Do Toxins Cause Metabolic Syndrome?

According to the CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control) National Diabetes Statistics Report for 2020 34.2 million people, or 10.5% of the U.S. population, have diabetes. From 1938 to 2008, the number of people in the world with diabetes increased seven-fold. We know that diet, exercise, and lifestyle are factors when it comes to your risk of diabetes. But some researches cannot explain the dramatic rise in cases.

Ten years ago, Dr. Mark Hyman, President of the Institute for Functional Medicine, argued:

“The increasing burden of environmental toxins, including persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals, can no longer be ignored as a key etiologic factor in the epidemic of obesity and diabetes, or what should be called “diabesity,” the continuum of metabolic dysfunction mild insulin resistance to end-stage diabetes.” (1).

Today, rates of metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes) continue to rise. In this article, we will investigate the suggestion that environmental toxins are to blame.

Toxins and the Rise of Metabolic Syndrome

The way toxins are linked to increases in metabolic syndrome is through their interference with glucose and cholesterol metabolism (which also induces insulin resistance). Along with this interference, toxins can induce obesity and insulin resistance through multiple other mechanisms, including:

  • inflammation
  • oxidative stress
  • mitochondrial injury
  • altered thyroid metabolism
  • interaction with the gut microbiota
  • impairment of central appetite regulation
  • disruption of circadian rhythms

Some researchers have suggested that toxins cause metabolic syndrome by linking the rise to the increasing prevalence of obesity in babies. Diet and lifestyle factors cannot be attributed to infants, but the average newborn has been shown to have 287 chemicals chemicals in the umbilical cord blood, 217 of which are neurotoxic (2). The chemicals these infants are exposed to include pesticides, phthalates, bisphenol A, flame retardants, and heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and arsenic. These chemicals have a broad range of negative effects on human biology (3). They are neurotoxic, carcinogenic, diabetogenic, and have researchers looking for links to the rise in metabolic syndrome.

More recently, a 2018 study of farmers in Thailand, found that the occurrence of diabetes among them was associated with exposure to certain pesticides. The evidence linking toxins to metabolic syndrome continues to compile along with the rising rates of disease. It is up to you as a consumer and a arbiter of your own health to recognize these links and do what you can to minimize your risk.

How Concerned Should You be About Toxins Causing Metabolic Syndrome?

The fact is that we live in a toxic world. We are exposed to many different pollutants, pesticides, chemicals, heavy metals, and other environmental toxins every single day. And while our bodies are equipped with a detoxification system of its own, our exposure to these toxins can negatively affect these natural systems and processes. If you wish to learn if your exposure to toxins is affecting your health, we highly suggest having diagnostic lab work at a functional medicine specialist’s office like Tringali Vibrant HealthIf your lab results do show a high level of toxins, it is important that you work closely with a functional medicine practitioner to help detoxify these substances from your body. 

However, here at Tringali Vibrant Health, we always suggest a healthy diet and lifestyle, which can help to reduce exposure to toxic agents. We also highly suggest supporting your detoxification pathways with infrared saunas, HOCATT Ozone Sauna, exercise, supplements, and a healthy nutritional regimen.

Schedule a consult or diagnostic lab work at Tringali Vibrant Health today: 561-283-1166.

Elizabeth Tringali, PA-C

Founder of Tringali Vibrant Health

Elizabeth Tringali, PA-C & Kunal P. Gandhi, M.D.

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