London: If you think that dieting can help you stay fit, think again, for a new study says that it may raise your risk of developing cancer, diabetes and other fatal diseases by releasing toxins into the body. An international team, led by researchers from the US, Norway and South Korea, has found that weight loss allows harmful pollutants, normally stored in body fat, to circulatein the bloodstream.
For the study, the researchers analysed 1,099 people over 40, tracking their weight for 10 years, with frequent blood tests for seven of the most dangerous pollutants. These included DDE, a pesticide linked with breast cancer, Alzheimer`s and Parkinson`s diseases, and PCB169, a toxin linked with damage to the brain and nervous system. Theyfound higher blood levels of these chemicals in people who had lost weight.The study, published in the `International Journal of Obesity` calls for urgent further research into POPs, man-made chemicals that can be absorbed into the body over many years. They have been used in everything from pesticides to electrical goods for more than 50 years but most people come into contact with them from tiny amounts in food, especiallyanimal fats. They are stored in fatty tissue where they are believed to cause little harm, but once in the blood, they may increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes anddamage to the immune system. Another study in the Netherlands earlier this year showed weight loss can raise risks of heart disease, diabetes and cancer by increasing body`s production of stress hormones. Professor Janna Koppe, of Amsterdam University, found babies exposed to high levels of similar chemicals through their mother`s blood and breast milk may be prone to diabetes as teenagers. She said: "I`d warn pregnant women not to lose weight. I would also advise overweight people to lose weight slowly. This is a balancing act -- being overweight is a risk but soare pollutants." PTI
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