Biology discussion question

1. Obesity is an endocrine disorder caused by excessive food consumption and a lack of exercise exacerbated by “EDCs” or endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in the environment, industrial chemicals (e.g. bisphenol A), and consumer products. Accidental exposure to EDCs is attributed to the consumption of certain foods, such as meat, fish, and dairy products, and contaminated tap water or caused by direct skin contact or inhalation of contaminants. EDCs interfere with the endocrine system processes such as lipid and glucose metabolism and insulin signaling pathway and promote adipogenesis in animals and humans (Nappi et al., 2016).

Adipogenesis is increased storage in pre-existing fat cells which coincides with prenatal or early-life exposure to EDCs. The “obesogen hypothesis” identifies the adipose tissue as an endocrine organ susceptible to disruption especially during pre- and early postnatal life or puberty, and is the preferred storage site of EDCs. One example of an EDC which affects birth weight in human offspring is TBT, or a fungicide known as tributyltin. Exposure to TBT during pregnancy results in offspring with heavier birth weights compared to offspring who weren’t exposed (Giovanna et al., 2017). Another toxic EDC which causes a higher birth weight in offspring is BPA or bisphenol A. Found in certain food and beverage cans, polycarbonate plastic, and developers, BPA is a common endocrine disruptor that plays a crucial role in determining adult body weight and fat mass. Furthermore, exposure to it has been shown to increase inflammation in adipose tissue which can lead to metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity.

Muscogiuri, G., Barrea, L., Laudisio, D. et al. Obesogenic endocrine disruptors and obesity: myths and truths. Arch Toxicol 91, 3469–3475 (2017).…

Nappi, F., Barrea, L., Di Somma, C., Savanelli, M. C., Muscogiuri, G., Orio, F., & Savastano, S. (2016). Endocrine Aspects of Environmental “Obesogen” Pollutants. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(8), 1-16.…

2. Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals are chemicals that are exogenous and interfere with hormone action, thereby increasing the risk of cancer, other diseases, cognitive deficits, and obesity. The endocrine system is composed of glands that secrete chemical messengers hormones that interact with specific target receptors. These interactions lead to the regulation of a vast set of functions, including growth, development, reproduction, energy balance, metabolism, and body weight regulation. However, exogenous chemicals can interfere with this complex communication system and cause horrible side health effects. The key components of the endocrine disruptors were developed by recognizing that there are common features of hormone regulation and action that are independent of the diversity of the effects of hormones during the life cycle. It is also known that there are the actions of chemicals that interfere with hormone regulation and action. All hormones act by binding to a specific receptor or receptors. Endocrine disruptors that inappropriately bind to and/or activate hormone receptors can produce adverse biological effects. There are numerous examples of chemicals that cause detrimental effects after binding to nuclear hormone receptors. The endocrine system is the collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things, if this system gets disrupted, then our body won’t be able to function properly.

MLA Citations:

Merrill, Michele A. La, et al. “Consensus on the Key Characteristics of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals as a Basis for Hazard Identification.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 12 Nov. 2019, (Links to an external site.).

Zimmermann, Kim Ann. “Endocrine System: Facts, Functions and Diseases.” LiveScience, Purch, 16 Feb. 2018,,and%20mood%2C%20among%20other%20things.

Powered by WordPress