Did you know? Your nail polish could make you obese!

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A new study has revealed that exposure to chemicals that are found in everyday products such as plastics, soaps and even nail polish may have an affect on the fat stored in the body.

While it might sound like the most bizarre thing that you've hear today, the fact is, it's true.

A new study has revealed that exposure to chemicals that are found in everyday products such as plastics, soaps and even nail polish may have an affect on the fat stored in the body.

What the study found

The main culprit responsible for this is phthalates, which are nothing but chemicals that give plastic its flexibility and the ability to bend. They are mostly used in everyday chemicals such as nail polish, soaps etc. This new study claims that these chemical could be actually doing more harm to you than good.

"Phthalate exposure can be closely associated with the rise of different types of disease development," said the study's lead author Lei Yin, from the University of Georgia (UGA).

  • In this study, the researchers wanted to see if a specific phthalate, benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) had an effect on the accumulation of fat in cells.
  • For this they used mouse cells to create in vitro models to analyse how BBP affected the way oils and fats (lipids) got accumulated in the cells.
  • The scientists then measured the lipid droplet accumulation by using traditional staining approaches. In this process the cells are stained, which is why they can be visually assessed under a microscope using a new technique called cellomics high-content analysis.
  • This high-content screening makes use of "image processing algorithms, computer machine learning and can measure the multiple parameters in a fast and objective way," Yin said.

At the end of the study, the results were compared with bisphenol A (BPA), an environmental endocrine disruptor which plays a crucial role in adipogenesis and is commonly found in many everyday ingredients, or how fat cells develop in the body. The scientists found that BBP caused a similar response in the body as BPA and both chemicals led to an increase in the accumulation of lipid droplets.

BBP and Obesity

However, the alarming fact was that the lipid droplets from BBP treated cells were bigger than BPA. This is what lead to the conclusion that BBP could cause obesity.

"Obesity is one of the big issues in humans now, and of course genetic components can contribute to the development of obesity. However, environmental exposure may also contribute to obesity," said Xiaozhong Yu, an assistant professor at UGA.

"Some phthalates have proven to cause reproductive toxicity at high levels of exposure, but the link between low-level exposure and BBP hadn't yet been thoroughly explored. It could be that some chemicals at a very low dose and over a long period time, which is known as chronic exposure, can cause more harmful diseases or effects, Yin said.

While the findings were done at a small level and cannot be generalised to the human population, they directly imply that there is a possible link between exposure to BBP and obesity.

The findings were published in the journal Toxicology in Vitro.

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[Image courtesy: Popsugar]

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