There’s a side to the diabetes story that I don’t talk about as often as I should, but a recent study reminded me just how important it is. So I thought you could use a good reminder too.
I’m talking about environmental pollutants.
I think we’re all at least somewhat aware that our environment is toxic. Yet few of us go out of our way to avoid everyday toxins as much as we should. And even fewer still understand the connection between toxins and diabetes.
It may seem like an unlikely link, but it’s actually well documented. Many of the synthetic chemicals in our environment have been shown to contribute directly to metabolic disorders — and obesity and diabetes in particular. The study I just came across looked at four of them: phthalates, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethylene (DDE), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and perfluoroalkyl substances.
These may sound exotic, but they’re actually shockingly common. In fact, I can almost guarantee that you are wearing one, touching one, or very near one as you read this.
But, according to this new study, taking some simple steps to avoid them may make all the difference when it comes to your diabetes risk.
After looking at data from elderly Europeans, researchers determined that simply reducing exposure to these chemicals by 25 percent would decrease diabetes in adults by 13 percent.
This study showed that the most impressive reductions in diabetes prevalence were seen when all four of the chemicals were reduced. That suggests that it’s not individual chemicals working alone to disrupt metabolism, but rather the “toxic soup” mixture of chemicals that does it.
Plus, these chemicals are so prevalent I would argue that it’s almost impossible to only come into contact with one at a time anyway.
But the real kicker is that the handful of chemicals included in this study are just the tip of the toxic iceberg. There are more than 1,000 known or suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and most have never been studied for their effect on humans.
Look, as I have said all along, if we want to put an end to the raging diabetes and obesity epidemics, we have to address ALL of the factors contributing to them.
And reducing your exposure to environmental toxins can have a major impact on your weight and overall metabolic health.
The good news is, with some due diligence you can cut your exposure to these dangerous chemicals. One good resource is the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which keeps an extensive database of toxins in everyday household products. So before you buy any new cleaning or personal care products, look them up on the EWG website and see how they’re rated.
Granted, some chemicals have already been exposed for the poisons they are. For example, PCBs have already been banned under the Stockholm Convention. The pesticide DDE has also been banned in most parts of the world. And a voluntary phase-out of long-chain perfluoroalkyl compounds, including perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), has been completed in the United States.
However, many of these chemicals are still produced in the U.S., shipped abroad where they are used and then the end products are shipped back to the U.S. for us to consume.
It’s a convoluted, and very sad loop that no one likes to admit to.
So while it may seem on the surface that the “powers that be” are working to protect us, let’s never assume that government regulators have our best interests at heart — or that the chemicals in commercial use have been fully tested for adverse health effects.
It’s a public health shame that our government continues to allow these chemicals in our lives — and it’s been going on for far too long.
I’ll tell you more about ALL the ways to protect yourself from diabetes this Sunday, January 15th at my free online Diabetes Reversal Summit. This free event will offer groundbreaking information and insights into every aspect of weight control, blood sugar management, and diabetes risk. You won’t want to miss it! So click here now to reserve your spot.