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Do Common Household Chemicals Affect Your Weight?

By Alan Mozes

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Feb. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) — After losing weight, many dieters quickly regain a lot of what they took off. Now, analysis hints that chemical compounds lurking in clothes and furnishings might play a task on this irritating yo-yo cycle.

Widely used artifical chemical compounds referred to as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) might undermine dieters’ makes an attempt to maintain weight loss by slowing down the physique’s metabolism, the brand new research suggests.

The research cannot show cause-and-effect, however “discovered that people with larger blood ranges of those chemical compounds had extra difficulties of sustaining weight reduction after dieting,” stated research lead writer Dr. Qi Sun. “This pattern is primarily observed in women.”

Sun is an assistant professor of vitamin on the Harvard School of Public Health.

Perfluoroalkyl substances have been used for over 60 years in developed nations just like the United States.

“These chemicals are both water- and oil-repellent,” Sun stated. They’re discovered in lots of shopper merchandise, together with nonstick cookware, waterproof clothes, stain-resistant carpeting and furnishings materials, and meals wrappers.

What’s extra, the chemical compounds are persistent and ubiquitous, stated Sun. “They are detectable in blood in most U.S. residents,” he stated. “They are a fact of modern-day industrial life.”

Prior animal analysis has linked PFAS publicity to weight achieve and weight problems in animals. This has earned them the nickname “obesogens.” Other research have additionally linked them to most cancers, hormone disruption, immune dysfunction and excessive ldl cholesterol.

This investigation targeted on greater than 600 obese or overweight males and women aged 30 to 70. All had participated in a two-year weight problems research within the mid-2000s.

In the method of monitoring the cardiovascular impression of 4 totally different diets, the trial measured PFAS publicity at enrollment.

On common, members misplaced 14 kilos in the course of the first half-year of weight-reduction plan, however then regained six kilos throughout the next 18 months.

Those with the very best blood ranges of PFAS initially have been probably the most weak to regaining weight. They additionally had considerably decrease post-diet metabolism, or “resting metabolism,” inflicting them to burn fewer energy all through the day, in line with the research.


Women confronted the very best danger for PFAS-linked weight achieve, the group discovered. And women within the prime one-third when it comes to pre-diet PFAS publicity regained roughly 4 to 5 kilos greater than women within the backside third.

Sun stated it isn’t clear why women appear extra weak, however hormones doubtless play a task.

“We know from animal studies that PFAS can interfere with estrogen metabolism and functionality, and estrogens are amongst hormones that regulate body weight and metabolism,” he stated.

So what is the answer?

“Given their ubiquitous existence in the environment and our consumer products, it is challenging to entirely avoid exposures to these chemicals, although choosing products that are free of PFAS can help reduce the exposure,” Sun stated.

He did say the business is phasing out a number of the chemical compounds, however added the health impression of substitute chemical choices stays unclear.

Dr. Tom Rifai, a proponent of way of life drugs, described the findings as “very thought-provoking.”

“Of course, association does not prove causation, and there would need to be significantly more research,” stated Rifai, a medical assistant professor of drugs at Wayne State University in Detroit.

“But this analysis definitely justifies that,” he stated.

“A major issue is that the substances are essentially omnipresent,” added Rifai. “Therefore, for all practical purposes, if a meaningful association is ultimately found, it would likely have to be public policy that would drive the reduction.”

Still, Rifai stated on the subject of weight problems danger, “the biggest finger” needs to be pointed at calorie-rich and processed meals, together with “dramatic amounts of sitting/sedentary time.”

The findings have been revealed on-line Feb. 13 in PLOS Medicine.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCES: Qi Sun, M.D., assistant professor, division of vitamin, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, and affiliate professor, division of drugs, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Tom Rifai, M.D., FACP, council of administrators, True Health Initiative, and medical assistant professor, drugs, Wayne State University, Detroit; Feb. 13, 2018,PLOS Medicine, on-line

Copyright © 2013-2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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