Breaking News
September 22, 2018 - Concern over fussy eating prompts parents to use non-responsive feeding practices
September 22, 2018 - Novel mathematical approach uncovers existence of unsuspected biological cycles
September 22, 2018 - Cancer Research UK invests £14 million to transform London into cancer biotherapeutics hub
September 22, 2018 - Scientists predict how well the body will fight lung cancer by analyzing immune cell shapes
September 22, 2018 - New outbreak of rare eye disease identified in contact lens wearers
September 22, 2018 - Iterum Initiates SURE 2 and SURE 3 Phase 3 Clinical Trials of IV and Oral Sulopenem in Complicated Urinary Tract and Complicated Intra-abdominal Infections
September 22, 2018 - Research finds divide in dental health accessibility between city and regional areas
September 22, 2018 - Premature babies show better brain development when fed breast milk, finds study
September 22, 2018 - Novel system uses AI to detect abnormalities in fetal hearts
September 22, 2018 - UNC scientists reveal new approach to prevent obesity and diabetes
September 22, 2018 - CWRU receives NIH grant to learn how non-coding genes contribute to spread of colorectal cancer
September 22, 2018 - Scientists better understand influenza virus and how it spreads
September 22, 2018 - Scientists to focus on length of time when a person is alive and healthy
September 22, 2018 - Study shows positive financial impacts of Medicaid expansion for low-income Michigan residents
September 22, 2018 - Innovative approach for developing vaccine against most prevalent human malaria parasite
September 22, 2018 - Inhibiting NF-kB improves heart function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy
September 22, 2018 - Introducing new EMR system may affect several aspects of clinic workflow
September 22, 2018 - Study finds why some human genes are more popular with biomedical researchers
September 22, 2018 - Finding epigenetic signature appears to predict inflammation risk in serious type of IBD
September 22, 2018 - Researchers develop light-based technique to measure very weak magnetic fields
September 22, 2018 - UAB researchers study dysfunction of the immune system associated with NSAID carprofen
September 22, 2018 - QIAGEN and DiaSorin launch automated, CE-marked workflow for high-throughput TB screening
September 22, 2018 - Researchers identify new genetic disorder in a human patient
September 22, 2018 - Cardiac MR With Contrast Feasible in Developing World
September 22, 2018 - Daily low-dose aspirin doesn’t reduce heart-attack risk in healthy people
September 21, 2018 - Children with asthma found to be disadvantaged in education and future occupation
September 21, 2018 - Interaction of chemical slurry and ancient shale in fracking wastewater causes radioactivity
September 21, 2018 - Scientists use mice to study transmission of Lyme disease bacteria by infected ticks
September 21, 2018 - Researchers find that sample size is key factor determining accuracy of study results
September 21, 2018 - Study shows how the drive to eat overpowers the brain’s signal to stop
September 21, 2018 - 30 Million Americans Now Have Diabetes
September 21, 2018 - Thousands of breast cancer gene variants engineered and analyzed
September 21, 2018 - The current fellowship interview process is cumbersome — Stanford researchers have a better idea
September 21, 2018 - Progenitor cells for human bone and cartilage have been identified
September 21, 2018 - Study reveals new therapeutic target for pediatric tumor-associated intractable epilepsy
September 21, 2018 - SLU’s College professor receives NIH grant to develop I-TEST project
September 21, 2018 - DermTech completes enrollment in clinical study to assess DNA damage and reversal
September 21, 2018 - Grieving patients treated with talk therapy have lower risk of suicide and psychiatric illness
September 21, 2018 - NIH and FDA call for eliminating involvement of RAC in human gene therapy experiments
September 21, 2018 - New system uses algorithm to convert 2D videos into 3D printed ‘motion sculptures’
September 21, 2018 - Sea squirt model reveals key molecules in dopaminergic neuron differentiation
September 21, 2018 - Effective management of neonatal abstinence syndrome requires coordinated ‘cascade of care’
September 21, 2018 - Refugees seek care for wounds of war
September 21, 2018 - Under the sea, in an octopus’ garden on ecstacy
September 21, 2018 - Eating foods with low nutritional quality ratings linked to cancer risk in large European cohort
September 21, 2018 - Giving kids honest information about water consumption may help them make healthy choices
September 21, 2018 - Horwitz Prize Awarded for Work on Hormones
September 21, 2018 - CHMP issues positive opinion supporting use of Trelegy Ellipta in broader group of COPD patients
September 21, 2018 - Scientists discover new molecules that work together to remove unwanted DNA
September 21, 2018 - Dr. Fenella France to deliver 2019 Plenary Lecture
September 21, 2018 - New research finds that MHC-II molecules have more influence on tumors than MHC-I
September 21, 2018 - Researchers study effects of cardiac cycle in simple learning task
September 21, 2018 - FDA takes new steps to address opioid crisis by approving Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy
September 21, 2018 - Positive Barhemsys Phase 3 Treatment Data Published in Anesthesia & Analgesia
September 21, 2018 - Celiac Disease Screening: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
September 21, 2018 - Autism linked to egg cells’ difficulty creating large proteins
September 21, 2018 - Tweaking nuclear pores could provide new avenue to battle against cancer
September 21, 2018 - Experts warn health care providers to slow down in allowing smart pill in patient care settings
September 21, 2018 - MoreGrasp reports breakthrough development of grasp neuroprosthetics activated by thought control
September 21, 2018 - Study reveals new way to target HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer
September 21, 2018 - CHMP grants positive opinion for VENCLYXTO plus rituximab for treating relapsed/refractory CLL
September 21, 2018 - Study offers solid link between visceral organs and brain’s reward, motivation system
September 21, 2018 - First U.S. patient treated with innovative gene therapy at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
September 21, 2018 - New study shows how Ethiopia has managed to achieve extraordinary progress
September 21, 2018 - Choroidal Detachment – The American Society of Retina Specialists
September 21, 2018 - New clinical trial evaluates aesthetic results of conservative surgery in breast cancer
September 21, 2018 - Discovery of a key protein involved in the development of autism
September 21, 2018 - Air pollution appears to be linked to increased risk of developing dementia
September 21, 2018 - Henry Ford Health System receives $600k grant to study genetic makeup of gliomas
September 21, 2018 - Arthritis common in individuals with varying degrees of depression, finds study
September 21, 2018 - Scientist intends to fight pathogenic bacteria with viruses
September 21, 2018 - New research suggests link between PFAS chemicals and hyperthyroidism in pet cats
September 21, 2018 - Multi-year study data shows impact of new soft contact lens to slow myopia progression in children
September 21, 2018 - Neuroscientists identify circuit for brain’s statistical inference about motion
September 21, 2018 - MILabs’ VECTor6 system wins Commercial Innovation Award at WMIC 2018
September 21, 2018 - Scientists find wild African monkeys infected with bacterium that causes syphilis, yaws in humans
September 21, 2018 - 2006 to 2015 Saw Increase in Severe Maternal Morbidity
September 21, 2018 - Similar changes in the brains of patients with ADHD and emotional instability
September 21, 2018 - Cobalt mining in DR Congo takes a high toll on both creuseurs and environment
September 21, 2018 - Eating fatty fish during pregnancy may boost unborn child’s brain development
Dining out may boost levels of health-harming phthalates in the body

