Breathing Polluted Air Could Contribute To Weight Gain

Breathing heavily polluted air can contribute to weight gain and additional metabolic dysfunctions after just three to eight weeks, according to a study in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

After subjecting rats to the polluted air of Beijing, researchers reported the rodents had heavier lungs and livers, as well as increased tissue inflammation. Compared to rats that were unexposed to air pollution, the exposed rats had LDL cholesterol rates upwards of 50 percent higher, 97 percent higher total cholesterol, 46 percent higher triglycerides, and higher insulin resistance levels – a key risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Pollutions problems

The study compounds previous research linking polluted air with increased insulin resistance and negative changes in fat tissue.

"Since chronic inflammation is recognized as a factor contributing to obesity and since metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity are closely related, our findings provide clear evidence that chronic exposure to air pollution increases the risk for developing obesity," said Duke University professor of global and environmental health, Junfeng Zhang. “If translated and verified in humans, these findings will support the urgent need to reduce air pollution.”

Additional results from the study state that the negative effects of polluted air were more extreme after eight weeks than at three weeks. In addition, both male and female rats that breathed air pollution were 10 to 18 percent heavier after eight weeks than the rats exposed to clean air.

Source: Duke Today

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