Avoid heating food in plastic containers in a microwave

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Hazardous chemicals in plastic containers can leach out to the bloodstream upon heating

New Delhi, 09 May 2018: Food microwaved in plastic containers can put you at greater risk of infertility, diabetes, obesity, and cancer, as per recent studies. Heating plastic containers in the microwave releases 95% of all chemicals, which could lead to high blood pressure, affect fertility, and damage functioning of the brain. It is important, therefore, to try and minimize the use of plastic and pack food in glass containers.

The most hazardous chemicals in plastic containers are bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA, and phthalate. When ingested, they get into the bloodstream and may lead to a series of problems like infertility, hormonal changes, changes in gender traits and even different types of cancers.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI), said, “When food is heated in plastic containers in a microwave, the heat transfers the chemicals in plastic very effectively into the food. Indirect consumption of these chemicals can wreak havoc on the system. BPA and phthalates are believed to be ‘endocrine disrupters’, substances that mimic human hormones, and not essentially healthy for the system. ‘Microwave-safe’ labelling on a container indicates that they won’t melt or break when heated. However, they do not guarantee safety for health.”

If microwaving food in plastics is unavoidable, then consider the recycling codes at the bottom of the container. These indicate the type of plastic used. It is better to avoid any that have the code 3 or 7.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor of IJCP, said, “Endocrine disruptors are capable of interfering with the way our glands produce hormones that govern virtually everything our bodies do. This includes the way we reproduce, grow, sleep, heal, develop mentally and burn energy. They disrupt this system, and upon reaching the receptors, they either block or mimic the hormonal messages, triggering abnormal responses.”

HCFI tips for using the microwave.

If you’re concerned about plastic wraps or containers in the microwave, transfer food to glass or ceramic containers labeled for use in microwave ovens.
Don’t let plastic wrap touch food during microwaving because it may melt. Wax paper, kitchen parchment paper, white paper towels, or a domed container that fits over a plate or bowl are better alternatives.
Most takeout containers, water bottles, and plastic tubs or jars made to hold margarine, yogurt, whipped topping, and foods such as cream cheese, mayonnaise, and mustard are not microwave-safe.
Microwavable takeout dinner trays are formulated for one-time use only and will say so on the package.
Old, scratched, or cracked containers, or those that have been microwaved many times, may leach out more plasticizers.
Don’t microwave plastic storage bags or plastic bags from the grocery store.
Before microwaving food, be sure to vent the container: leave the lid ajar, or lift the edge of the cover.

Sugar-sweetened drinks increase risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome

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A review of epidemiological studies published online November 2 2017 in the Journal of the Endocrine Society has added to the growing evidence of the association of sugar sweetened beverages with chronic lifestyle disorders such as type 2 diabetes hypertension and heart disease. The review which examined the association of sugar sweetened beverages with type 2 diabetes metabolic syndrome and hypertension found that regularly drinking sugar sweetened beverages such as soda and juice contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Most of the studies included in the review found that consumption of sugar sweetened beverages also increased the risk of metabolic syndrome which in turn increased the risk of developing heart disease stroke and diabetes. The review included 36 studies on the cardiometabolic effects of sugar sweetened beverage consumption from the last 10 years. Most of the analyzed studies for metabolic syndrome included individuals who drank more than five sugar sweetened beverages a week while consuming as few as two servings of sugar sweetened beverages a week increased the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Drinking at least one sugar sweetened beverage a day was associated with high blood pressure. These findings yet again highlight the need to educate the general public the young in particular about the adverse health effects of sugar sweetened beverages who frequently consume foods and drinks high in added sugars. It is very important therefore to raise awareness among the public about the lifestyle diseases prevalent in our country which are now occurring at a younger age and the lifestyle measure by which these disease can be prevented. Source Endocrine Society News Release November 2 2017

Autophagy and Diabetes

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Autophagy in diabetes has recently been the focus of research and accumulating evidence has suggested a pathophysiological role for autophagy in diabetes.1 The word autophagy means self eating as it is derived from two Greek words auto meaning self and phagein meaning to eat . Autophagy is a catabolic process by which cells adapt to stress and starvation. It maintains cellular homeostasis by lysosomal mediated degradation and recycling of damaged proteins and organelles such as mitochondria. 2 3 Three types of autophagy are described Macroautophagy microautophagy and chaperone mediated autophagy. The most prevalent of these is macroautophagy.4 Hyperglycemia secondary to insulin resistance is implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetes. In the natural history of type 2 diabetes hypertrophy of the pancreatic 946 cells occurs to compensate for hyperglycemia and insulin resistance occurs early in the disease. As the disease progresses dysfunction and loss of 946 cells occur. 1 Autophagy is now regarded as necessary to maintain the structure and function of pancreatic 946 cells. 5 Autophagy dysfunction is associated with loss of 946 cell mass and function suggesting a possible role in the development and progression of type 2 diabetes. 6 Autophagy may affect insulin sensitivity as mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in insulin resistance. 2 Mitochondria dysfunction results in incomplete 946 oxidation oxidative stress accumulation of toxic lipid intermediates and mitochondrial damage. By removing the dysfunctional mitochondria autophagy removes the cycle of oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage.7 Autophagy also has a possible role in regulation of function of insulin target tissues such as skeletal muscle liver and adipose tissue where it protects against oxidative stress in these tissues. 3 The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2016 was awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy. References 1. Demirtas L et al. Apoptosis autophagy endoplasmic reticulum stress in diabetes mellitus. Indian J Med Res. 2016 144 4 515 24. 2. Jung HS et al. Role of autophagy in diabetes and mitochondria. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2010 1201 79 83. 3. Barlow AD et al. Autophagy in diabetes 946 cell dysfunction insulin resistance and complications. DNA Cell Biol. 2015 34 4 252 60. 4. Islam MT et al. Autophagic dysfunction in type 2 diabetes mellitus pathophysiology and therapeutic implications. J Diabetes Metab. 2017 8 742 5. Quan W et al. Role of autophagy in the control of body metabolism. Endocrinol Metab Seoul . 2013 28 1 6 11. 6. Mazza S et al. Autophagy and pancreatic 946 cells. Vitam Horm. 2014 95 145 64. 7. Sarparanta J et al. Autophagy and mitochondria in obesity and type 2 diabetes. Curr Diabetes Rev. 2017 13 4 352 69.

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