Cleaning your house and keeping it spotless could help you lose weight. And this has nothing to do with the exercise you get while doing so. According to a new study, household dust may contribute to weight gain. Unfortunately, this is something that is rather hard to escape.
Researchers from Duke University, NC, found that normal household dust can carry hormone-altering particles that prompt cells in your body to accumulate fat. The researchers found that even small amounts of dust inhaled, ingested, or even absorbed through the skin is enough to cause an effect.
In fact, the quantities found to have an effect were much lower than what children are exposed to on average. Amounts of dust as low as three micrograms caused measurable effects. American children consume about 50 milligrams (50,000 micrograms) a day.
Dust particles were found to contain EDCs (endocrine-disrupting chemicals). These are synthetic and naturally-occurring compounds that interfere with or mimic the body’s hormones. The compounds could affect your metabolism, making it hard to lose weight.
EDCs can be found in a number of household items including flame retardants used in furniture, food packaging, and carpets, as well as substances added in plastics to make them flexible.
The researchers collected indoor dust samples from 11 homes and analyzed them for EDC levels. The samples were then introduced to mouse-cells. Dust from nine samples caused increase in the number of precursor fat cells, while seven of samples cells to mature and accumulate fat. Only one of the 11 dust samples appeared inactive.
According to the researchers, metabolic health risk was particularly high in children. Exposure in early life could also lead to weight gain later in life.
EDCs have previously been shown to alter the hormonal system. They have also been linked to certain health risks including cancer, infertility, as well as birth and developmental defects.
The study is published in journal Environmental Science & Technology. You can read a more detailed report at Medicinal News Today.