According to a new study, common chemical found in personal care products used by women can increase the risk of diabetes.
Phthalates are commonly found in soaps, perfumes, moisturizers, toys, electronic items and many other products. Phthalates are known to disrupt the human hormonal balance and reproduction system in adults.
Medical Daily had reported a study from Sweden on how phthalates increase diabetes risk. The present study was conducted by researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH).
The study, led by Tamarra James-Todd, PhD, a researcher in the Division of Women's Health at BWH, included more than 2,300 women, between ages 20 and 80 years, who had participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Researchers analyzed concentration of phthalate levels in these women.
"Urinary levels of several phthalates were associated with prevalent diabetes. Future prospective studies are needed to further explore these associations to determine whether phthalate exposure can alter glucose metabolism, and increase the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes," the authors reported.
A 70 percent increased risk of diabetes was seen in women with moderately high levels of the chemicals mono-n-butyl phthalate and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate.
"This is an important first step in exploring the connection between phthalates and diabetes. We know that in addition to being present in personal care products, phthalates also exist in certain types of medical devices and medication that is used to treat diabetes and this could also explain the higher level of phthalates in diabetic women. So overall, more research is needed," said James-Todd in a statement.
Phthalate exposure is also known to increase the risk of developing diseases such as eczema and asthma in children. Phthalates are also considered a potential cause for girls reaching puberty early.