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Understanding What Are Obesogens and How Do They Work?
Understanding What Are Obesogens and How Do They Work

Obesogens Overview

Ever thought about why you’re overweight? Have you ever considered that there might be a reason that you have adult-onset diabetes? We may all have read about or gone on a ton of diets or think that certain foods are bad for us.

But there is a category of chemicals that might be contributing to the obesity epidemic. These chemicals are known as obesogens — they don’t add calories to food, but they do make us put on weight and make pre-labelled food more attractive to our taste buds.

So, let’s take a look at what obesogens are, how they might be making us fat and what we can do about it.

Obesogens Definition

Obesogens are endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that can alter how energy is stored and used in your body. These substances may activate certain hormone receptors—estrogen receptors— responsible for regulating metabolic processes, including how much fat is stored in the body.[1]

How Do They Work

Obesogens change the balance of chemicals in our bodies called PPARs. They do this by mimicking the way our bodies use fatty acids.

This causes fat to be stored in places it shouldn’t be stored, like around our bellies and waistlines, causing people to become overweight. [2] One familiar example might be the obesogen bisphenol-A (BPA); a commonly used chemical in plastic bottles.

Your body mistakes BPA for estrogen, so it has trouble processing other hormones that regulate growth and metabolism. As a result, your body gets confused about what to do with fat cells and stores more fat than it should.

Where to Find Them?

Many common household products contain obesogens, and if you don’t know how to spot them, you could be putting yourself at risk of weight gain.

Obesogens are found in:

  • Detergents
  • Plastic containers
  • Pesticides
  • Cosmetics

The problem here is that these products come in contact with the skin. When exposed to our skin, these chemicals will disrupt our hormones and cause us to become obese. Even if you consume a healthy diet, this can happen.

How to Flush Out Obesogens

According to research, obesogens can be flushed out of the body with regular exercise and a healthy diet. [3] Exercise helps to boost your metabolism and burn fat by increasing your blood flow and heart rate. Eating a diet rich in whole foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes and lean proteins will help you feel fuller faster so that you don’t consume as many calories overall.

4 Ways on How to Get Rid of Obesogens in Your Household

According to a report from the Environmental Working Group, there are several ways you can get rid of obesogens in your household.

1. Switch to natural cleaning products

The chemicals in conventional cleaning products can mimic estrogen, causing your body to store excess fat. Instead, try making your cleaning solutions: vinegar and water will do most of the work.

2. Don’t microwave food in plastic containers or wraps

It’s not just the leftover BPA that’s a problem—it’s also the chemical leaching from plastic containers when heated up. Stick with glass or ceramic if possible, or use stainless steel if not.

3. Wear loose clothing as much as possible

A tight dress traps heat against your body and increases insulin resistance, which leads to more fat storage and weight gain over time.

4. Obesogen detox

Try detoxifying obesogens. Something as simple as 7 Day Cleanse and Biofilms Detox or as detailed as a juice cleanse. Detoxing is a simple, safe, and effective way to eliminate these chemicals from your body and lose weight. It is a way to remove toxins that have accumulated in your body. These toxins are known as obesogens.

Obesogens and Weight Loss

Obesogens, or chemicals that cause weight gain, are a growing concern in the health and wellness world. In fact, there’s a whole field of research dedicated to understanding how they work and how we can fight back against them.

One study published in the journal Nature found that some obesogens may change the way our bodies respond to food by altering our metabolism and making us want to eat more than we need. This means that eating less won’t necessarily help us lose weight—it will just make us feel hungry all the time!
Obesogens have been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and other health issues that make it difficult for people to lose weight.

It’s important to note that not all obesogen studies have found this effect, but it’s still something you should be aware of as you try to lose weight.

Obesogens and Weight Gain

According to PubMed, obesogens are chemicals that cause weight gain. They do this by disrupting the normal functioning of fat cells, which leads to a more significant number of fat cells and an increase in body mass index (BMI). Many studies have linked the obesity epidemic to obesogens; however, some scientists still doubt their existence.

But current research suggests that obesogens may cause weight gain. A study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA) during pregnancy can lead to weight gain later in life. The researchers exposed pregnant mice to BPA and then measured their body mass six months after birth. They found that the female offspring of the mice given BPA were significantly heavier than those from control groups of mice not exposed to BPA.

Another study published in Environmental Health Perspectives looked at levels of phthalates, another class of obesogens, among children and adolescents ages 6-19. It found that children with higher levels of phthalates were more likely to be overweight or obese than those with lower levels. The researchers noted that these findings are consistent with other studies showing links between phthalate exposure and weight gain in adults.

Conclusion

We now understand that we have many factors that contribute to obesity, but they all work interdependently to cause the problem.

In this article, I have tried to briefly explain obesogens and how they add to the obesity epidemic. My goal is not to scare you about obesogens and make you feel guilty for using them in your beauty products and cleaning products; my goal is to provide information and help you make better choices about what you put on your skin so that you can and avoid possible dangers.

References

[1] Calafat AM, Needham LL 2007 Human exposures and body burdens of endocrine-disrupting chemicals. In: Gore AC, ed. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals: from basic research to clinical practice. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press; 253–268 [Google Scholar]
[2] Stojanoska, M. M., Milosevic, N., Milic, N., & Abenavoli, L. (2017). The influence of phthalates and bisphenol A on obesity development and glucose metabolism disorders. Endocrine, 55(3), 666-681.
[3] Hill, J. O., & Peters, J. C. (1998). Environmental contributions to the obesity epidemic. Science, 280(5368), 1371-1374.
[4] Gupta, R., Kumar, P., Fahmi, N., Garg, B., Dutta, S., Sachar, S., … & Vimaleswaran, K. S. (2020). Endocrine disruption and obesity: A current review on environmental obesogens. Current Research in Green and Sustainable Chemistry, 3, 100009.
[5] Holtcamp, W. (2012). Obesogens: an environmental link to obesity.

DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been approved by the FDA and we do not make any claims that this product or ingredient will cure, prevent, treat or even diagnose any disease. Studies linked here were conducted by independent labs for informational purposes. Please check with your doctor of choice for information regarding your own personal health profile and needs.

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