Polluted air 'ups obesity risk in young animals'

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Washington, Dec 3 (ANI): A new research showed that exposure to polluted air early in life led to an accumulation of abdominal fat and insulin resistance in mice even if they ate a normal diet.

Animals exposed to the fine-particulate air pollution had larger and more fat cells in their abdominal area and higher blood sugar levels than did animals eating the same diet but breathing clean air.

Researchers exposed the mice to the polluted air for six hours a day, five days a week for 10 weeks beginning when the animals were 3 weeks old. This time frame roughly matches the toddler years to late adolescence in humans.

The exposure levels for the animals subjected to polluted air resemble the fine-particulate pollution that can be found in urban areas in the United States.

"This is one of the first, if not the first, study to show that these fine particulates directly cause inflammation and changes in fat cells, both of which increase the risk for Type 2 diabetes," said Qinghua Sun, an associate professor of environmental health sciences at Ohio State University and lead author of the study.

The research appears in the December issue of the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. (ANI)

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