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    Environmental chemicals may be making you fat


    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Thursday, June 07, 2007 12:58 am Email this article
    Environmental chemcals may be making you fat according to a news article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Prenatal Exposure

    Babies exposed to chemicals in the womb become obese even with normal diet and exercise

    “When animals are exposed prenatally [before birth] to these chemicals, their metabolism is reprogrammed so that even if they are never exposed again in their lives, they gain weight,” Bruce Blumberg, Ph.D., associate professor of developmental and cell biology at the University of California, Irvine was quoted as saying in the article. “Even with normal diet and normal exercise, they become obese.”

     

    Obesity Epidemic

    Relevant to Obesity Epidemic

    “We think that is very relevant to the current epidemic of obesity,” he said during a press conference devoted to chemicals and obesity at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in San Francisco earlier this year.

     

    Bisphenol A

    Bisphenol A found in plastic water bottles and the lining of tin cans

    Two chemical which are common in our environment are in question.

    The first is Bisphenol A which is “used in polycarbonate plastics, including baby bottles and hard clear plastic water bottles, and for lining tin cans,” the article notes.

    I wrote about this in my newsletter Obesity Research Update in October 1997. The article can be found here.

    Bisphenol A mimics the effects of natural estrogens.

    Animals heavier even with same amount of food and exercise

    When mouse embryos are exposed to only to one dose of bisphenol A while in the womb, they were born underweight, but after six months, were heavier than their littermates despite being fed the same amount of food and exercise according to studies done by Frederick vom Saal, Ph.D., professor of biological sciences at the University of Missouri in Columbia, and colleagues.

    Animals heavier and more likely to get cancer

    “Not only are the animals getting heavy, they are forming cancers,” vom Saal was quoted as saying in the article.

     

    Tributyltin

    Tributyltin found in green paint under ships and is a component of PVC plastics

    The second chemical in question is tributyltin which “has been used in the green paint on the underside of ships, which has led to ongoing seafood contamination with the chemical, and is a component of PVC (polyvinylchloride) plastic, a material sometimes used in household pipes,” the article notes.

     

    Low Levels of Chemicals Used

    Levels of chemicals causing these effects are below those found in humans

    “Interestingly, the level of chemicals the team used in these experiments is at or below the level found in human tissues, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Rabiya S. Tuma noted in his article.

     

    Bigger and More Fat Cells

    These chemicals increase the size and number of fat cells

    Bruce Blumberg from the University of California, Irvine found that exposure to these chemicals increased the size and number of fat cells, the article notes.

     

    Worse for Unborn than for Adults

    Chemical exposure worse for unborn than for adults

    However, the problem is likely to be much worse when unborn babies are exposed to these chemicals as compared to when adults are exposed.

    When adults are exposed to similar hormone-disprupting chemicals, “the animals put on excess weight shortly after exposure but lose the weight again if the environmental source is withdrawn,” the article notes.

    REFERENCE

    Tuma R. Environmental chemicals—not just overeating—may cause obesity. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2007 Jun 6, 99(11):835.

    Articles on the same subject can be found here:


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