In an article published on January 18, 2016 the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Germany, reports on a new study investigating the effect of di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate (DEHP, CAS 117-81-7) on metabolic processes. The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE and conducted by researchers Nora Klöting and colleagues from the University of Leipzig, Germany, the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), the Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Germany, the Martin Luther University Halle, Germany, the UFZ, and the University of Aalborg, Denmark. The researchers exposed obesity resistant mice to a dietary supplement of 0.05 mg/kg body weight/day DEHP for 10 weeks (in vivo). Further, they cultured mouse fat cells (adipocytes) with DEHP for two days (in vitro). They found that in female mice DEHP treatment causes enhanced weight gain and fat mass, impaired insulin tolerance, and changes in circulating adiponectin as well as relevant changes to hormone and hormone receptor levels in adipose tissue (i.e. PPARγ, adiponectin, and estrogen). Serum metabolome analysis showed a general increase in phospholipid and carnitine levels. In vitro, DEHP treatment increased the proliferation rate and changed glucose uptake in adipocytes. Overall, the researchers conclude that DEHP has significant effects on adipose tissue function and alters certain serum metabolites.
UFZ (January 18, 2016). “Weight gain through plasticisers.”
Becky Fletcher (January 20, 2016). “Are chemicals found in food packaging making us fat?” Express
Catherine Itman (January 20, 2016). “What are phthalates doing in our food?” The Age
Jenny Eagle (January 26, 2016). “German researchers claim plasticisers in food packaging causes weight gain.” Food Production Daily
Klöting, N. et al. (2015). “Di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate (DEHP) causes impaired adipocyte function and alters serum metabolites.” PLoS ONE (published online December 2, 2015).