Consequences of air pollution are as dangerous as of high-fat diet: Study

A study carried out by an Indian origin researcher indicated that air pollution can contribute significantly to cardiometabolic diseases, including diabetes.

The study was published in the journal of Clinical Investigation. Sanjay Rajagopalan, through his study, discovered that air pollution can be a risk factor that contributes to fatal problems such as heart attack and stroke.

Rajgopalan said in a statement: “In this study, we created an environment that mimicked a polluted day in New Delhi or Beijing.”

He added: “We concentrated fine particles of air pollution called PM2.5. Concentrated particles like this develop from human impact on the environment, such as automobile exhaust, power generation, and other fossil fuels.”

Rajgopalan and the team maintained that exposure to polluted air particles can lead to risk factors that are associated with heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.

These particles have been strongly connected to risk factors for disease.

For the study, researchers adopted the mouse model and classified them into three groups. The first group received clean filtered air. The second group was exposed to polluted air for 24 weeks. And, the third group was fed a high-fat diet.

Interestingly, the researchers found that breathing in polluted air was tantamount to eating a high-fat diet.

Both the air pollution and high-fat diet groups showed insulin resistance and abnormal metabolism – just like one would see in a pre-diabetic state.

Some relief

The authors wrote in their study: “The good news is that these effects were reversible, at least in our experiments. Once the air pollution was removed from the environment, the mice appeared healthier and the pre-diabetic state seemed to reverse.”

Researchers believe that their study will help health administration change their response to severe heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.

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