High levels of phthalates can lead to greater risk for type-2 diabetes

April 12, 2012

There is a connection between phthalates found in cosmetics and plastics and the risk of developing diabetes among seniors. Even at a modest increase in circulating phthalate levels, the risk of diabetes is doubled. This conclusion is drawn by researchers at Uppsala University in a study published in the journal Diabetes Care.

"Although our results need to be confirmed in more studies, they do support the hypothesis that certain can contribute to the development of diabetes," says Monica Lind, associate professor of environmental medicine at the Section for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Uppsala University.

Together with Lars Lind, professor of medicine at Uppsala University, she has analysed new information from the so-called PIVUS study, which covers more than 1 000 70-year-old women and men in Uppsala.

In a physical examination participants were examined for fasting blood sugar and various insulin measures. They submitted blood samples for analysis of various , including several substances formed when the body breaks down so-called phthalates. Most people come into daily contact with phthalates as they are used a softening agents in plastics and as carriers of perfumes in cosmetics and self-care products.

As expected, diabetes was more common among participants who were overweight and had high blood lipids. But the researchers also found a connection between blood levels of some of the phthalates and increased prevalence of diabetes, even after adjusting for obesity, blood lipids, smoking, and . Individuals with elevated phthalate levels had roughly twice the risk of developing diabetes compared with those with lower levels. They also found that certain phthalates were associated with disrupted in the pancreas.

"However, to find out whether truly are risk factors for diabetes, further studies are needed that show similar associations. Today, besides the present study, there is only one small study of Mexican women. But experimental studies on animals and cells are also needed regarding what biological mechanisms might underlie these connections," says Monica Lind.

Explore further: Link shown between environmental toxicants and atherosclerosis

Related Stories

Link shown between environmental toxicants and atherosclerosis

October 11, 2011

Environmental toxicants such as dioxins, PCBs, and pesticides can pose a risk for cardiovascular disease. For the first time a link has been demonstrated between atherosclerosis and levels of long-lived organic environmental ...

Recommended for you

Low-carb diet may aid your metabolism

December 2, 2016

(HealthDay)—Eating low-carbohydrate meals may lead to healthy changes in a woman's metabolism that don't occur when consuming higher-carbohydrate meals, a small study suggests.

Research shows nerve growth protein controls blood sugar

November 14, 2016

Research led by a Johns Hopkins University biologist demonstrates the workings of a biochemical pathway that helps control glucose in the bloodstream, a development that could potentially lead to treatments for diabetes.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.