Study exposes hidden link between pesticide exposure, obesity, and metabolic syndrome
(NaturalHealth365) Pesticides have become ubiquitous in modern agriculture. They have undoubtedly contributed to a food system that meets a growing global population’s caloric and nutritional needs. However, the widespread use of pesticides comes at a considerable cost to human health.
Pervasive exposure to pesticides has been linked to a range of serious health concerns, including hepatitis, cancer, heart disease, and other chronic and potentially fatal conditions. However, a recent study adds another layer of complication and hazard to pesticide exposure: obesity and metabolic syndrome – both contribute to many modern diseases, including the conditions mentioned earlier, to which pesticides also increase your susceptibility.
Toxic harvest: The hidden perils of widespread pesticide use
Pesticides are a poison that kills insects that would otherwise decimate food crops. Most are unaware of just how many toxic pesticides are pushed onto farmers, all in an effort to ‘yield more crops.’ In addition, most large-scale commercial farms use herbicides and fungicides, which increases the toxic burdens dumped onto our food supply.
While many pesticides do not cause the immediately lethal effects in humans that they do in insects, the toxins do disrupt our endocrine system. When cells cannot signal each other effectively or work efficiently, they begin to break down or simply work less well.
What’s worse is that pesticides build up in fat and cellular material over time. If you started farming in your teens and 20s and didn’t use protection while applying pesticides to your fields, the damage is significant by the time you’re in your 30s and 40s. This is another reason why pesticide exposure during childhood is so dangerous. Even living near a cornfield where pesticides are sprayed and playing outside during the summer can cause multiplicative and seriously dangerous cell damage.
Breaking down the research: Pesticides and their alarming link to metabolic syndrome
Our modern society has traded the diseases of our past – usually infectious agents that we can fix with antibiotics and hygiene – for a host of modern diseases caused by our environment. Obesity is a raging epidemic that contributes to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and a tremendous amount of conditions that decrease quality of life and are often fatal over time.
The study above focused on other research on pesticides and conditions often associated with metabolic stress. Using PubMed’s database, they scoured thousands of articles and studies that linked pesticides to a variety of conditions, including but not limited to polycystic ovarian syndrome, diabetes, obesity, chronic kidney disease, heart disease, and others.
While all the studies that they looked at had specific hypotheses and outcomes based on pesticide exposure and a specific disease, the overarching outcome of the research was clear. The disorders were metabolic in nature, and all of them were positively correlated with pesticide use. Simply put, prolonged exposure to pesticides was almost certainly a factor in the overwhelming majority of what we consider metabolic syndrome conditions.
Practical steps to reduce pesticide exposure in your diet and daily life
The good news is that most of the food we buy at the market is largely free of pesticides when we get it. Produce is usually harvested and cleaned, and many pesticides are volatile, meaning they dissipate over time.
One thing that you can always do is focus on buying organic food, especially any produce. In addition, no matter what kind of produce you buy, wash your fruits and vegetables in a vinegar solution. That will help to get rid of any kind of residual ickiness on the plant but, in general, can actually help your produce last longer by getting rid of mold spores, or other spoiling agents.
If you live near an agricultural center, be mindful of the time you and your children spend outside. If the fields are being sprayed, ensure your windows are closed and dramatically limit your time outdoors. It’s also worth communicating with your neighbors to clarify when and what types of pesticides are being sprayed to mitigate exposure in your community.
If you cannot avoid pesticide exposure entirely, ensure that you are eating a healthy (organic) diet, getting quality sleep, and participating in a regular exercise routine. Pesticides and other toxins build up in your fat cells, so if you are regularly burning fat and maintaining a healthy weight, there is less likelihood that you will build up a significantly toxic level over time.
Moreover, consider incorporating detoxification methods such as far infrared sauna sessions, which have been shown to help the body eliminate toxins through sweat and promote overall well-being.
Sources for this article include: