PCB can increase risk of abdominal fat

(Medical Xpress) -- There is a correlation between high levels of the environmental toxin PCB and the distribution of body fat to the abdomen. This is shown in a new study published today in the scientific journal Obesity. Abdominal fat is already known to increase the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, among other conditions.

Fat inside the abdomen (visceral fat) is considerably more dangerous that fat near the surface of the body (subcutaneous fat). For instance, fat in the abdomen has previously been linked to the development of diabetes. Monica Lind, associate professor in environmental medicine at the Section for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, together with Lars Lind, professor of medicine, has analysed data from the so-called PIVUS study, which comprises more than 1,000 70-year-olds in Uppsala.
 
From the same material they have previously shown that can predict the development of diabetes. In the present study, these researchers measured levels in the blood of 23 persistent organic environmental toxins in the more than 1,000 70-year-old women and men. In nearly 300 of them, with the aid of magnetic imaging, they also investigated the amount of fat in various parts of the abdomen. Previous studies have used only BMI as a measure of fatness. They found that having high levels of the highly chlorinated and very persistent compound PCB189 was related to a high proportion of fat in the .
 
"These findings may indicate that PCB189, which was also related to developing diabetes, may be of significance in how fat is stored in the body," says Monica Lind.
 
To understand the underlying mechanism, more research is needed in the form of controlled laboratory studies. According to Monica Lind, there are several possible causes. For example, it would be interesting to study whether there is a hormonal impact on fat metabolism, an inhibition of the breakdown of cortisol, or an inhibition of the creation of oestrogen.

More information: Obesity (2012) doi:10.1038/oby.2012.123

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fat transplantation can have metabolic benefits

May 06, 2008

When transplanted deep into the abdomen, fat taken from just under the skin comes with metabolic benefits, or at least it does in mice, reveals a new study in the May issue of Cell Metabolism.

Recommended for you

When you lose weight, where does the fat go?

Dec 16, 2014

Despite a worldwide obsession with diets and fitness regimes, many health professionals cannot correctly answer the question of where body fat goes when people lose weight, a UNSW Australia study shows.

Shed post-Christmas pounds just by breathing

Dec 16, 2014

Ever wondered where the fat goes when somebody loses weight? Most of it is breathed out as carbon dioxide, making the lungs the primary excretory organ for weight loss, explain Australian researchers in the ...

Post-bariatric surgery weight loss may ease knee pain

Dec 14, 2014

(HealthDay)—Current evidence, though limited, suggests that bariatric surgery with subsequent marked weight loss may reduce knee complaints in morbidly obese adults, according to research published online ...

Poor diet links obese mothers and stunted children

Dec 11, 2014

Malnutrition is a major cause of stunted growth in children, but new UCL research on mothers and children in Egypt suggests that the problem is not just about quantity of food but also quality.

User 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.