The use of plastic has surged in this production age, it’s all around us, plastic is being used in almost 70% of the products that we use on daily basis, home and kitchen appliances, mobile phones, cups, bottles, food and drinks.
A recent study in the journal of environmental research sheds light on the use of plastic in food products and its linkages between phthalates and long-term health.
Researchers from the University of Adelaide Australia and South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute teamed up to produce this insightful research headed by associate professor Zumin Shi, from University of Adelaide Medical School.
The study confirms the previous researches which show the aging and western diets are interlinked with higher concentrations of phthalates (esters of phthalic acid).
Earlier studies in this regard also conclude that higher levels of phthalate were found in men who consume more packed and processed food rather than consuming fresh fruits and vegetables or home cooked food.
The higher levels of chemicals were then analyzed against chronic diseases in the studies.
The study claims that the chronic diseases like cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes are more prevailing in men with higher levels of phthalates.
Researchers said, we still do not understand the reason why phthalates are independently linked to diseases, but we know chemicals strongly impact the endocrine human system which controls the hormones to regulate the human body, growth, metabolism, sexual development, and other functions.
Apart from the linkage between phthalates and chronic diseases, researchers also found that the higher levels of phthalates are also associated with increased inflammatory biomarkers.
This confirms other studies which claim the pro-inflammatory effects of phthalates.
Chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular are often associated with lifestyle and classed as lifestyle diseases. This is because the lifestyle plays a vital role in developing those diseases, people who adopt the lifestyle such as; inactivity, smoking and unhealthy diet are more likely to develop them.
However, environmental effects are also being considered in the recent years, though more research required in examining the potential of phthalate in developing chronic diseases. But reducing environmental phthalates exposure as much as possible, parallel to a healthier lifestyle will reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases, said professor Shi.