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News and Research: Phthalates, metabolic syndrome in women

Article: Association of Exposure to Phthalate Metabolites With Sex Hormones, Obesity, and Metabolic Syndrome in US Women JAMA Network Open Sept 2022

Overview: This new study looked at phthalate metabolite levels in over 2,000 women. The researchers then tested sex hormones and BMI.

The results showed that higher levels of phthalates were associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Additionally, the researchers found that SHBG levels were lower in women with higher levels of phthalate metabolites. Total testosterone did not statistically change.

From the study, “Phthalates are a ubiquitous class of chemicals used as plasticizers in numerous products, including cleaning supplies, medical devices, personal care items and cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, toys, construction, and paints. However, phthalates do not chemically bind to these products. Humans can also easily be exposed to phthalates owing to direct or indirect contact with these products. Evidence suggests that exposure to phthalates may affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, total testosterone (TT) levels, and sex hormone–binding globulin (SHBG) levels. Dysregulation of sex hormones is associated with multiple diseases including endocrine cancers, polycystic ovary syndrome, and metabolic abnormalities. The implications of phthalates for maternal outcomes, sperm concentration and motility, infertility, endometriosis, breast cancer, diabetes, and neurologic disorders have also been identified in a limited number of studies.”


Related Genetic Lifehacks Article: Phthalate detoxification and genetics

About the Author:
Debbie Moon is the founder of Genetic Lifehacks. Fascinated by the connections between genes, diet, and health, her goal is to help you understand how to apply genetics to your diet and lifestyle decisions. Debbie has a BS in engineering from Colorado School of Mines and an MSc in biological sciences from Clemson University. Debbie combines an engineering mindset with a biological systems approach to help you understand how genetic differences impact your optimal health.