Montral, February 27, 2014 A team of researchers at the IRCM in Montral led by Rmi Rabasa-Lhoret, in collaboration with Jrme Ruzzin from the University of Bergen in Norway, found a link between a type of pollutants and certain metabolic complications of obesity. Their breakthrough, published online this week by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, could eventually help improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiometabolic risk associated with obesity, such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Although obesity is strongly linked to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, a subset of obese individuals, termed "metabolically healthy but obese", appears relatively protected from the development of such cardiometabolic complications. IRCM researchers are studying the factors that seem to protect obese individuals who remain metabolically healthy, in an attempt to find therapeutic avenues to prevent complications for others who are at risk.
"Recently, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have been found to accelerate the development of prediabetes and obesity in mice, thereby mimicking the unfavourable cardiometabolic profile characteristic of certain obese individuals," says Rmi Rabasa-Lhoret, MD, PhD, endocrinologist and Director of the Metabolic Diseases research unit at the IRCM. "As a result, the aim of our study was to test whether metabolically healthy but obese individuals have lower circulating levels of POPs than obese individuals with cardiometabolic complications."
Persistent organic pollutants are man-made chemicals used in agricultural, industrial and manufacturing processes. Due to their toxicity, POPs have been strictly and internationally regulated to ensure public health. However, because they have the ability to resist environmental degradation, POPs can still be found all around the world, even in areas where they have never been used, and remain omnipresent in our en
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Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal