From Dr. Mercola:
In the U.S., about 75 percent of men and 67 percent of women are now either overweight or obese. This has risen significantly from figures gathered between 1988 and 1994, when “just” 63 percent of U.S. men and 55 percent of U.S. women were overweight or obese.1,2
Complicating matters, research published in Obesity Research & Clinical Practice found that the same caloric intake and exercise program would result in a body mass index (BMI) that is about 5 pounds higher in 2006 than it would have been in 1988.3
In other words, in order to maintain the same weight as in 1988, today you’d need to exercise more and eat fewer calories. The results suggest “factors other than diet and physical activity may be contributing to the increase in BMI over time,” but what factors, exactly?4
This remains to be seen, but increasing evidence suggests environmental chemicals, particularly endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are playing a role.
Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Linked to Significant Disease and Dysfunction
Endocrine disruptors, a number of which are found in plastic products, electronics, cleaning products, and even food, are similar in structure to natural sex hormones such as estrogen, thereby interfering with their normal functions. As stated in a report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG):5
“There is no end to the tricks that endocrine disruptors can play on our bodies: increasing production of certain hormones; decreasing production of others; imitating hormones; turning one hormone into another;
[I]nterfering with hormone signaling; telling cells to die prematurely; competing with essential nutrients; binding to essential hormones; accumulating in organs that produce hormones.”
Recent research published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism further revealed that exposure to EDCs in the European Union are likely to contribute substantially to disease and dysfunction and result in about $209 billion in health and economic costs.6
Among the chemicals known to be EDCs are:
Diethylstilbestrol Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) Dioxins Perfluoroalkyl compounds Solvents Phthalates Bisphenol-A (BPA) Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) Organophosphate and organochlorine pesticides Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)
The study further noted EDCs play at least a probable role in the following conditions:
IQ loss and associated intellectual disability Autism Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder Childhood and adult obesity Prostate and breast cancers Adult diabetes Cryptorchidism (undescended testicle) Male infertility Mortality associated with reduced testosterone Male and female reproductive dysfunctions Cardiopulmonary disease Immune dysregulation How Computer Simulations May Make Chemicals Appear Safer Than They Really Are
As research mounts showing BPA’s risks to human health and the environment, it remains largely unregulated in the U.S.
This lack of action in the face of apparent risk may be traced back to physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling, which is a method of using computer simulations to measure the health effects of chemical exposures.
PBPK is commonly used by regulatory toxicologists for chemical risk assessments, but there are concerns about its accuracy.
While the computer models allow scientists to determine what concentrations of a chemical end up in certain organs, and how