Exposure to a cocktail of pesticides has caused metabolic disorders in mice, according to a study by INRA and Inserm.
Food contaminated by chemicals is becoming more numerous: more than 66,600 tons of pesticides are used every year in France in agricultural and horticultural crops.
If we know the harmful effects of these chemicals on health, what impact do they really have at low doses? Researchers from the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) have examined the issue, for the purposes of a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
They conducted an experiment on mice, which they gave food contaminated with six pesticides. A choice that owes nothing to chance: this cocktail of chemicals used in French apple orchards has been found in apples of the European Union.
Rodents were exposed to the equivalent of the daily tolerable pesticide dose for humans. As a result, even at a low dose, the researchers found that metabolic disorders differed according to the sex of the animals.
The males thus had diabetes, an accumulation of fats in the liver (steatosis), and a significant overweight. Females, on the other hand, showed hepatic disturbances (oxidative stress) and a change in gut microbiota activity.
"These results reinforce the plausibility of the link between pesticide exposure and health, and support the results obtained in epidemiological studies suggesting a link between pesticide exposure and the incidence of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes or steatosis. hepatic"conclude the researchers.
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