A new study published online on August 8, 2014 in the scientific, open-access journal PLOS one reports on the effects of lead on mice whose mothers were exposed to the heavy metal. The researchers from the University of Michigan exposed female mice to lead through drinking water two weeks before mating and during pregnancy and nursing. The offspring were measured for energy expenditure, spontaneous activity, food intake, body weight and composition, and glucose tolerance. The researches around Dana Dolinoy, senior author of the study, showed that males exposed to 16 and 32 ppm lead outweighed the controls throughout the study duration and had an 8 to 11% increase in weight. A higher percentage of body fat, increased food intake and impaired insulin levels were further effects linked to lead exposure of the mothers. Lead occurs as contaminant in glass and ceramics and is still commonly used in old water pipes.


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University of Michigan (August 8, 2014). “Lead linked to obesity in mice exposed by mothers.



Faulk, C. et al. (2014). “Perinatal lead (Pb) exposure results in sex-specific effects on food intake, fat, weight, and insulin response across the murine life-course.PLOS one (published online August 8, 2014).