people actually die of carb excess before reproductive age. (Well, maybe these days, with ever more processed carbs.) So kids that tolerate carbs less well in a culture increasing carbs from agriculture, would suffer obesity, zits, asthma, and every other metabolic horror catalogued at Wheat Belly blog. I recall well from high school that the fat, zitty guys did not get the dates. So there would be tremendous sexual selective pressure in favour of genes to tolerate carbs, and (without getting into the complexities of developmental plasticity and epigenetics) evolution is faster under sexual selection than natural selection. This, however, would only select for carb tolerance through the main reproductive years, say until 30. Has anyone out there noticed a change of metabolism at or even before 30 as to carb tolerance, how pizzas and ice cream all of a sudden start making you gain weight. I expect that just like lactose tolerance, carb tolerance drops off post-adolescence for many people. I could eat scads of carbs as a teenager. My brothers and I would each grab a gallon ice cream pail from the freezer and watch television eating ice cream from the bucket, and not gain weight. So for our kids, I presume they have higher carb tolerance at least until adulthood. My wife, on the other hand, is from a culture with low carb tolerance. She hit the carb wall in her mid teens. Sure enough, so did our daughter and she has had to adjust. (The discovery was on a physically grueling 42 day wilderness canoe trip, when they ate lots of pasta and little fat and she gained weight, despite the tremendous amount of exercise.) Our son, however, seems to take more after me. Nonetheless, he limits his portions of carbs voluntarily. He would rather have very modest portions of rice with dinner and make a fruit smoothie for dessert. He remains as lean as ever, his attention span and success at school improved dramatically several years ago going from cereal and milk at breakfast to bacon, crepe (egg, milk, chestnut flour in 2-2-1 ratio), whipped cream sweetened only with vanilla extract (a stack of whipped cream that shocks my wife every morning) and berries. So his carb ratio is well under 40% despite the fruit. He saw how my wife went from headaches, migraines and allergies to none going off wheat, so he is fairly good about avoiding wheat products on his own outside the home.

    We found that with kids we always have to adjust in response to experience. Our daughter loved books when young and I read well over a thousand to her, which she later read herself. Our son did not abide to listen to or read a single one of those books (except for the Harry Potter series), Alas, they were such quality books. He only liked Calvin and Hobbes and various action books geared to boys.

    Reply: #45
  43. J. Miller
    #28

    Wow, some people. Apparently my comment was TOTALLY supposed to be taken personally. Thanks for calling me a condescending twit, too!

    I won't bother speaking my opinion, heaven forbid a carbohydrate depleted individual take a post personal.

    Reply: #46
  44. Zepp
    I think you got it totaly right!

    And on top of that.. if you feed them whole and real food they probably dont get peckish for treats that much and can see that treats is for special occasions!

  45. Paul the rat
    Considering apples, I eat only apple-skin and endocarpium, that is where all the good stuff is. Rest of the apple is just water and sugar.
    Reply: #47
  46. murray
    J. Miller, if you tell a dog owner they are "torturing" their dog, expect an emotionally defensive response. Most people care deeply for their dogs. It has nothing to do with LCHF.
  47. murray
    Paul, do you know for sure that the polyphenols in question are just in the skin? I expected they would be higher in the skin but not exclusively so. I ask because when I cook up some compote for my son's crepe, I often use an apple and eat the peel myself, but now I am concerned I am cheating him. I guess we should split the skin between us.

    "An apple a day lowers level of blood chemical linked to hardening of the arteries." October 2nd, 2012. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-10-apple-day-lowers-blood-chemical...

    Reply: #51
  48. J. Miller
    #46

    It wasn't directed at her. If you don't like a comment, feel free not to take it personally.

    Reply: #50
  49. Paul the rat
    I copied whole paper - not very good outcome

    Eur J Nutr 40 : 275–281 (2001)
    © Steinkopff Verlag 2001
    Received: 18 June 2001
    Accepted: 7 November 2001
    K.Sˇebeková,MD, PhD () ·
    M.Krajcˇovicˇová-Kudlácˇková · J.Klvanová
    Institute of Preventive
    and Clinical Medicine
    Limbová 14
    83301 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
    Tel.: +4 21-2/59 36 94 31
    Fax: +4 21-2/59 36 91 70
    E-Mail: sebekova@upkm.sk
    R. Schinzel
    Institute of Physiological Chemistry II
    Biocenter
    University ofWürzburg
    V. Faist
    Institute for Human Nutrition and Food
    Science
    University of Kiel, Germany
    A.Heidland
    Department of Internal Medicine
    University ofWürzburg, Germany
     Summary Background Evidence
    indicates that food-derived Maillard’s
    reaction products are absorbed
    and yet can be detected in
    the circulation. Aim of the study We
    postulated that consumption of the
    heat-treated food by omnivores
    could be reflected by higher plasma
    levels of advanced glycation end
    products (AGEs) in comparison
    with vegetarians,who in cooking
    (by keeping away from meat) use
    lower temperatures and less time
    for heating. Methods Plasma fluorescent
    AGEs (350/450 nm) and Nε-
    (carboxymethyl)lysine (CML, competitive
    ELISA) levels were
    investigated in 3 groups of healthy
    vegetarians (9 vegans-V, 19 lactoovo-
    vegetarians – VLO and 14
    semi-vegetarians – VS) and compared
    with those of age-matched
    omnivores (O, n=19). Mean duration
    of vegetarian diet was V:
    7.2±1.0,VLO: 8.2±0.8 and VS:
    7.9±1.1 years. Results Both fluorescent
    AGE (O: 9.9±0.5;V: 10.8±0.7,
    LO: 13.1±0.8* and SV: 11.6±1.2 x103
    AU), and CML levels (O:
    427.1±15.0,V: 514.8±24.6*, LO:
    525.7±29.5**, SV: 492.6±18.0*
    ng/ml) were significantly lower
    in omnivores than in vegetarians.
    Plasma glucose, parameters of
    renal function (plasma concentration
    of creatinine and cystatin
    C, calculated glomerular filtration
    rate – GFR) as well as C-reactive
    protein levels were within the normal
    range and did not differ significantly
    between the groups.
    Thus, neither decline of kidney
    function nor inflammatory
    processes contributed to the rise
    in plasma AGEs. Conclusion Enhanced
    plasma AGE levels in vegetarians
    in comparison to omnivores
    are herein presented for the
    first time. Mechanisms of AGE elevation
    and potential pathophysiological
    relevance of this finding are
    to be elucidated in prospective
    studies.
     Key words vegetarian diet –
    advanced glycation end products –
    carboxymethyllysine – kidney
    function
    ORIGINAL CONTRIBUTION
    Katarína Sˇebeková
    Marica Krajcˇovicˇová-Kudlácˇková
    Reinhard Schinzel
    Veronika Faist
    Jana Klvanová
    August Heidland
    Plasma levels of advanced glycation end
    products in healthy, long-term vegetarians
    and subjects on a western mixed diet
    Introduction
    As described at the turn of the 20th century by the French
    food chemist, Maillard, protein glycation products are
    formed during the heat treatment of foods [1]. Later, it
    was recognized that advanced glycation end products
    (AGEs) are also formed in vivo [2]. Enhanced tissue and
    plasma levels of AGEs are reported with increasing age
    and in the course of various diseases, such as diabetes,
    acute and chronic renal failure and liver cirrhosis [2–7].
    The kidney plays a key role in the disposal of AGEs
    [8–9]. Due to their toxic effects,AGEs are considered as
    a new class of uremic toxins [10–12], but they are also of
    pathophysiological relevance in other diseases [13–15].
    It is accepted that food-derived Maillard products are
    EJN 345
    276European Journal of (2001) © Steinkopff Verlag 2001
    absorbed, at least partially, into the circulation [16–19].
    However, their fate in the organism still remains largely
    unclear.
    The traditional domestic processing of meat (cooking,
    frying, and baking) requires higher temperatures
    and longer heating times in comparison to culinary
    treatment of vegetables.Therefore, we postulated that, if
    dietary protein glycation products contribute substantially
    to plasma AGE levels, their levels should be higher
    in omnivores in comparison to subjects on a long-term
    vegetarian diet. In the present study, we investigated
    plasma AGE levels (determined as fluorescent AGEs and
    Nε-carboxymethyllysine) in subjects on three different
    forms of vegetarian diets (semi-vegetarians, lacto-ovovegetarians
    and vegans) in comparison with those
    found in a corresponding age-matched group on a traditional
    Western mixed diet.
    Pathophysiological relevance of enhanced AGE levels
    in healthy vegetarians should be further investigated in
    aimed prospective studies.
    Material and methods
    The study was carried out in accordance with the Declaration
    of Helsinki and reviewed and approved by the Institutional
    Ethics Committee.All participants gave their
    written consent.
    The investigated groups on the vegetarian diets consisted
    of healthy adults: 9 vegans (V, exclusively plant
    food), 19 lacto-ovo-vegetarians (VLO, plant food, milk,
    eggs, dairy products) and 14 semi-vegetarians (VS, as
    VLO, fish). The group on a traditional Western mixed
    diet (O, omnivores) consisted of 19 subjects. All participants
    were non-smokers. They were free of any medication
    for at least 3 months prior to the start of the study.
    Characteristics of the groups are listed in Table 1.
    Venous blood was collected into K2EDTA tubes after
    overnight fasting. Separated plasma was stored in
    aliquots at –20 oC, and analyzed for creatinine, glucose,
    total proteins and C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration
    (standard methods, Vitros 250 analyzer, J&J,
    Rochester, USA), and cystatin C levels – a new marker
    for estimation of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) (immunonephelometrically,
    Dade Behring, Marburg, Germany).
    For evaluation of GFR, the nomogram of Randers
    et al. [20] was used.
    Fluorescence measurement of 50-fold diluted plasma
    samples (corrected for background) was performed in
    duplicate on a Fluorite 1000 (Dynatech,USA) analyzer at
    350/450 nm [5].
    The levels of Nε-(carboxymethyl)lysine (CML) in
    plasma were analyzed after proteinase K digestion in
    triplicate by competitive ELISA using monoclonal antibodies
    4G9 (Alteon Inc.,New York) [21] against CML developed
    by ROCHE Diagnostics (Penzberg, Germany)
    [22]. Nε-(carboxymethyl)-amino-caproic acid served as
    a standard.
    In addition to blood sample analysis and anthropometric
    characteristics, the nutritional regimen was inspected
    by a skilled dietician (by means of dietary interviews)
    and a food frequency questionnaire on the intake
    of 102 food items, food groups and recipes. Food groups
    and recipes involved soups,gravies, sauces,canned vegetables
    and fruits, as well as jams. Information from the
    food frequency questionnaire was used to determine the
    intake of proteins, carbohydrates, milk products and
    food groups containing predominantly fructose in comparison
    to glucose (vegetables, fruit, apples – fresh and
    dried, fruit juices, citrus fruit, honey) employing Alimenta
    dbase (Food Research Institute,Bratislava, Slovakia).
    Statistical analysis was performed using Statgraphics
    Version 5 Statistical Program. Means were compared by
    Analysis of Variance; if ANOVA indicated a significant
    difference between the means, the Least Square Difference
    test was used to localize the difference.Correlation
    and regression analysis was performed. P < 0.05 was
    considered as significant.
    Omnivores Semi-veg. Lactoovoveg. Vegans
    n 19 14 19 9
    Age (years) 30.5±1.635.4 ±2.7 36.1±2.5 39.6±3.0
    BMI (kg/m2) 23.8±0.4 23.1±0.4 22.0±0.5** 20.6± 0.8***
    Δ veget. diet (y) – 7.9±1.1 8.2±0.8 7.2±1.0
    Glu (umol/l) 4.18±0.10 4.19±0.09 4.21±0.09 4.11±0.13
    Crea (μmol/l) 72.3±1.8 79.6± 5.1 76.4±5.6 75.5±5.5
    Cyst. C (mg/dl) 0.83±0.02 0.83±0.03 0.84±0.04 0.87±0.06
    GFR (ml/min/1.73m2) 103.2±4.4 102.9±6.0 104.9±5.9 99.3±11.2
    CRP (mg/dl) 0.0±0.0 0.008±0.008 0.04±0.04 0.0±0.0
    TP (g/l) 76.75±1.15 70.61±1.45** 69.24±1.16** 71.10±2.30*
    Results are expressed as mean±SEM, BMI body mass index, Δ veget diet mean time on vegetarian diet, Glu plasma
    glucose, Crea plasma creatinine, Cyst C plasma cystatin C, GFR glomerular filtration rate, CRP plasma C-reactive
    protein, TP plasma total proteins, * p < 0.05, ** p < 0.01, *** p < 0.001 vs. omnivores
    Table 1 Group characteristics and biochemical parameters
    in human subjects on a standard western
    mixed diet and in vegetarians
    K Sˇebeková et al. 277
    AGEs in vegetarians
    Results
    The groups were comparable by age. Vegetarians were
    on their diet regimen for a comparable time period.
    Mean body mass index (BMI) was lower in V and VLO
    groups.Although the plasma total protein (TP) concentration
    was within the normal range in all subjects, in
    groups on vegetarian diets mean values were lower (by
    7–10%) when compared to O (Table 1). Plasma glucose,
    creatinine, cystatin C and C-reactive protein concentrations
    were within the normal range and did not differ
    significantly between the groups (Table 1).
    Overall AGE levels as estimated by plasma fluorescence
    tended to be higher in all three groups on a vegetarian
    diet if compared to O, but significance was
    reached for VLO only. However, if fluorescence was calculated
    per g of total plasma proteins, the mean in both
    VLO and VS groups was significantly higher than that in
    omnivores (Fig. 1). The mean plasma CML level as well
    as the CML/TP ratio were found to be the lowest in omnivores,
    and was significantly elevated in all groups of
    vegetarians. Again, the highest values (though statistically
    not different from VS and V) were observed in the
    VLOs (Fig. 2). There was no correlation of fluorescent
    AGE or CML levels and age, the duration of the vegetarian
    diet, plasma glucose, GFR, creatinine, and cystatin C
    concentration, as well as calculated GFR.
    From the dietary protocols it was calculated that, in
    comparison to the omnivores, all of the vegetarian
    groups consumed less protein, even if the protein intake
    was adjusted to the individual body weight (Table 2).
    However, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) [23]
    was fulfilled (O: 155%, VS: 120%, VLO: 110% and V:
    113%). Relative intake of animal proteins represented
    48% in omnivores, while it was lower in VS (26 %) and
    VLO (20 %) (Table 4). Absolute carbohydrate intake
    hardly differed between the groups (Table 2), RDA: O:
    105%,VS: 103%, VLO: 99% and V: 101%, and after the
    adjustment to the individual body weight it tended to be
    even slightly higher in all vegetarian groups.Vegetarians
    consumed less milk and dairy products but more apples,
    dried apples, citrus fruits and honey. In these food items
    Fig. 1 Plasma fluorescent advanced glycation end product levels in omnivores
    and vegetarians (AGE-Fl fluorescent advanced glycation end products, Prot plasma
    total proteins, O omnivores, VS semi-vegetarians, VLO lacto-ovo-vegetarians, AU
    arbitrary units, *: p < 0.05 vs. O, **: p < 0.01 vs. O).
