A pesticide may be to blame for the obesity epidemic

A pesticide may be to blame for the obesity epidemic
A pesticide may be to blame for the obesity epidemic

One common pesticide may be partly to blame for the global obesity epidemic, researchers at McMaster University in Canada have found.

We are talking about chlorpyrifos, which is banned for use in Canada, but is widely used for pest control in other countries of the world, including Russia.

A study published in Nature Communications showed that chlorpyrifos slowed down the burning of calories in brown adipose tissue of mice. Scientists call this process "diet-induced thermogenesis."

It is the violation of thermogenesis that leads to the fact that the body begins to store calories, which provokes obesity.

To find out, the researchers looked at the effects of 34 different pesticides and herbicides on brown fat cells, and tested the effects of chlorpyrifos on mice on a high-calorie diet.

“Brown fat is a metabolic furnace in our body that burns calories. Regular fat, by contrast, is used to store calories. It generates heat and prevents calories from being stored in our bodies as regular white fat. We know that brown fat is activated when it's cold and when we eat, "said lead author Gregory Steinberg, professor of medicine at McMaster University.

The authors of the work note that chlorpyrifos can slow down the burning of energy by brown fat by 40 calories daily in terms of human energy intake. It sounds like a trifle, but it is enough to lead to obesity in adults. Storing 40 extra calories every day leads to gaining more than two kilograms of weight per year.

The results of this study have not yet been confirmed in human experiments. This means that scientists do not yet know if cottonyrifos affects humans in the same way as it does mice. Still, the study's authors recommend remembering to thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before eating. However, compliance with this hygiene measure will never be superfluous.

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