Higher Rate of Phthalate in Female Urine May Expose Diabetes Risk

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Studies show that women may be at higher risk to develop diabetes because of phthalates in products such as soap, hair spray, nail polish, etc.

Brighman and Women's Hospital have published a report explaining that higher amounts of phthalate in female urine in comparison to male urine may indicate an increased risk for developing type two diabetes.

The Study

Tamara James-Todd, Ph.D., explained that other studies had also detected high phthalate urine concentrations, but very few of these studies showed any link between these metabolities and diabetes. Tamara started her study to note any associations between phthalate urine concentrations in women and diabetes in adult females. CDC data and self-reports regarding diabetes diagnoses in over 2,300 women between the ages of 20 and 80 years provided the data for this study.

The Study Results

Tamara and her researchers discovered that:

- Higher levels of phthalates indicated a higher risk for developing diabetes in adult women, in comparison to women with lower levels.

- In particular, women with high levels of mono-benzyl pthalalte and mono-isobutyl pthalate were more than twice as likely to develop diabetes.

The study did factor in variables such as dietary habits, behavioral traits, and socio-demographic details.

What are phthalates?

Phthalates are also known as phthalate esters, and they belong to a group ofman-madechemicals that are similar to organic acids. They are used commonly in plastics and PVC pipe. These chemicals are widely being phased out in Europe, Canada, and the USA due to serious health hazard concerns.

What are phthalates used in?

Phthalates are used in:

-Washing detergents
-Glues and adhesives
-Some food product(s)
-Medical devices
-Some pills
-Personal care products

Humans are commonly exposed to phthalates. In fact, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that most Americans have tested positive to phthalate metabolites in their urine. This is still not good, however, because rats with high phthalate urine concentrations were found to have disruptions in their hormone levels, as well as some birth defects in their offspring.

The verdict?

More studies will have to be completed to find out just how large of an effect phthalates really do have on the adult female body and diabetes diagnoses. In the meantime, adult women are strongly recommended to avoid phthalates whenever possible.


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