Chemicals In Nail Polish, Shampoo Cause Diabetes —Study


A new health study has discovered that a group of chemicals found in women’s personal care products like shampoo and nail polish may raise the risk of diabetes.

The chemicals, called phthalates, is also found in a variety of products like hair sprays and soaps and women in the study with highest concentrations of these chemicals in their bodies were more likely to have diabetes than women with lowest concentrations, the researchers said.

The study, published in this month’s edition of the journal, Environmental Health Perspectives, further found a link between high concentrations of phthalates and insulin resistance among women who did not have diabetes (insulin resistance is often a precursor to Type 2 diabetes).

According to senior researcher Tamarra James-Todd, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Division of Women’s Health, the findings suggest that phthalates could disrupt blood sugar metabolism.

Phthalates are present in certain medications and medical devices, and its possible women with diabetes have higher phthalate concentrations in their bodies due to the use of these medications or devices, James-Todd said.

The senior researcher and his colleagues analysed information from 2,350 women aged between 20 and 80 who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2001 and 2008 taking them four years to complete the analysis.

As part of the survey, participants underwent physical exams and provided urine samples and of the participants, 217 reported having diabetes.

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Women who had the highest levels of two chemicals-mono-benzyl phthalate and mono-isobutyl phthalate-in their urine samples were nearly twice as likely to have diabetes as women with the lowest levels of those chemicals, the study found.

The study also found that women with moderately high levels of the chemicals, mono-n-butyl phthalate and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate, had approximately a 70 percent increased risk of diabetes.

The researchers maintained that it was possible that phthalates indirectly increase the risk of diabetes by interfering with the metabolism of fat tissue, which can lead to insulin resistance.

“If future studies determine causal links between phthalates and diabetes, then reducing phthalate exposure could decrease the risk of diabetes in women,” the researchers wrote in their findings.

It was found that exposure to certain phthalates also increases blood glucose levels.

—Eromosele Ebhomele

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