    Fig. 2 Plasma Nε-(carboxymethyl)lysine concentration (CML Nε-(carboxymethyl)
    lysine, Prot plasma total proteins, O omnivores, VS semi-vegetarians, VLO
    lacto-ovo-vegetarians, V vegans, *: p < 0.05 vs. O, **: p G) 75.3±8.7 106.5±10.8* 117.5±11.9*** 137.3±14.0***
    Veget (F > G)/BW (g/kg) 1.06± 0.12 1.59±0.16** 1.87±0.13*** 2.20±0.22***
    Fruits (F > G) 339.6±36.0 426.5±53.7 600.8±31.8*** 696.0±84.1**
    Fruits (F > G)/BW (g/kg) 4.82±0.49 6.38±0.74 9.58±0.48*** 11.14±1.22***
    Apples (5.6 g F; 3.0 g G)1 140.1±22.5 222.5±26.0* 395.7±22.9*** 359.8±57.4***
    Dried apples
    (20.1 g F; 11.0 g G)1 3.1±0.610.5 ±1.5*** 11.8±1.5*** 12.5±1.6***
    Fruit juices (F > G) 167.0±22.2 89.7±20.5* 105.7±45.2 200.8±50.7***
    Citrus fruits (F > G) 14.1±3.5 94.0±12.5*** 66.8±10.5*** 106.0±22.2***
    Honey (37.9 g F, 31.4 g G)1 2.2±0.4 14.2±3.5** 8.4±1.5*** 10.5±1.7***
    1 per 100 g edible food, * p < 0.05, ** p < 0.01, *** p < 0.001
    Table 2 Daily intake of proteins, carbohydrates,
    fruits and vegetables (g/day) with higher fructose (F)
    content as compared to glucose (G) content
    278 European Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 40, Number 6 (2001)
    © Steinkopff Verlag 2001
    (especially in apples and honey) fructose is the predominant
    source of carbohydrates (Table 3).Consumption of
    legumes/pulses in our groups of vegetarians was
    roughly 4-times higher than in omnivores (Table 4).The
    total amount of the consumed grain products was comparable
    in all investigated groups (Table 4).However, the
    intake of technologically processed grain products
    (such as muesli and oat flakes), and whole grain products
    (dark bread, baked grains,whole grain pasta) was 3
    to 6 times higher in vegetarians if compared with omnivores
    (Table 4).
    Discussion
    Studies in rats and healthy volunteers have demonstrated
    the oral bioavailability of certain ingested
    Amadori compounds from various heated foods
    [16–18]. Depending on the kind of diet, elevation in
    serum AGE levels occur in direct proportion to the
    amount of ingested AGEs [16]. In general, about 10% is
    consistently absorbed,while only 30% of this is excreted
    in the urine.According to animal experiments using 14Ctracer
    isotopes, the absorbed radioactivity which appeared
    in the urine ranged from 16–30% of low and
    1–5% of high molecular weight Maillard reaction products
    (MRPs) (reviewed by [18]). In rats, dietary intake of
    AGE CML – one of the most prominent AGEs [12] – was
    shown to enhance its endogenous burden and to cause
    specific biological effects, both at the tissue and cellular
    level [23]. In healthy subjects, consumption of milk with
    a controlled content of lactuloselysine was followed by a
    rapid excretion of furosine via the kidney [24]. Furthermore,
    an impairment of renal [16, 19] or liver [6] function
    might result in a further increase of the AGE load in
    the blood and tissues.
    In contrast to the working hypothesis of the present
    study, as the traditional domestic processing of meat, requiring
    higher temperatures and longer heating times,
    should lead to higher levels of plasma AGEs than does
    a long-term vegetarian diet, it was surprising that the
    AGE levels in subjects on three different vegetarian diets
    were not decreased. In fact, overall AGE levels determined
    spectrofluorimetrically or, analyzed by aCMLspecific
    ELISA were found to be slightly higher than in
    omnivores.
    Now, the arising question is, how can the elevated
    AGE levels in the vegetarians be explained? In the
    healthy organisms, plasma and tissue AGE levels reflect
    the rate of their endogenous production, their removal
    (by degradation in macrophages, and clearance by the
    kidney and liver), as well as the dietary intake [2–4, 6, 8,
    9, 22, 25].
