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What are Obesogens?

Written by Dr. Group, DC Founder
Obesogens are endocrine disruptors that play a role in obesity.

Obesogens is an umbrella term given to the dozens of endocrine disruptors that play a role in obesity. Chemicals from plastics, like BPA, are known obesogens, and these chemicals pollute our waterways and pervade our homes. The effects of obesogens have been studied intensely over the past few years and the research shows that they have a hand in uncontrolled weight gain.

Obesogens: A Worldwide Issue

A closer look at amphibians and the endocrine disrupting chemicals in their environment is showing how obesogens translate to human health, particularly when it relates to metabolic disorder. [1] Since many chemicals from pollution and man-made items end up in the water supply, it isn’t surprising to see drastic changes in fish and other aquatic mammals. These life forms receive abundant doses of PCBs, PBDEs, and other chemicals, much more so than we receive, but it does lead us to some insight into their effects. Some obesogens not only contribute to altered lipid metabolism in ocean dwellers, but it has also shown gender-bending qualities among fish. [2]

The Health Effects of Obesogens

Research is showing that obesogenic effects can be transferred from mother to child, revealing why some people may be born with metabolic concerns from the start. Findings like this display the importance of avoiding chemicals during pregnancy. [3] The plastics industry is a heavy user of obesogenic chemicals, many of which are used in furniture, food storage, and building materials. [4] While completely eliminating chemical exposure is difficult, incorporating detoxification strategies can be helpful.

How to Combat Obesogens

Fortunately, obesogens may not be permanent in their effects. Avoidance of chemicals as much as possible, eating an organic diet, and drinking pure, filtered water goes a long way. Definitely avoid all plastics, including those that use BPA or BPS. Performing a regular cleansing protocol may also be helpful for relieving the toxic burden that ineluctably accumulates over time. Taking a high-quality probiotic could also strengthen defenses against invasive endocrine disruptors.

References (4)
  1. Lindsey Konkel. A Closer Look at Obesogens: Lipid Homeostasis Disruption in Daphnia. Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.123-A219.
  2. Catherine A. Harris, Patrick B. Hamilton, Tamsin J. Runnalls, et al. The Consequences of Feminization in Breeding Groups of WIld Fish. Environ Health Perspect. 2011 Mar; 119(3): 306-311.
  3. Endocrine Society. Exposure to endocrine disruptors during pregnancy affects the brain two generations later, rat study shows. ScienceDaily. 5 March 2015.
  4. Wendee Holtcamp. Obesogens: An Environmental Link to Obesity. Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Feb; 120(2): a62-a68. doi: 10.1289/ehp.120-a62.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.


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