Obesogens are the compounds that interfere with the endocrine hormones, which play a vital role in obesity. Chemicals from plastics, such as BPA (bisphenol A), are known obesogens that pervade our homes and pollute our waterways. Research over the past few years has shown us how obesogens have a hand in uncontrolled weight gain.
Obesogens: A Global Phenomenon
The occurrence of a metabolic disorder in amphibians and its relationship with the presence of hormone-disruptive chemicals in the environment shows how obesogens harm human health. Most industrial pollutants and man-made wastes end up in the water supply. That is why it isn’t surprising to see dramatic changes in the life cycles of fish and aquatic mammals. These living creatures receive an array of obesogens such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), and other chemicals that alter lipid metabolism and also show gender-bending qualities.
How Obesogens Affect Your Health
Studies show that obesogenic effects can be handed over from mother to child, a possible cause for why infants may be born with metabolic problems at birth. A few examples of metabolic disorders are diabetes and phenylketonuria (PKU), a condition in which your body cannot utilize protein at birth. These studies highlight the urgency to avoid exposure to such chemicals during pregnancy.
The plastic manufacturing industry is a major user of obesogenic compounds, most of which are used in food storage, furniture, and building materials. While it is difficult to avoid chemical exposure, the use of detoxification strategies can be helpful.
How Can You Reduce Your Exposure To Obesogenic Compounds
Thankfully, the effect of obesogens isn’t a permanent one. Here are some simple tips to reduce your exposure.
- Eat as much organic produce as possible.
- Drink pure, filtered water.
- Avoid storing food in plastic containers.
- Avoid using plastic bags. Choose cloth or paper bags instead.
- Use eco-friendly household cleaners.
- Eat probiotic foods such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi and miso. They promote the growth of healthy bacteria that prevent inflammation and build the body’s defense against endocrine disruptors.
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3. Endocrine Society. Exposure to endocrine disruptors during pregnancy affects the brain two generations later, rat study shows. ScienceDaily. 5 March 2015.
4. Wendee Holtcamp. Obesogens: An Environmental Link to Obesity. Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Feb; 120(2): a62-a68. doi: 10.1289/ehp.120-a62.