What!? we exclaim as we race into the bathroom to grab the bottle or bar that we use without thinking every day. It’s not like we’re eating it. But it may be true – chemicals called phthalates, which are found in soaps, hair spray, nail polish, creams, perfumes and other beauty products, may increase our risk of diabetes.
A recent study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, lends more suggestive evidence to this interesting area. They measured the urine phthalate levels in over 2,000 women, and found that women who were in the top 25% for urine phthalate levels were nearly twice as likely to have diabetes, compared to women in the bottom 25% for urine phthalate levels.
While the association between higher urine levels of this chemical and diabetes doesn’t necessarily mean that one causes the other, the overall collection of studies in this area is certainly suggestive.
While scientists are busy sorting out what phthalates actually do to our metabolism and risk of diabetes, it makes sense to try to avoid perfumes and other scented beauty products, which often contain higher levels of this chemical.
Dr Sue Pedersen www.drsue.ca © 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
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