Dining out may boost levels of health-harming phthalates in the body

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Dining out more at restaurants, cafeterias and fast-food outlets may boost total levels of potentially health-harming chemicals called phthalates in the body, according to a study out today. Phthalates, a group of chemicals used in food packaging and processing materials, are known to disrupt hormones in humans and are linked to a long list of health problems.

The study is the first to compare phthalate exposures in people who reported dining out to those more likely to enjoy home-cooked meals. People who reported consuming more restaurant, fast food and cafeteria meals had phthalate levels that were nearly 35 percent higher than people who reported eating food mostly purchased at the grocery store, according to the study.

“This study suggests food prepared at home is less likely to contain high levels of phthalates, chemicals linked to fertility problems, pregnancy complications and other health issues,” says senior author Ami Zota, ScD, MS, an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University. “Our findings suggest that dining out may be an important, and previously under-recognized source of exposure to phthalates for the U.S. population.”

Lead author Julia Varshavsky, PhD, MPH, who did the work while at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, Zota, and their colleagues used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) collected between 2005 and 2014. The 10,253 participants in the study were asked to recall what they ate and where their food came from in the previous 24 hours. The researchers then analyzed the links between what people ate and the levels of phthalate break-down products found in each participant’s urine sample.

The team found that 61 percent of the participants reported dining out the previous day. In addition, the researchers found:

  • The association between phthalate exposure and dining out was significant for all age groups but the magnitude of association was highest for teenagers;
  • Adolescents who were high consumers of fast food and other food purchased outside the home had 55 percent higher levels of phthalates compared to those who only consumed food at home;
  • Certain foods, and especially cheeseburgers and other sandwiches, were associated with increased levels of phthalates-;but only if they were purchased at a fast-food outlet, restaurant or cafeteria. The study found that sandwiches consumed at fast food outlets, restaurants or cafeterias were associated with 30 percent higher phthalate levels in all age groups.

Pregnant women, children and teens are more vulnerable to the toxic effects of hormone-disrupting chemicals, so it’s important to find ways to limit their exposures,” says Varshavsky, who is now a postdoctoral scientist at the University of California, San Francisco. “Future studies should investigate the most effective interventions to remove phthalates from the food supply.”

A previous study by Zota and colleagues suggested that fast food may expose consumers to higher levels of phthalates. That study found that people who ate the most fast food, burgers, fries and other foods, had phthalate levels that were as much as 40 percent higher than people who rarely ate such foods

The new study looked more broadly at dining out-;not just at fast-food outlets-;and found that it was significantly associated with increased exposure to phthalates. The authors say the findings are worrisome because two-thirds of the U.S. population eats at least some food outside the home daily.

Additional authors of the study include Rachel Morello-Frosch at the University of California, Berkeley, and Tracey Woodruff at the University of California, San Francisco.

The team used an innovative method of assessing real-world exposures to multiple phthalates, called cumulative phthalate exposure, which takes into account evidence that some phthalates are more toxic than others. The National Academies of Sciences has weighed in twice on phthalates-;first in a 2008 report, they recommended using cumulative risk assessments in order to estimate the human health risk posed by this class of chemicals; and then in 2017 with a report finding that certain phthalates are presumed to be reproductive hazards to humans.

Many products contain phthalates, including take-home boxes, gloves used in handling food, food processing equipment and other items used in the production of restaurant, cafeteria and fast food meals. Previous research suggests these chemicals can leach from plastic containers or wrapping into food.

If verified by additional research, the findings from this study suggest that people who love dining out are getting a side of phthalates with their entrée.

Home-cooked meals may be one way to limit exposure to these harmful chemicals. “Preparing food at home may represent a win-win for consumers,” adds Zota. “Home cooked meals can be a good way to reduce sugar, unhealthy fats and salt. And this study suggests it may not have as many harmful phthalates as a restaurant meal.”

At the same time, phthalate contamination of the food supply also represents a larger public health problem, one that must be addressed by policymakers. Zota and Woodruff’s previous research shows that policy actions, such as bans, can help reduce human exposure to harmful phthalates.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles