Women Are At High Risk of Diabetes Due to Beauty Products
A new study led by the researchers from Birgham sand Women's Hospital (BWH) have shown a close association between excessive concentration of phthalates in the body and simultaneously an increased risk of diabetes in women. Most people in the United States are exposed to pathalates that are available in moisturizers, nail polishes, soaps, hair sprays and perfumes that increase the risk of diabetes in women than in men. Phthalates are the chemical compounds found in plasticisers - the substance added to plastic to make it flexible and transparent.
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This study was published in the Journal Environmental Health Perspective, was led by Tamarra James Todd, a researcher in the division of women's health at Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston.
In order to conduct the study the researchers examined data from a government study of 2350 women aged 20 to 80. Participants were part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2001 and 2008. The researchers found that those with the highest levels of certain types of phathalates in their urine had up to twice the likelihood of having diabetes compared with those with the lowest, despite controlling for sociodemographic, behavioral and dietary factors.
About 9 percent of those with a high level of one type, called mono-isobutyl phthalate, had diabetes compared with 5 percent of those with the lowest levels of this chemical. But phthalates are found in medical tubing, IV bags, and certain medications. Hence it is assumed that the one with diabetes are more likely to have higher levels due to the fact that they take more medications and have more medical treatments.
Dr. Tamarra James-Todd, PhD, a researcher in the Division of Women's Health at BWH, said: "This is an important first step in exploring the connection between phthalates and diabetes. We know that in addition to being present in personal care products, phthalates also exist in certain types of medical devices and medication that is used to treat diabetes and this could also explain the higher level of phthalates in diabetic women. So overall, more research is needed."
A sub-study on women without diabetes was conducted by the researchers. They found that the diabetic women with higher levels of pthalates tended to have higher blood glucose levels. According to James Todd these both are precursors of diabetes.
James Todd concluded saying, "Companies are not required to disclose whether there are phthalates in products, but almost anything that contains "fragrance" has these chemicals. More products are emerging with labels that say "phthalate-free," but the packaging could still be full of them. There's not much we can do as consumers. Hopefully, these findings will spur additional research."