In addition to acting as obesogens, pesticides are linked in a growing number of studies with diabetes. Though obesity and genetics remain the two biggest risk factors for the disease, certain pesticides may interfere with the way our bodies produce the blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin. In one of the most recent studies looking into pesticides and diabetes, scientists concluded that it may not even be the active pesticide ingredients causing the problems but the “inert” ingredients added to formulations to aid with application, help the pesticide seep into soil, or prevent the formulation from washing away.
What to do about it: You can avoid diabetes-inducing pesticides by switching to an organic diet, but one of the inert ingredients used in pesticide formulations, phthalates, can crop up in common household items. Protect yourself completely by avoiding synthetic fragrances, soft vinyl products, and “slow-release” or gel-coated medications, all of which contain phthalates.
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