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Can’t lose the pounds? Could be the pesticides on your fruit and veg

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Can’t get the weight off?  It could be because of the pesticides that are sprayed on the fruits and vegetables you’re eating.

The chlorpyrifos pesticides slow our ability to burn calories and interfere with the healthy functioning of our brown fat, which is being recognised as the main controller of our weight.

Chlorpyrifos are widely used around the world, and they have the biggest impact on brown fat of the 34 common pesticides and herbicides that researchers from McMaster University in Canada tested.  “Brown fat is the metabolic furnace in our body, burning calories, unlike normal fat that is used to store them. . .and we know brown fat is activated during cold weather and when we eat,” explained Gregory Steinberg, one of the researchers.

The pesticides need only inhibit brown fat’s energy use by 40 calories a day to cause an annual weight gain of 5lbs (2.26 kg), which could eventually lead to obesity.

Although the pesticide is banned in Canada, where the university is based, the country still imports fruits and vegetables that have been sprayed with chlorpyrifos.  Any imported produce should be washed thoroughly before eating, the researchers advise.

(Source: Nature Communications, 2021; 12: doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-25384-y)

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Article Topics: nutrition
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