Serbian researches pointed to a link between obesity risk and phthalates. These compounds damage liver and disrupt metabolic functions, promoting type 2 diabetes, heart diseases and weight gain.
These compounds are common components of the plastic packaging. Releasing from the material, phthalates end up in food, beverages, make up and detergents.
Scientists already knew about the harmful side effect of phthalates. However, previous studies were limited by the endocrine-disrupting function. Scientists knew about the link between phthalates, obesity and corresponding disorders. But they did not investigate the basic mechanisms of this phenomenon.
The study of the team from the University of Novi Sad in Serbia filled this gap. Scientists presented their results at the European Society of Endocrinology annual meeting, ECE 2019. The team found out the link between exposure to phthalates and liver dysfunction. This condition contributes to risks of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Results point to the necessity of more attention to the phthalate’s usage. Such chemicals should be removed from food and makeup packaging.
The team of Professor Milica Medi Stojanoska proved the link between absorbed phthalates and damage caused to the body. Specifically, scientists mentioned liver damage and deptived metabolic function. They found a link between the level of exposure to phthalates and impairment of liver and metabolic functions.
“Although a small association study, these findings suggest that not only do phthalates alter metabolism to increase the risk of obesity and diabetes, but that they are also causing toxic damage to the liver,” said Prof Stojanoska.
Current findings are based on the rat models. Next scientists plan to determine the effect of phthalate exposure on human tissues. They want to use samples of different age groups, from infants to adults.
Professor Stojanoska claimed the study showed the additional threat to the human health. It highlighted the necessity to replace phthalates with less harmful alternatives. The project also showed scientists need to improve their understanding of the body’s interactions with common chemicals.