Chemicals in nail polish and soap may result in obesity

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Chemical present in everyday products that we all use like plastics, nail polish or soap may increase the amount of fat stored in the body, according to a new research.

Chemicals such as Phthalates, which give plastic its suppleness, could harm people’s health, research has claimed.

The lead author of the study, Lei Yin, from the University of Georgia (UGA) observed that the exposure to Phthalate can be closely connected with an increase in different types of disease development. As the traces of Phthalates were discovered in human fluids in preceding studies, the scientists wanted to know whether a specific type of Phthalate called benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) had an effect on the amount of fat present in cells.

It is through mouse cells that the scientists designed Vitro models to make out how exposure to BBP affected the way fats and oils called lipids got accumulated inside the cells.

One of the assistant professors at UGA, Xiaozhong Yu, said that obesity is a major concern amongst people these days and more so because genetic components can add to the development of obesity.  In addition, exposure to the environment is another factor which contributes to obesity, said Yu.

Some Phthalates have shown to give rise to reproductive toxicity at high levels of exposure, however, the connection between low-level exposure and BBP hasn’t yet been properly discovered, Yin added.

“It could be that some chemicals at a very low dose and over a long period of time can cause more diseases or have harmful side effects,” she said.

The scientists measured the accumulation of lipid droplet with the help of traditional staining approaches, under which the cells are stained and so can be visually examined using a microscope, through a newer method known as cellomics high-content analysis.

This high-content screening makes use of image processing algorithms, computer machine learning ad can assess the various factors in a fast manner and much more objectively.

The findings of BBP’s effects were being compared to bisphenol A (BPA), an environmental endocrine disruptor which is recognized for its role in adipogenesis or how fat cells grow.

BBP triggered a response in the cells which is much like BPA. Both chemicals prompt the buildup of liquid droplets.

However, the droplets created from BBP-treated cells were bigger; something which hints at the fact that BBP exposure may result in obesity.

Even though the study results cannot be straightforwardly generalized to the people, they do give a sign of a possible connection between BBP exposure and obesity, something which may affect the health of the people.

The study results were published in the journal called Toxicology in Vitro.