Physical activity and diet eliminate the fattening effect of PFASs
Recently we wrote about the obesogenic effect of PFASs: a group of chemicals in anti-dirt and anti-grease food packaging, clothing, furniture and floors that pop up in increasingly high concentrations in human blood, and which stimulate the groth of fat cells. Researchers at Harvard Medical School recently published a human study in JAMA Open that makes it clear that a little diet and extra physical activity eliminate the fattening effect of PFASs.
The researchers used data from 957 subjects aged 40-64 years who had participated in an experiment 15 years earlier. One half of the subjects had received standard education about healthy food [Placebo], the other half had been intensively supervised to exercise at least 150 minutes per week, eat healthier food and lose at least 7 percent of the body weight [Lifestyle].
Before the experiment began, and two years later, the researchers had taken blood samples from their subjects again. In these blood samples the researchers measured the concentration of PFASs.
The trend was that, as the concentration of PFASs in the subjects' blood increased, they also gained more fat. The figures below show the effect of a doubling of the concentration of different PFASs on the amount of abdominal fat and subcutaneous fat.
When the researchers split up their data, and looked separately at the subjects in the placebo group and the experimental group, they found evidence that PFASs had an obesogenic effect in the placebo group, but not in the lifesyle group.
"Among adults at high risk of type 2 diabetes, we observed that higher plasma perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substance concentrations were associated with a prospective and long-term increase in weight [...] among individuals randomized to a placebo group, but not for those randomized to a lifestyle intervention of diet and exercise", write the researchers.
"Exercise and a balanced diet confer many benefits; our results suggest that another benefit might be modification and attenuation of the obesogenic effects of environmental chemicals such as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances."
JAMA Network Open. 2018;1(4):e181493.
PFASs - the hidden chemicals in drinking water and foodstuffs that make the world fat (10.03.2018)
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