The increasing obesity epidemic has researching grasping for explanations. More people are overweight than ever before. Those affected are finding it more difficult to lose weight as well. Although eating habits and sedentary lifestyle are most frequently blamed, other factors should be considered, such as weight gain from environmental toxins.
Studies have found that pesticides, growth hormones and other environmental toxins may cause weight gain. These chemicals can affect the thyroid and metabolism. They can also disrupt levels of hormones, such as leptin, that control hunger and the desire to eat.
One pesticide that causes weight gain is atrazine. In addition to extra weight, atrazine appears to increase fat tissue in the abdominal area and around the organs. But even chemicals that have been banned still linger in soil and water supplies and can enter our bodies through the foods we eat. These environmental toxins can cause health risks including weight gain.
These environmental toxins are stored in fat cells. You would think that losing weight would help rid your body of these toxins. But researchers at Lavel University in Canada say that weight loss leads to high blood levels of these toxins. As fat tissue is broken down during weight loss, the chemicals are released into the body and build up in the blood. Instead of being locked into fat cells, these chemicals are now coursing through the body causing increased risks to health.
When these toxins are released back into your body, you may not gain weight if you are maintaining your weight loss program but you may notice a decrease in weight loss if there is enough of these chemicals to affect your thyroid, metabolism or disrupt hormone levels.
This information should not prevent you from starting a diet or continuing with your weight loss efforts. Higher concentrations of environmental toxins were seen in those who lost a greater amount of weight in a shorter time period.
You must weigh the benefits and risks of either maintaining obesity versus the release of toxic chemicals into the bloodstream. If you lose weight slowly and eat a healthy diet high in fiber, you stand a better chance of helping your body eliminate these toxins a little at a time. Although these chemicals will be drawn to remaining fat cells, your body can metabolize and eliminate some of these toxins.
It is important to note that turning to one of the colon cleansing products or special detox diets is not going to help in this situation. Those products were not developed with chemical environmental toxins in mind. Also, these products are not proven to work and can actually be dangerous. A high fiber diet with plenty of fluids is a natural solution without risk of serious side effects.
If you’ve had a hard time losing weight, perhaps environmental toxins are part of the reason. As they have been proven to cause weight gain, they can also affect your weight loss efforts.
CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE STARTING ANY WEIGHT LOSS OR EXERCISE PROGRAM.
Paula F. Baille-Hamilton; Chemical Toxins: A Hypothesis to Explain the Global Obesity Epidemic; The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 8:2, 185-92.
Soo Lim, et. al.; Chronic Exposure to the Herbicide, Atrazine, Causes Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Insulin Resistance; Plos One
Chevrier, J., et al.; Body weight loss increases plasma and adipose tissue concentrations of potentially toxic pollutants in obese individuals; Cat.inist
Jolynne M Hudnell; Leptin and Maintaining Weight Loss; Associated Content/Yahoo!
Jolynne M Hudnell; Should You Eat Organic to Lose Weight?; Associated Content/Yahoo!