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Prenatal lead exposure a trigger for obesity: Research

Lead exposure

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(NaturalNews) A new study has determined that despite previous claims to the contrary, there is no safe level of lead exposure.

Testing the prenatal exposure to lead in a group of mice, researchers discovered that even minor levels of consistent lead exposure could trigger obesity during the early stages of life.

Combining this information with previous data on human lead exposure, this study reveals that even an unborn fetus is impacted by the mother's exposure to the toxicity of lead. Previous exposure levels deemed safe by authorities, in fact, might be a trigger that leads to uncontrolled weight gain in children.

Published in the journal PLOS ONE, the study entitled 'Perinatal Lead (Pb) Exposure Results in Sex-Specific Effects on Food Intake, Fat, Weight and Insulin Response across the Murine Life-Course' was conducted by a team from the University of Michigan's School of Public Health.

The researchers used mice to examine the effects of lead exposure on mice and their offspring. Divided into 4 groups, the control group was not exposed to any lead, while group 2 was exposed 2.1 parts per million, group 3 was exposed to 16 parts per million and group 4, 32 parts per million.

Exposure to lead began two weeks before anticipated conception and mating, using drinking water as the vehicle for exposure. The mice continued to be exposed through their pregnancy and nursing phases.

Each group was then tested during weaning for lead levels in the blood stream. Group 1 (the control group) did not have high enough levels to be detected, while group 2 tested at 4.1 micrograms per deciliter, group 3 at 25.1 micrograms per deciliter and group 4 at 32.1 micrograms per deciliter.

The offspring of the mice were monitored closely for differences according to lead exposure. Several noticeable results occurred in the offspring from groups 3 and 4 who had the highest lead exposure.

Males in particular outweighed the control group offspring as early as 3 months of age. However, both the male and female offspring of group 4 had a higher rate of food consumption. The males began out-eating the others at 6 months, while the females showed more food intake at 9 months.

Blood tests at 9 months also showed that the male offspring had impaired insulin levels and had lower energy and activity levels.

Here is a summary of the results, according to Science Daily:

Starting in early life, males in the two highest exposure groups outweighed the controls, a trend consistent from youth to adulthood.

An increase in body fat at all dosages showed up in males at 3 months of age.

Overall, both sexes exposed to the highest dose ate more than the control group, with males eating more at 6 months of age and female consumption increasing at 9 months of age.

Exposed males showed impaired insulin levels at 9 months of age.

Although females appeared more active for a time, there was no significant increase in spontaneous activity for either sex.

In terms of energy expenditure, both sexes showed the expected decline in oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production as they aged, but the exposed females had higher energy expenditure at 3 months of age and the exposed males had lower energy expenditure at 9 months of age.

The research reveals that bans on lead are insufficient to protect unborn children and consistent exposure at any level is developmentally damaging. While lead exposure was previously considered a neurological problem, this study provides evidence that it also has physiological effects, such as obesity.

While there is a governmental control on lead in new products, many older homes are still a source of lead, as is groundwater, food and many daily use products. More research is required to understand the impact of lead exposure on humans, but researchers agree, there is no "safe" amount of exposure to lead.

This is yet another reason why all of us should investigate the Health Ranger's new line of supplements clinically proven to block heavy metals as they enter the digestive system. Since there is no safe level for most of these metals, it is critical to prevent them from entering the blood stream, even in trace amounts, as commonly found in many commercial, natural and organic foods.

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