Diet and exercise, diet and exercise, right?
If you diet and exercise, you’re sure to avoid gaining weight and becoming obese: This is what we have been told time and time again.
But new research published in Environment Science and Technology (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.7b01788) suggests environmental pollutants commonly found in dust around our homes might also play a role in the growing obesity epidemic. Specifically, these pollutants in dust might just be causing fat cells to build up triglycerides (aka MORE FAT!).
The pollutant culprits are EDCs, or endorcine-disrupting chemicals. EDCs are naturally occurring compounds that have the ability to interfere with our hormones; they’re found in many household products.
Common products that contain EDCs include cosmetics, personal care products, cleaners, sunscreen and vinyl products. Read more about EDCs here: (http://www.clinicaladvisor.com/web-exclusives/common-products-may-contain-endocrine-disrupting-chemicals/article/231495/).
While some manufacturers are starting to use less EDCs now that their negative health effects have become more known—it’s also believed they can be harmful to our immune, neurological and reproductive functions—they’re still in many consumer products today. Worse still, sometimes we end up ingesting them, or they can get absorbed into our skin.
On top of the latter negative effects, other animal studies also suggest being exposed to EDCs in your early years can lead to weight gain later in life, which is why EDCs are also referred to as obesogens!
And now this latest research: Just breathing them in through the dust in our homes might be making us fat!
About the new research
This particular study gathered dust samples from across homes in North Carolina, which were then tested with a mouse preadipocyte cell model commonly used to test the effects of the buildup of fat.
63 percent of the samples tested saw the preadipocytes turn into more mature fat cells, as well as the build-up of triglycerides. The most common contaminants in the dust that led to the most fat-producing effects included the pesticide pyraclostrobin, the plasticizer DBP, and the flame retardant TBPDP.
The particularly scary part is that even measurements as low as three micrograms produced measurable effects in terms of fat cell growth, which is well below the amount of dust most of us are exposed to on a daily basis, the researchers said.
And in case that’s not bad enough, researchers say kids are most at risk to be harmed.
At the very least, check your products before you buy them, and steer clear of EDCs!