Could Your Personal Care Products Be Causing Diabetes?

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Filed Under: Diabetes, General Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Could Your Personal Care Products Be Causing Diabetes?

We know that obesity contributes to diabetes. But could your soap, hair spray, moisturizer, or nail polish also cause you to develop diabetes?

New research published in Environmental Health Perspectives has found that women have higher concentrations of phthalate metabolites in their urine than men. Researchers also found that people with higher urine levels of phthalates have a higher risk of developing diabetes versus those with the lowest levels.

In fact, the study showed that those with the highest levels of mono-benzyl and mono-isobutyl phthalates in their urine were twice as likely to end up with diabetes as those with the lowest levels. Those with moderate levels of these chemicals had a 70% greater risk of developing diabetes. Plus, a Finnish study found a link between phthalates and diabetes in elderly people, even when their blood levels were only moderately elevated.

What the researchers have theorized is that exposure to phthalates alters glucose metabolism, which contributes to insulin resistance and eventually diabetes.

So, what exactly are phthalates? They’re a man-made chemical used to soften plastics. They’re also used in many personal care products to help nail polish cling to nails, to give hair gels more staying power, and even to help perfume cling to the skin. Fortunately, the use of phthalates is being phased out by manufacturers.

In the meantime, I strongly recommend using natural products whenever possible. Not only will you avoid the phthalates, you’ll ensure that you’re not putting other potentially harmful chemicals and dyes on your skin. It’s also important to read the label on any personal care products you use to make sure they don’t contain phthalates.

Now it’s your turn: Do you make a point of using natural personal care products?

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