Insecticide chemicals 'may lead to higher risk of diabetes'

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

Synthetic chemicals that are frequently found in insecticides and garden products may potentially be increasing people's risk of diabetes.

This is according to a new study from the University at Buffalo, which indicates that exposure to these insecticides can adversely affect melatonin receptor signalling, resulting in an elevated risk of metabolic disease.

“Synthetic chemicals commonly found in insecticides and garden products could play a role in increasing people's risk of diabetes, according to a new study.“

Using predictive computational modelling and in vitro experiments with cells that express human melatonin receptors, the team found that carbamate-based garden products selectively interact with melatonin receptors to alter important regulatory processes in the body.

This could be resulting in misaligned circadian rhythms, disrupted sleep patterns and altered metabolic functions, including changes to the body's pattern of insulin and glucose release in the pancreas, which occurs at very specific times of day.

It is established that if this balance becomes disrupted over a long period of time, there is a higher risk of developing diabetes.

The study's senior author Dr Margarita Dubocovich said: "This is the first report demonstrating how environmental chemicals found in household products interact with human melatonin receptors. No one was thinking that the melatonin system was affected by these compounds, but that's what our research shows."

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