We all know how chemicals from pretty much everything, from food wrappers to furniture and clothes come with an increased risk of diabetes. However, studies find that most of this risk is reduced with proper eating and exercising.
Researchers tested blood samples from 957 diabetes-free persons. They were looking for chemicals known as PFAS, which are usually used to make consumer products stain-resistant, water-repellent, and nonstick.
The participants were randomly assigned to an intensive lifestyle modification program. This program was designed to help them lose 7% of their body weight, or just take a placebo pill and stick with their usual eating and exercise habits.
What were the results?
After two years, scientists did the blood tests again for PFAS. The tests showed levels of one type of PFA known as PFOA that had risen. This meant that the people from the placebo group were more likely to develop diabetes in the following years. However, the risk of diabetes didn’t go up for those people who made dramatic changes to their lifestyles.
“Our results indicate that some PFAS contribute to diabetes development and (diabetes complications)“. Andres Cardenas said this from the University of California, Berkeley. Cardenas led the study.
The first change in exercise and diet attenuated the association with diabetes. A balanced diet and exercise can come with many benefits. Another benefit might be the attenuation of adverse metabolic effects from PFAS exposure. 507 people developed diabetes in the following 8 to 9 years.
More than 90% of the participants were obese or overweight. Most of them were also white, female, married, non-smokers, and with a college education.
People that changed their lifestyle had case managers that coached them and told them how to reduce the fat intake and cut the calories in order to achieve the steady weight loss of two pounds a week.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.