Disease Proof

Soap and Plastic Making Us Fat?

Hazardous chemicals aren’t exactly man’s best friend. But could they be making us fat? New search sheds light on dangerous chemical compounds called phthalates. Amanda Gardner of HealthDay News reports:
The chemicals, known as phthalates, have already been implicated in male reproductive problems including low sperm counts and low testosterone levels. However, it's too soon to know whether they are actually causing these health problems, cautioned the researchers and others.

"It's premature for folks to be alarmed," said study author Dr. Richard Stahlhut, a resident in preventive medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry in New York.. "What is more alarming is the reason we are doing studies like this. Another study showed that testosterone levels had dropped about 22 percent in men, and that sperm counts had dropped to levels that are considered subfertile or infertile."

"It's an important observation that chemical exposures could be contributing to obesity and diabetes in the general population," added Dr. Ted Schettler, science director for the Science and Environmental Health Network. "This is one more example of a family of chemicals that may be contributing to this problem, but this study has obvious limits that the authors acknowledge in great detail."
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