"Exposure to POPs comes primarily from the environment and the consumption of food such as fatty fish, meat and milk products," explains Jrme Ruzzin, PhD, expert in the field of research on POPs. "One important characteristic of POPs is their lipid solubility, meaning they accumulate in the body's fatty tissues. As their name suggests, they are also persistent so the body cannot easily eliminate them. POPs can therefore have significant impacts on human health, and have been shown to affect reproduction, promote cancer, and be involved in the development of metabolic diseases."
IRCM researchers conducted a study of 76 obese women of similar age, body mass index and fat mass index, in which they analyzed the concentration of 21 POPs, as well as cardiometabolic risk factors. Among 18 detectable pollutants, the women with cardiometabolic complications had higher concentrations of 12 POPs.
"Remarkably, close to 70 per cent of the detectable POPs were significantly higher in individuals with cardiometabolic complications compared to metabolically healthy but obese subjects," adds Marie-Soleil Gauthier, PhD, co-first author of the study and research associate at the IRCM. "Our study confirms that the two groups have distinct POP profiles, and that metabolically healthy but obese individuals have significantly lower circulating levels of various classes of POPs than patients with complications. A better understanding of the role of POPs could lead to new directions for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiometabolic risk associated with obesity."
"Although this study does not show a causal link, it suggests that pollutants found abundantly in our environment could promote the development of cardiometabolic diseases like diabetes," concludes Dr. Rabasa-Lhoret. "If future studies confirm this increased risk, such observations could have a signif
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Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal