Prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides may play a role in obesity and metabolic disorders later on in life

Photo credit: Pete Photo credit: Pete

A recent study published in Environmental Research has found that pre-birth exposure to organophosphate pesticides and persistent organic pollutants may be linked to the development of obesity and metabolic disorders, particularly in girls. Researchers sampled the urine of 268 mothers early in their pregnancies to test for DAP levels – levels of metabolites produced when the body breaks down organophosphate pesticides. Cord blood was also sampled after their babies were born to test for the presence of pollutants, insulin and adiponectin—proteins produced by the human body to aid in the breakdown of glucose. Analysis suggested that higher levels of DAP metabolites in a mother’s urine during early pregnancy is associated with higher insulin levels in babies. These results provide a link between early prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides via the mother and observable changes at birth that may alter how the body breaks down sugars, potentially contributing to obesity later in life.