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Early-life chemical exposures and risk of metabolic syndrome

Authors De Long NE, Holloway AC

Received 31 October 2016

Accepted for publication 25 January 2017

Published 21 March 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 101—109


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Ming-Hui Zou

Nicole E De Long, Alison C Holloway

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

The global prevalence of obesity has been increasing at a staggering pace, with few indications of any decline, and is now one of the major public health challenges worldwide. While obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS) have historically thought to be largely driven by increased caloric intake and lack of exercise, this is insufficient to account for the observed changes in disease trends. There is now increasing evidence to suggest that exposure to synthetic chemicals in our environment may also play a key role in the etiology and pathophysiology of metabolic diseases. Importantly, exposures occurring in early life (in utero and early childhood) may have a more profound effect on life-long risk of obesity and MetS. This narrative review explores the evidence linking early-life exposure to a suite of chemicals that are common contaminants associated with food production (pesticides; imidacloprid, chlorpyrifos, and glyphosate) and processing (acrylamide), in addition to chemicals ubiquitously found in our household goods (brominated flame retardants) and drinking water (heavy metals) and changes in key pathways important for the development of MetS and obesity.

Keywords: obesity, pesticides, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, heavy metals, acrylamide, endocrine-disrupting chemicals

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