Strong Relationship Between Environmental Pollutants and Diabetes

PersistentOrganicPollutants2This study found that the odds of having diabetes were 38 times higher for people with high blood levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) than for people with low levels.

A Strong Dose-Response Relation Between Serum Concentrations of Persistent Organic Pollutants and Diabetes, Diabetes Care, 2006

“Chronic lifetime exposure to low doses of POPs could be stronger than in those with short-term exposure to high doses of POPs.”

“The toxicity of these pollutants in humans and wildlife is enhanced by their persistence in the environment and their bioaccumulation potential in the tissues of animals and humans through the food chain.”

Greater than 90% of POPs comes from animal foods in the general population without occupational or accidental exposures.”

“Obesity did not increase the prevalence of diabetes among subjects with nondetectable levels of POPs.”

I remember when this study came out. It was a big deal, that these environmental chemicals could have such a strong impact on diabetes. Here’s a newer study that continues to support this link. It’s one of many by now.

Exposure to Persistent Organic Pollutants: Relationship With Abnormal Glucose Metabolism And Visceral Adiposity, Diabetes Care, July 2014

As body levels of POPs went up, so did waist circumference, fasting glucose, post-meal glucose, and HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin, average blood glucose over 2-3 months). The odds of having abnormally high glucose levels were 81 times higher for people who had high levels of POPs in their fat tissue vs. low levels. These authors also cite animal food as the most potent source of POPs:

“POPs are a group of diverse substances, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), that are resistant to biodegradation and ubiquitously present in our environment. Humans are predominantly exposed through the consumption of contaminated food, mainly meat, fish, and dairy products.

We report a positive association between total body levels of POPs and waist circumference.

Our analyses indicate indeed a positive correlation between fasting glucose, 2 hour post load and AUC glucose levels on the one hand and serum and total body levels of all POPs on the other hand. Total body levels of all POPs were also significantly related to HbA1c.

To the best of our knowledge, we are the first group to assess the influence of POP levels on glucose metabolism in an obese population using the standardized and validated 75 g OGTT. The finding that 2-h post load glucose levels and AUC glucose levels are positively correlated with total body levels of all POPs further strengthens the hypothesis of the diabetogenic capacities of POPs in vivo.”

Environmental pollutants are wrecking havoc with our health.

2 thoughts on “Strong Relationship Between Environmental Pollutants and Diabetes

  1. Pingback: BPA-Free Label May Be Meaningless | Fanatic Cook

  2. Pingback: New Endocrine Society Report: Evidence For Links Between Health Problems And Endocrine Disruptors Now Stronger | Fanatic Cook

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