Saturday, May 29, 2010

Diabetes caused by toxins not obesity ?!

We all know that diabetes is a problem in the western world. We all know that a high sugar diet increases risk of diabetes. We also know that fat on the stomach region is an indicator of diabetes, or increases your risk of diabetes...... how these assumptions may not be the complete picture. 

There was a very interesting review in The Lancet which suggests that toxin's cause diabetes by interfering with fat and sugar metabolism. The following comments were in the review:
A strong correlation between insulin resistance and serum concentrations of persistent organic pollutants, especially for organochlorine compounds. This was a surprise for many people working in diabetes research because most studies to date have focused on the effects of genetics and westernization of dietary habits and lifestyle
Couple of points you need to know. Organic pollutants..... organic in this context is chemistry/compounds with carbon in them. Organic in the terms of giving life, being life, used in life. Hence why scientists complain about organic being free from chemicals - yet all the food is made up of organic compounds.

So organic pollutants - think petroleum products, aromatic products like benzene and other nasty smelling chemicals, polymers like plastics and polystyrene. Organochlorine is another group of organic chemicals. Unsurprisingly these are carbon (and/or hydrogen) binding to chlorine atoms. These show up in plastics like PVC. PVC or similar plastics are used in nearly all modern water pipes. Yet another good reason to purchase a water filter! Organochlorides are also found in some pesticides, with DDT being the most well known. Also insulators such as PCB's.         

So moving onto other paper quotes: 
An increasing number of reports suggest that chronic dietary exposure of environmental pollutants which the body might also be associated with diabetiogenesis.
The expected association between obesity and diabetes was absent in people with low concentrations of persistent organic pollutants in their blood.... That association between obesity and diabetes became stronger as the concentration of such pollutants in the blood increased

It is a logical step to say that people who have a high refined/processed food have a higher toxin intake than other people who have high vegetable and fruit intake.So hence overweight appears as a risk factor, but is not the real reason for diabetes. Therefore obesity could be more of a symptom not a cause.

Another possibility is that refined diets put the body under stress, which then reduces the ability to get ride of toxins. So again pointing to overweight being the symptom, not the cause. 

Yet another reason to eat organic, purchase a water filter, eat lots of fresh fruit and vege's so that you body can remove the toxins from your body via the P450 pathways in your liver, kidneys, intestine and lungs.

This raises the logical question - where can I get my blood analyzed for these organic pollutants? 

Reference: Jones, O., Environmental pollution and diabetes: a neglected association The Lancet Vol 371 no 9609 2008

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