Chemicals in Your Frying Pans Slow Down Metabolism and Cause Obesity
Chemicals used in food wrappers, frying pans with non-stick coatings, and clothing, can trigger body weight by interfering with consumers’ metabolism, especially in women, according to Harvard researchers.
These chemicals - known as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) - have previously been linked to cancer, hormonal changes, immune dysfunction, and high cholesterol. In fact, see eMaxHealth's 2013 coverage on how to get Diabetes from cookware and clothing.
"Now, for the first time, our findings have pointed to a new path in which PFAS may be interfering with the regulation of body weight in humans and contributing, therefore, to the obesity epidemic," said the study's lead author, Qi Sun, Professor in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University.
PFAS Slows Down Your Metabolism and Interfears With Your Weight Loss
Researchers have found that PFAS - also known as "obesogenes" because of their interference with body weight regulation - are linked to a slower metabolic rate at times of rest.
People with high levels of PFAS in their blood also were shown to have slower metabolisms after weight loss.
The study reviewed data on 621 overweight and obese people who participated in a clinical trial conducted in the mid-2000s. The study reviewed the effects of four weight-loss diets for a period of two years. Participants also had the PFAS levels in their blood measured.
On average, volunteers lost 6.4 kilograms in the first six months, but regained 2.7 kilograms in the following year and a half. "Those who gained more weight later also had the highest concentrations of PFAS in the blood, a link that was strongest among women," reveals the report, published in the journal PLOS Medicine. "On average, women who had the highest levels of PFAS in their blood (in the upper third) regained between 1.7 and 2.2 kilograms more than women in the lower third," the study states.
The researchers also found that those with the highest levels of PFAS concentration in their blood had "lower resting metabolic rate levels."
PFAS Has 60 Years of Water Contamination History
PFAS has been around for about 60 years and has contaminated sources of drinking water near industrial sectors, military bases, and wastewater treatment plants. Chemicals can accumulate in drinking water, stay in the body for a long time, and are difficult to avoid.
"We usually think of PFAS in terms of health problems like cancer, but it seems that they also play a role in obesity, a significant health problem that affects millions of people," explained co-author of the study, Philippe Grandjean, a Professor of Environmental Health at Harvard. "The findings suggest that avoiding or reducing exposure to PFAS can help people maintain a stable body weight after they have managed to lose weight, which especially affects women.”
What do you think of this study? How do you think you can avoid chemicals that you may not even have been aware of? Let us know in the comments please what frying pans are the best and without harmful chemicals.