Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
ijms-24-08870.pdf (13.16 MB)

Environmental pollution and the risk of developing metabolic disorders: obesity and diabetes

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-14, 08:17 authored by William Junior Khalil, Meriem Akeblersane, Ana Saad Khan, Abu Saleh MoinAbu Saleh Moin, Alexandra ButlerAlexandra Butler
To meet the increased need for food and energy because of the economic shift brought about by the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, there has been an increase in persistent organic pollutants (POPs), atmospheric emissions and metals in the environment. Several studies have reported a relationship between these pollutants and obesity, and diabetes (type 1, type 2 and gestational). All of the major pollutants are considered to be endocrine disruptors because of their interactions with various transcription factors, receptors and tissues that result in alterations of metabolic function. POPs impact adipogenesis, thereby increasing the prevalence of obesity in exposed individuals. Metals impact glucose regulation by disrupting pancreatic β-cells, causing hyperglycemia and impaired insulin signaling. Additionally, a positive association has been observed between the concentration of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the 12 weeks prior to conception and fasting glucose levels. Here, we evaluate what is currently known regarding the link between environmental pollutants and metabolic disorders. In addition, we indicate where further research is required to improve our understanding of the specific effects of pollutants on these metabolic disorders which would enable implementation of changes to enable their prevention.



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Published Citation

Khalil WJ, Akeblersane M, Khan AS, Moin ASM, Butler AE. Environmental pollution and the risk of developing metabolic disorders: obesity and diabetes. Int J Mol Sci. 2023;24(10):8870.

Publication Date

17 May 2023

PubMed ID



  • RCSI Bahrain




  • Published Version (Version of Record)