Diabetes Potentially Linked to Environmental Pollution

Long recognized as a disease that largely afflicts the residents of the world’s wealthier nations, Cambridge scientists are now advocating additional research into the little understood links between environmental pollution and type 2 diabetes.

PS: TreeHugger has been nominated for two Bloggy Awards—Best Topical Weblog and Best Group Weblog. Please vote for us now! (Hint: To find us, scroll toward the bottom of the page.)In the journal The Lancet, Drs. Oliver Jones and Julian Griffin highlight the need to research the potential link between persistent organic pollutants (POPs, a group which includes many pesticides) and insulin resistance, which can lead to adult onset diabetes.

The researchers cite peer reviewed research which demonstrated a very strong relationship between the levels of POPs in blood samples of participants, particularly organochlorine compounds, and the risk of type 2 diabetes.

"Of course correlation does not automatically imply causation," says Dr. Jones. "But if there is indeed a link, the health implications could be tremendous. At present there is very limited information. Research into adult onset diabetes currently focuses on genetics and obesity; there has been almost no consideration for the possible influence of environmental factors such as pollution."

And in a twist that certainly bolsters their argument, a recent study found the association between obesity and diabetes was absent in people with low concentrations of POPs in their blood. Essentially, individuals were more at risk of diabetes if they were thin with high blood-levels of POPs than if they were overweight with low levels of POPs.

Looks like just another reason to head towards organic fruits, vegetables, and lawn care.

See also:: Early Exposure to Lead May Accelerate Mental Decline in Later Years

via:: Science Daily

Tags: Pesticides | Pollution | United States

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