Exposure to chemicals may increase diabetes risk

Tue, 27 Jan 2009
According to two recent studies, high levels of exposure to a chemical known as polychlorinated biphenyls could up risks of type 2 diabetes . PCBs are a particularly nasty type of chemical used widely in industrial products until being banned in the 1970s. PCBs are toxic, long-lived and bioaccumulative.

Two studies found increased diabetes risk amongst women exposed to high levels of PCB. The first study was published in the journal Diabetes Care, and conducted by experts at the National Taiwan University. The second study was conducted at the SUNY Upstate Medical University.

Researcher Allen Silverstone reportedly commented: "It was just dumped into the ground, so every time there is a flood, the stuff is spread throughout the community and then the pigs and cows, vegetables, everything becomes a source. Diabetes is one thing that can happen and that probably happens because these chemicals can affect glucose metabolism. PCBs are indestructible. They stay in the cell and they keep the receptor turned on. So what you have is a problem when a switch is turned on that should be turned on and off, and that is what raises serious health problems because then the cells get deranged."
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