New research has come to light showing how certain plastics, packaging, paints, nail polish, deodorants and other common household products are strongly linked to the development of diabetes. We can no longer simply lay the blame on a poor diet and lack of exercise for diabetes these days, as there is mounting evidence showing that our environment is contributing to diabetes, cancer and overall poor health.
What Are Phthalates?
Phthalates are chemicals found in plastic containers, plastic packaging, nail polish, deodorant and a host of other household products. They are added to increase flexibility, viscosity, transparency, longevity and durability.
You may find these chemicals in shampoo, soap and even in your refrigerator near your food. If cooking in plastic (such as the microwave), it is very likely that these chemicals can be leeching into your food and wreaking havoc on your hormones and endocrine system.
Phythalates and Diabetes
New research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital has found a “statistical association” between high phthalate levels in the body and the incidence of diabetes. It is unknown whether or not these chemicals can cause diabetes, but I suspect that they do contribute to blood sugar imbalance and insulin insensitivity.
2,3500 women were studied, and those with the highest level of phthalate in their urine were twice as likely to have diabetes.
Think about it: Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors which bind to cells and affect hormones like insulin and estrogen. So, there is no doubt in my mind that these chemicals are contributing to the dramatic rise of type II diabetes in both adults and children.
Most Americans Have Phthalates in Their Urine
Unfortunately, in this day and age with chemicals all around us, it is very likely that you or me have some level of phthalate circulating in our body. About 75% of Americans have some level of this chemical in their urine, and the only thing we can do is reduce our exposure to this chemical to lessen its effect on our health.
- If you heat up food in plastic in the microwave, stop immediately! These chemicals are leeching into your food and making their way into your body. Plus, the microwave isn’t all that healthy to begin with.
- Choosing organic, non-toxic beauty and bath products are a must, especially if you are wanting to live an overall healthy lifestyle.
- Using environmental friendly paints when painting your home, free from phthalates.
Diet, Exercise, Sleep and Sunlight Can Help Fight Diabetes
Environment is definitely a concern when looking at a number of disease, but having a healthy diet, exercise and sleep plan set in place will help ramp up your immune system and your strength to fight off certain chemicals in the environment (or at the very least, these healthy actions will lessen the chemical effects).
Eating a low to no-grain, refined sugar free diet can help you stabilize your cell membranes and insulin receptors, thus effectively helping you to manage your blood sugar levels. Exercise helps accomplish this as well, as does vitamin D from safe sun exposure. Managing stress levels is also idea for blood sugar stability.
Remember, that you cannot just choose exercise and let everything else go by the wayside. Exercise, proper sleep, sunshine, diet, etc., all work together to improve and protect your health.
This is The Healthy Advocate.