The linkage between diabetes and obesity has often been noted, but the nature of the connection has seldom been explored (to my knowledge). However, an article in Alternative Therapies journal (Mar/Apr 2010) makes the case that toxins from the environment are the cause of both, or at least a contributing the cause.
The author (Mark A. Hyman, MD) states that environmental toxins interfere with glucose and cholesterol metabolism and induce insulin resistance. The author elaborates:
“The most recent example of how toxins induce obesity is the dramatic increase in obesity in babies. In 2006, scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health found that rates of obesity in infants less than 6 months old have risen 73% since 1980. This epidemic of obesity in 6-month-olds is not related to diet or lack of exercise. Babies live on breast milk or formula and love.”
How do chemicals foreign to the body enter the picture? The average newborn has 287 chemicals in the umbilical cord blood, many of which are neurotoxic.
Dr. Hyman continues. “While observational data are suggestive, newer experimental data confirm causality between environmental toxins and obesity. New evidence shows that weight gain can occur in the absence of excess caloric intake. In a recent study, rats given toxic chemicals gained weight and increased their fat storage without increased caloric intake or decreased exercise. In 6 months, these rats were 20% heavier and had 36% more body fat than rats that had not been exposed to those chemicals.”
As a result of such investigations of a link between obesity and toxic chemicals in the body, a new word has sprung into being: obesogens – toxins that cause obesity.
If a mother wants her children to start life without a propensity to obesity and diabetes (and other health problems), she should scrupulously avoid ingesting toxics during pregnancy and while breast feeding her baby.