    First of all, we considered the potential non-alimentary
    factors that could contribute to the observed rise of
    AGEs in the vegetarians.
     Age. AGE levels rise with age [2]. Although ANOVA
    did not show significant differences between the mean
    age in the investigated groups, the vegans tended to be
    slightly older.However,our former investigations on the
    effects of the age on plasma CML level and fluorescent
    AGE compounds did not show significant differences in
    the age bracket of 30–60 years [26].
     Smoking [27]. Since all of the included subjects were
    non-smokers, this putative factor of influence could be
    excluded.
     Diabetes mellitus. An enhanced AGE formation due
    to diabetes was also excluded, since all subjects were
    normoglycemic and reported a negative history of diabetes
    in their parents and siblings.
     Renal function. In our study, the rise of the AGE levels
    in the vegetarians was not due to a decline in renal function
    because plasma creatinine as well as cystatin C concentrations
    were within normal range and did not differ
    Table 3 Intake of animal proteins, legumes/pulses and grain products
    Omnivores Semi-veg. Lactoovoveg. Vegans
    Milk 193.2±18.9 77.0±11.0** 91.5±11.9** 0
    Yogurt 171.3±15.0 41.6± 4.4** 74.4±5.7** 0
    Cream 28.1±3.0 2.3±0.3** 11.6± 1.8** 0
    Cheese 65.9±7.5 28.6±3.7** 41.9±2.5* 0
    * p < 0.01; ** p < 0.001
    Omnivores Semi-veg. Lactoovoveg. Vegans
    Animal proteins 42.5±2.7 17.6± 0.9* 12.8±0.5* 0*
    Legumes (Pulses) 6.8±0.5 26.2±1.2* 30.2±1.7* 28.7±1.4*
    Grain sprouts 0 1.22±0.04* 2.48±0.09* 3.66±0.19*
    Grain productsa 30.2±2.2 98.7±3.6* 155.2±3.1* 184.0±6.1*
    Grain productsb 366.0±8.8 282.7±9.0* 238.6±8.2* 212.6±10.7*
    Whole grain products (g/d) 77.6± 3.1 138.3±5.2* 239.6± 10.8* 282.9±17.1*
    * p < 0.001
    a Unheated, but technologically processed
    b Cooked and baked
    Table 4 Intake of animal proteins, legumes/pulses
    and grain products
    K Sˇebeková et al. 279
    AGEs in vegetarians
    between the groups. Also the baseline calculated GFR
    from serum creatinine and cystatin C levels displayed
    normal values. However, in the omnivores the postprandial
    GFR could be higher due to a protein-induced
    glomerular hyper filtration [28].As is discussed later,the
    protein intake in omnivores was much higher than in
    vegetarians. Thereby, the renal removal of food-derived
    AGEs could be elevated for several hours after a meal.
     Micro-inflammation. A micro-inflammatory process
    seems unlikely since CRP levels were within the normal
    range in all participants.
     Enhanced oxidative stress. In a similar manner,oxidative
    stress could be excluded as a possible cause of elevated
    AGE levels [29, 30].As in previous investigations in
    these vegetarian groups, we could show that their
    plasma antioxidant levels (such as vitamins C, E, A, β-
    carotene) were higher, while parameters characterizing
    lipid peroxidation (such as conjugated dienes) were
    lower in comparison with the age-matched group of omnivores
    [31–33].Hence other factors, associated with the
    long-term implementation of vegetarian diet, have to be
    taken into account.
     Intake of carbohydrates
    Intake of carbohydrates (both absolute and relative to
    body weight) was comparable among all groups. However,
    a typical difference of vegetarian in comparison to
    traditional nutrition is a higher intake of fruits and
    vegetables,whereby many of which have greater proportions
    of fructose (F) than glucose (G). This was also true
    of our vegetarians, who indicated a significantly higher
    F consumption, as evaluated by the dietary questionnaires.
    Since F is more effective in the production of
    AGEs, a substantially higher intake of F may contribute
    to the increase in plasma AGE levels [34]. However, the
    biochemical relevance of the higher fructose intake is
    questionable. A recent long-term study (20 weeks) in
    rats fed with various dietary carbohydrates (including
    fructose) at non-excessive doses showed that the source
    of carbohydrate intake had only a minimal influence
    both on markers of glycemic stress and on accumulation
    of AGEs [35].Moreover, we did not find a correlation between
    the time on vegetarian diet and fluorescent AGE
    or CML levels.
     Intake of proteins
    In comparison to the omnivores, the vegetarians consumed
    less protein (absolute intake as well as in relation
    to body weight). All of the groups met the RDA, but in
    omnivores, the dietary intake exceeded the recommended
    protein intake value by a factor of 1.5–1.7
    [36–38]. Lower energy intake in vegetarians was reflected
    by a lower BMI and a lower plasma total protein
    concentration, without any sign of malnutrition. Theoretically,
    the moderate protein consumption in vegetarians
    could also be associated with a lower absolute intake
    of MRPs. In addition, their lysine intake was
    significantly lower because of its 31–60% content in cereals
    vs. 119–151% in animal proteins when compared
    to reference protein [39]. In the mentioned study of Lingelbach
    [35] only calorie restriction resulted in lower
    serum and tissue AGE levels. In spite of these findings,
    plasma AGE levels in vegetarians were higher than those
    observed in omnivores. Thus, we focused on consumption
    of heated and technologically processed proteins.
    Although a majority of animal proteins ingested as
    regular food is heat processed, they are unlikely to contribute
    substantially to elevation of plasma AGE levels in
    VS and VLO. Moreover, vegans do not consume animal
    proteins at all.Vegetarians eat more legumes/pulses than
    omnivores. In spite of the assumption that all are consumed
    after heat processing, it does not seem very likely
    that the higher intake of plant proteins is responsible for
    the observed rise in plasma AGE levels.The total amount
    of the consumed grain products was comparable among
    all of the investigated groups, particularly the technologically
    processed grain products (such as muesli and
    oat flakes) and the whole grain products (dark bread,
    baked grains, whole grain pasta) could represent a potential
    source of MRPs.Consumption of the technologically
    processed grains by vegetarians exceeded that of
    omnivores by a factor of 3–6, and that of cooked and
    baked whole grain products was 2 to 4 times higher. In
    total, the intake of whole grain products contributing to
    total grain consumption represented 19.7% in omnivores,
    but 36.3% in VS, 60.8% in VLO, and even 71.3% in
    V group. Since these products contain a relatively high
    amount of CML,they may potentially account for the observed
    mild rise in CML levels in the investigated groups
    of vegetarians.Additionally to the putatively elevated intake
    of MRPs in the vegetarians the lower BMI in comparison
    with the omnivores has to be considered as well.
    Metabolically, the lower the BMI the lower the metabolic
    (energy) turn over, possibly resulting in a lower metabolic
    activity of the kidney which is responsible for the
    excretion of AGEs [12, 23].
    Summarizing our study, it was shown that serum
    CML levels are slightly elevated in vegetarians in comparison
    to omnivores. The underlying mechanisms may
    be an enhanced dietary AGE intake, since an impaired
    renal or liver function as well as an enhanced oxidative
    stress – as pathogenetic factors – seemed unlikely. To
    elucidate the complex interplay of exo- and endogenous
    production of AGEs, long-term, prospective, cross-over
    studies with defined diets are needed.
    280 European Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 40, Number 6 (2001)
    © Steinkopff Verlag 2001
     Acknowledgment Authors wish to acknowledge the excellent assistance
    of Mr. Andre Klassen in preparing the manuscript and are
    thankful to Prof.Dr. Friedrich Boege from Medical Policlinic,Univ. of
    Wuerzburg for determination of cystatin C levels.
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  50. murray
    I didn't take it personally. I feed my dog meat, eggs and bones. Bonita is forced by circumstance to use one of the scientifically developed "Frankenfoods" you say are torture to feed dogs, but she is selective and has observed her dog is healthy.
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