Monday, September 21, 2009

Obesogens may be Affecting your Weight

What do a bottle of water, a vegetable, and soap have in common? They all may be making adding flab to your midsection.

It may seem like a joke at first, but you could have something called obesogens running through your body and contributing to your weight gain.

The term obesogen refers to a chemical that affects the way the body uses fat. Obesogens are endocrine disruptors, which influence the hormone levels in the body. The main obesogens are as follows:

Bisphenol-A (BPA): You have probably heard a good deal about BPA in the recent past. It is found in Number 1, 3 and 7 plastics, but you might not know that it is in the lining in almost all aluminum cans.

Organotins: A chemical substance that can be found in fungicides (read: non-organic produce), seafood and shellfish, water, paints, and textiles, among other places. An organotin is a toxic compound designed to kill living beings from the microorganism level and up.

Phthalates: Phthalates (pronounced THA-lates) is commonly used to soften PVC, and can be present in Number 1 and 3 plastics. It can also be found in shampoos, perfumes, lotions, deodorants and other personal care items.

Some scientists believe the effects of obesogens suffered in utero are irreversible later on in life. On tests done with mice, the offspring exposed to obesogens in the womb had a greater amount and larger size of fat cells, particularly in the abdominal area. This ratio could not be reduced even through a reduced calorie diet and increased exercise.

In addition to affecting fat production, fetal and early childhood exposure to endocrine inhibitors have been linked to a wide variety of health issues such as: ADHD, autism, lower intelligence, certain cancers, and abnormal maturity of sexual organs.

While further testing needs to be done on this topic, it can be suggested that the extensive presence of toxins in consumer products ranging from apples to soap does not contribute to ones health and well being. It may be beneficial for some studies to be done evaluating the health of comparable individuals in two groups: one eating an organic, non-processed diet, and the other on the average American diet.

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