Read the full article by Sharon Udasin (The Hill)

“Exposure to the industrial toxins known as ‘forever chemicals’ may be associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes for middle-aged women, a new study has found.

Some types of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) — an umbrella group for thousands of compounds — could disrupt the regulatory behavior of certain protein molecules and cause greater susceptibility to diabetes among this group, according to the study, published in the journal Diabetologia on Monday.

That’s because many of these chemicals have molecular structures similar to those of naturally occurring fatty acids, meaning that they have similar chemical properties and impacts on the human body, the authors explained.

‘Higher serum concentrations of certain PFAS were associated with higher risk of incident diabetes in midlife women,’ the researchers, from the University of Michigan, said in a statement. ‘The joint effects of PFAS mixtures were greater than those for individual PFAS, suggesting a potential additive or synergistic effect of multiple PFAS on diabetes risk.’

Fatty acids act on a class of proteins called ‘peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors,’ which serve as fat and insulin sensors and are the main controllers of the body’s fat and glucose levels, according to the study. But because some types of PFAS could potentially interact with these receptor proteins, they could also disrupt their regulatory behavior and increase the risk of diabetes.

Experimental studies with cell cultures have already suggested that exposure to high levels of PFAS in some people could interfere with the function of these proteins, by triggering increased fat cell production and changing fat and sugar metabolism, the authors noted.”…