Losing Weight = Toxic?

weight loss pollutants photo

Image: Elite Fitness

Here's a frustrating bit of news for the day: losing weight could be driving the toxins from fat cells (where they're stored) into your bloodstream—and making you sick.Because certain pollutants are fat-soluble, including PCBs and pesticides like DDT, when a person loses weight and body fat is broken down, those chemical compounds are released and, a recent study at South Korea's Kyungpook National University has found, can cause other health complications.

Dr. Duk-Hee Lee, one of the researchers, said that such chemicals, known as persistent organic pollutants are associated with hypertension, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

But DDT and other chemicals have been banned in developed countries for decades, you might say—yes, but these kinds of pollutants take so long to break down that they continue to be found regularly in the environment, as well as in people.

MSNBC explains how the study was done:

The researchers analyzed data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 1999 and 2002. They selected seven pollutants that had the highest detection rate in blood samples, and focused on 1,099 people ages 40 or older who had measurable levels of these pollutants in their blood and who had also lost or gained weight.

By the study's end, they found that those who had lost weight had higher concentrations of most of the pollutants they measured, while those who had gained weight had lowered their pollutant concentrations. The trend was even more significant among people who reported they had gained or lost weight over a 10-year period, according to the researchers.

Lee's suggestion? Exercise and a plant-based diet, especially while losing weight—it'll help the body eliminate those pollutants.

More on organic pollutants and eating healthy
Seven Ways to Eat Green (and Inadvertently Lose Weight)
High Protein, Meat-Based Diets Mean Higher Mortality Rate, Study Says
Adventure and Activism For Free: That's Wend Magazine
What's Really Wrong with Our Oceans? Money, Politics, Greed, Money...

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