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Chemicals found in nail polish and shampoo could increase diabetes risk

Published on 16/07/2012

A chemical found in household beauty products could be a contributing factor to Type 2 diabetes, according to an American study.

Phthalates are chemicals found in beauty products like nail polish

A team of researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston analysed information from 2,350 women who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2001 and 2008.

As part of the survey, participants underwent physical exams and provided urine samples. Of the women, all aged between 20 and 80, 217 reported having diabetes.

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

The findings held even when other risk-factors were taken into account, like how many calories were consumed.

Phthalates are a group of man-made chemicals found in a range of beauty products, including shampoos, nail varnish and soaps.

Writing in Environmental Health Perspectives, the researchers said these chemicals could interfere with the metabolism of fat tissue and lead to insulin resistance.

The latest study joins a growing body of research highlighting health concerns about phthalates.

Diabetes is a chronic condition caused by too much glucose in the blood. Type 2 diabetes occurs when not enough insulin is produced by the body, or when the body’s cells do not react to insulin. Since diabetes is a chronic condition, it is often not covered by health insurance policies.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  Health
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