Numerous studies are addressing human health risks due to the intake of PFAS in the diet and through other products.
The PFAS are synthetic chemicals used on an industrial level and we come to contact every day, directly or indirectly. However, under the magnifying glass there are many questions. In this deepening let’s discuss PFAS, where they are located, their potential health risks and recommendations on reducing exposure to PFAS.
In a series of contents that we are going to elaborate, we will try to understand what emerges from the scientific study on a much debated topic: PFAS and nutrition. The approach is that of an in-depth analysis, which reports the results of extensive scientific research, weighing the facts and not giving rise to what are the false myths.
What are PFAS and where are they located
PFAS is a term that encompasses a group of over 9 thousand synthetic chemicalsmore precisely perfluoroalkyl substances. Developed in the 1940s, they contributed to a breakthrough in the progressso long as greatly improved the quality of many materials.
In fact, the PFAS came used to make fabrics, carpets, upholstery, paper and even pots more resistant, just to mention some consumer goods. At the level industrialin practice they went out immense benefits. But the use of PFAS has since increased and grown exponentially first involving the cosmetic sector and then also the food sector.
To date, PFAS are found abundantly practically everywhere. In food packaging material, in the non-stick pans, moles water and stain resistant coatings for clothes, furniture and carpets, in fire fighting foams. But, as already mentioned, also in personal care products and cosmetics.
At the food level, PFAS are found in industrial foodsin those served in fast food, in meat, fish and shellfish. Even fresh and long-life products contain chemicals, such as some takeaway coffee and tea in the US, the processed foods (e.g. microwave popcorn) and again, in low-fiber and low-fat cereal products, bread and pasta.
Still, the features that made the PFAS so widely used they are the same as now represent a danger to human health and the environment. Just the ability not to degrade and to resist the normal processes of “disposal” have caused them to accumulate in the environment. The impact of these substances on the food chain is being examined by scientists. Here’s what we know so far.
PFAS in the diet and accumulation in the human body, the risks
Humans are continuously exposed to PFAS through diet, but also with contaminated water and air. Daily use of the myriad of industrial products containing PFAS ait increases the accumulation of toxic chemicalsgiving more and more health risks.
In one study revised in 2022 entitled “Exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and markers of liver injury: a systematic review and meta-analysis“A c is highlightedor relationship between PFAS accumulation and liver damage. The risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which in turn can lead to more serious conditions like cirrhosis . NAFLD is just one of the many diseases that can affect the liver but it is also a major cause of chronic liver disease and liver failure.
I’m in-depth studies are still underway in this sense, but some experts believe that theAccumulation of PFAS disrupts the processing and storage of fat in the body. Here is that by increasing the fat deposits in the liver which then lead to damage it, triggering other complications of health.
PFAS and power supply, the possible damage
These chemical substances synthetic they are considered very dangerous for the balance of the endocrine system. This means that in the long run the accumulation of PFAS alters fundamental functions of the organism. Some scientists associate exposure with metabolic disorders (first of all obesity, including childhood obesity), but also disorders of thyroid And diabetes.
Other observational studies they also highlight the link between PFAS and compromised thyroid health. Mostly during pregnancyit means greater risk risk of developing gestational diabetes. A condition that, we remind you, can be very harmful to the health of the pregnant woman but above all to that of the baby.
PFAS and reproductive health, what emerges from the studies
There are many diseases and problems brought about by prolonged exposure to PFAS. A Research carried out in 2020 relates chemicals to major hormonal changes. Let’s talk about early or delayed menstruationmenopause that comes before its time, and also damage to the fetus and the pregnant womansuch as the preeclampsia.
However, it must be said that research results on the PFAS-reproductive health relationship are still incomplete and further investigations and tests are needed.
PFAS and Cancer, is there a correlation?
The spectrum of health problems analyzed by scientists is wide, and many wonder whether the accumulation of toxic substances leads to the development of certain types of cancer. It appears that the kidney and testicular cancer are right associated with PFAS contamination.
A Research published on National Library of Medicine entitled “Serum Concentrations of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Risk of Renal Cell Carcinoma“ determined that PFAS increase the risk of developing kidney cancer exponentially. The higher the exposure, the higher the likelihood of developing cancer.
(The information in this article is for informational purposes only and concerns scientific studies published in medical journals. Therefore, it does not replace the consultation of a doctor or specialist, and should not be considered for formulating treatments or diagnoses)
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