Pesticide chlorpyrifos may be a contributor to the global obesity epidemic

According to a study by McMaster University, a conventional pesticide may be a contributor to the global obesity epidemic.

The study, released in Nature Communications, centered on chlorpyrifos, a pesticide often sprayed on vegetables and fruits across many countries worldwide.

It was unveiled that chlorpyrifos may in fact slow the burning of calories in the brown adipose tissue of rodents, as part of a process referred to as diet-induced thermogenesis.

“In both rodents and humans, diet-induced thermogenesis contributes to energy expenditure and involves the activation of brown adipose tissue,” the authors stated in their journal article.

“We hypothesize that environmental toxicants commonly used as food additives or pesticides might reduce brown adipose tissue thermogenesis through suppression of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) and this may contribute to the development of obesity.”

“These data indicate that the commonly used pesticide chlorpyrifos, suppresses diet-induced thermogenesis and the activation of BAT, suggesting its use may contribute to the obesity epidemic,” the authors concluded in their findings.

In spite of the authors’ findings, it is not known whether the effects of chlorpyrifos are also evident in humans.

Further research is needed.

Image courtesy of Getty Images
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