Researchers have found 11 chemicals found in plastic packaging that contribute to obesity.
In their recent study, scientists at the Norwegian University of Technology identified 11 chemicals found in common plastic packaging, such as shampoo or gel bottles. The analysis showed that these substances can contribute to weight gain by disrupting the metabolic process.
Virtually any type of plastic container can contain these chemicals, which the study called Metabolic Disrupting Chemicals (MDCs).
The scientists found them in about 34 different plastic items analyzed, including shower gel bottles, shampoos, conditioners, freezer bags, kitchen sponges and water bottles. Hundreds of unique chemical compounds can be used to produce these products, most of which are not fully understood.
However, the researchers were able to isolate 11 substances from the analyzed 34 everyday plastic items that were associated with weight gain (shower gel bottles, shampoos, conditioners, freezer bags, kitchen sponges and water bottles). The under-researched chemicals used to make plastic packaging of all varieties are leached out and absorbed by humans, promoting the development of fat cells.
As the researchers found, these 11 substances reprogrammed stem cells into fat cells, which multiplied more and accumulated more fat.
However, the researchers noted one inconsistency in their findings: only a few of the chemicals they identified are known to affect metabolism, while many more appear to stimulate fat cell growth. This indicates that there may be other, unidentified chemicals in the products that have the same effect.
"The results of our study suggest that plastic household products contain potent blends of MDC and may therefore be an important but underestimated contributor to obesity," said co-author Martin Wagner, a scientist at the Norwegian University of Technology.