Food contaminants make metabolic problems in obese mice worse

Washington, June 28 (ANI): Researchers introduced food contaminants into the feeding of obese mice and found that their metabolic problems were worsened.

In the study, the mice were given a high fat diet throughout their lives and even their mother had been nourished with this diet prior to their birth and during the gestation and lactation periods. Therefore, they suffered chronic exposure to this diet.

Two environmentally persistent contaminants [1] (dioxin and PCB) and two non-persistent contaminants[2] (phtalate and bisphenol A) were added to the high-fat (obesogenic) diet of the mice.

The doses given were low, normally considered not to have any health impacts. These products were chosen because they are present in human food and because they are known to trigger endocrine disruption. In parallel, a control group of mice was fed with the same obesogenic diet, but without added contaminants.

The researchers then ran glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity tests. They measured the livers for lipid accumulation and the expression of certain genes that play key roles in the metabolism of the adult mice.

The results show that the effects are highly dependent on the gender of the animal.

In the females fed with a high-fat diet, the addition of contaminants worsened the glucose intolerance and altered the estrogen pathway. In males, it altered the cholesterol and lipid metabolism. There was no change in weight between the exposed mice and the unexposed mice.

The researchers pursued the hypothesis that there was a connection between the observed glucose intolerance and the alteration in the estrogen signaling in exposed females.

The study has been published in the review Faseb Journal. (ANI)

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