Phthalates found in cosmetics, personal care products, and plastics may increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes in seniors. Even a minimal increase seemed to up their diabetes rates, according to a study at Uppsala University.
The study followed 1,000 70 year old men and women participants who submitted blood samples for analysis of environmental toxins like phthalates. Those with higher levels of certain kinds of phthalates were more likely to have diabetes even after adjusting for obesity, blood lipids, smoking, and exercise habits.
Phthalates Disrupt Production of Insulin
Researchers think that phthalates may disrupt the production of insulin in the pancreas. Monica Lind, associate professor of environmental medicine at the Section for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Uppsala University says in Science Daily
Although our results need to be confirmed in more studies, they do support the hypothesis that certain environmental chemicals can contribute to the development of diabetes.
In addition to choosing organic cosmetics and avoiding plastics whenever possible, your diet also has a lot to do with your exposure to phthalates. A study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, found concentrations of BPA were reduced by 66 percent and concentrations of phthalates were reduced by between 53 and 56 percent just by eating fresh foods.