Why is that so many of us struggle to lose weight and yet fail despite doing all the right things that experts tell us to? One answer may be obesogen, an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) that trigger permanent and even transgenerational changes (a claim validated through animal studies) to fat cells.
The much admired and the fearless health warrior, Dr. Joseph Mercola, in a recent blog pointed out the dangers of living in a world increasingly being polluted by obesogens. He quotes extensively from latest research that has thrown up some unpleasant facts about these chemicals.
Professor Emeritus Philippa D. Darbre, from the University of Reading, U.K, in her book, “Endocrine Disorders and Human Health,” notes that EDCs increase fat accumulation and promote the growth of fat cells. They also increase the number and size of adipose (fat) cells and alter hormones that regulate appetite. Additionally, obesogens change your metabolic rate and favor storing calories rather than burning them.
Obesogens are chemicals that exert negative effects on your cells common in bisphenol-A (BPA), parabens, flame retardants and pesticides.1 The majority are known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs).
Other obesogens include PFASs, commonly found in food packaging, household cleaners, nonstick cookware, firefighting foam and stain-resistant carpets, rugs and furniture.
Mercola writes: “Exposure to this single chemical can happen through your food, indoor air and dust, drinking water and products used at home and at work. Aside from being an obesogen, according to Toxic-Free Culture, PFAS is also linked to liver and kidney toxicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity and cancer. This is just one chemical in a long list of compounds used in everyday materials.”
While an increasing number of people are getting health and weight conscious, the facts on the grounds are far from encouraging. Almost 40% of the world population is considered overweight or obese today. Is the all-pervasive and insidious presence of EDCs one of the chief reasons to blame for a lack of progress?
Bruce Blumberg, Ph.D., at the University of California Irvine, is credited with coining the term ‘obesogens’. In an animal study, he proved that pregnant mice fed on EDCs produced offspring that were born with more fat cells and were heavier by 20% as adults.
The authors of a literature review published in 2018 analyzed existing surveys and animal studies and found that the “most important sources of exposure to obesogens indoors are diet, house dust and everyday products such as cleaning chemicals, kitchenware or cosmetics.”
Dr. Mercola writes: “This ubiquitous exposure pattern is at the heart of prenatal and infant exposure to chemicals with the ability to change cell function and slow metabolic rates. The infant population over the past several decades has begun to grow.”
Obesogens in Your Home
The increasing number of chemicals in your environment and diet are likely contributing to the obesity epidemic.
- Tap water
- BPA and BPA replacement chemicals
- Nonstick coatings
- Flame-retardant chemicals
How to Protect Yourself
Dr. Mercola advocates a ‘common sense approach’ to tackling this difficult problem as exposure to obesogens grow in ways that we might not be fully aware of at present time. He recommends the following measures if you’re weight-watching or if you’re planning to be a mother and want the baby to be least exposed to EDC.
- Avoid pesticides — Eat organic, non-GMO produce and grass fed, humanely raised meat and dairy products. Don’t use pesticides on your lawn, and always remove your shoes when you enter your house.
- Get rid of all nonstick and fire-retardant chemicals — Nonstick cookware releases chemicals when heated. Instead, cook with ceramic or glass. Purchase mattresses, carpet and furniture that are not treated with fire-retardant chemicals
- Avoid packaged food — Eliminate canned food products, microwave popcorn and take-out containers. Avoid buying processed and packaged foods as they may contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, pesticides and other obesogens. Artificial sweeteners can also be found in gum, soda and pancake syrup
- Filter your water — The number of toxins in tap water makes filtering a necessity. Find out more at “Why Filtering Your Water Is a Necessity.”
- Use minimal antibiotics — You may be able to prevent most reasons for antibiotics by supporting a healthy gut bacterium and using natural remedies. Antibiotics alter your gut microbiome, which influences weight management for adults and children.
For more such great articles, visit www.mercola.com.