Pesticide exposure linked to type 2 diabetes

The connection between pesticides and health is one that environmental scientists have long explored.

And for the first time--after adding cancer and birth defects to the list of potential dangers--they're now saying that pesticide exposure might increase the risk for type 2 diabetes.

Dangerous DDT

Researchers at Spain's University of Granada found that people with high concentrations of DDE--a chemical that comes from pesticide DDT--are about four times more likely to have type 2 diabetes.

The study included 386 adults who were patients in two of Spain's hospitals. Fat tissue samples were analyzed, as this type of tissue can be host to dangerous pollutants from pesticides or toxins absorbed through the skin, air or water.

The body fat connection

Results showed that higher concentrations of these chemicals increased diabetes risk, regardless of a person's age or gender. And while body weight didn't seem to be a factor in the study, researchers say that body fat may play a role, explaining why obese people--who tend to have higher concentrations of body fat and therefore more stored toxins in their tissues--are more likely to develop diabetes.

Lead researcher, Juan Pedro Arrebola, says that the pesticide-diabetes link may have something to do with how chemicals affect the body's ability to metabolize sugar.

“The mechanism of action by which [chemicals] increase the risk of diabetes is still unknown. However, some researchers have suggested that [pesticides] might cause an immunological response when they penetrate estrogen receptors in tissues associated with the metabolism of sugars.”

The study can be found in the journal Environmental Research.

Source: News Max Health

Photo by John Nyboer

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