PFAS, chemicals found in packaging, carpets, and non-stick pans are accused of promoting weight gain. Say it is new research that confirms the dangers of these substances with which we often come into contact.

Specifically, it would be compounds called perfluoroalkyl (PFAS) that disrupt the body’s ability to burn calories and lead to faster weight gain. This is supported by a study conducted by a team from Harvard University which adds something more to what was already known about the dangers of PFAS.

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Previous research has linked exposure to these chemicals with an increased risk of cancer, high cholesterol, and immune problems. Now new research led by Qi Sun, a nutritionist who specializes in risk factors for diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, suggests that PFASs may slow down metabolism, which would consequently make it more difficult to lose weight.

The study analyzed data on 621 overweight and obese people who had followed a diet for 6 months. All were part of a clinical trial to test the effectiveness of different types of diets.

As seen in the experiment, people had lost an average of 6.4 kg in the six months of the diet but then regained almost half of the pounds in the following 18 months. This was not surprising much but the surprise was undoubtedly the fact that those who showed higher blood levels of PFAS had regained more weight after the diet. The effects were more pronounced in women.

PFAS contained in non-stick pans

According to the report published in the journal Plos Medicine, women with the highest PFAS levels regained about 2 kg more than those with the lowest PFAS levels. The scientists showed that those with high levels of PFAS in their blood also burned calories more slowly than the others, as evidenced by their resting metabolic rate.

You may be wondering where these compounds are found. PFASs have been used for more than 60 years in products ranging from food packaging to clothing to nonstick pots and pans. These chemicals can build up in drinking water and food chains and remain in the human body for long periods with potentially harmful effects on health.

As Sun pointed out :

“It is very difficult to avoid exposure to PFASs, but we should try to do it. It’s a growing public health problem.”

Data held by the European Food Safety Authority suggests that exposure to certain types of PFAS in Europe is well below the tolerable daily intake.

However, the results of this research may serve as a basis for further studies aimed at better understanding the link between PFAS exposure and weight management.