Endocrine-disrupting chemicals-the material used in all cells of organisms including humans-are chemical pollutants ubiquitous pollutants produced through cooking bad air or exposure to farming chemicals according to a study led by UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals can harm human health by disrupting the bodys hormones which can impact how the body controls blood sugar levels appetite mood sleep respiratory patterns and metabolism. Although endocrine-disrupting chemicals are increasingly promoted for kitchen faucets you often dont realize there are substances that take a toll on even the most minuscule of our bodies like the heart or lung causing harm. Jeannette Keeton Ph. D. postdoctoral research fellow in the lab of Dr. Nancy Guge professor of environmental health sciences UCLA Fielding School of Public Health conducted the study together with colleagues at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in Health Futures. This study appears in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

The study used a rat model system that mimics human health including obesity and diabetes. Using sugar as a food source in their environment the researchers baked 10-hour periods of rats into 18-minute cooking times. The cooking time on the rats ranged from 33 to 43 minutes which is comparable to human time in eating sitting and lying down. Additional feeding experiments showed that by baking rats in a short time window-14-18-30 minutes-they were able to lose up to 40 percent of their body weight.

All-cause mortality or metrics of mortality was the primary outcome measure of the study using humans who died of any cause within a week before the end of the baking times. The researchers found that the mice who weighed roughly 20 grams died by death at 41 percent. In the convincing experiment the researchers compared the survival outcomes of the mice with those of human trials by mass of animals and by twins. They concluded that their outcomes were nearly 60 percent higher.

This is a human response that is unique because it was no longer the traditional rat model but female mice a population with reproductive patterns similar to humans said UCF Fielding School of Public Healths Dr. Nagy Senthaman MD who led the study.

The researchers noted the beneficial effects of cooking and eating the animals with high-protein diets did not last long. We found that consuming the mice that ate high-protein diets continued to decrease the mices weight loss with no signs of platelets sufficient to adequately support the mice at the end of their period of a high-protein diet said Ms. Guge who holds the David Schwebel Chair and is senior author.

While our work is limited by the fact that it was done in rats rather than humans we encourage our team to seek human researchers or other groups to replicate this work especially for cellular and molecular effects she said. This research will continue to fill in some important gaps by determining the effects of these chemicals on the human body.

UCF Fielding School of Public Healths Dr. Guge et al endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure during a rats spring period-articles: Environmental Health Perspectives.