Obesogenic effects of endocrine disruptors, what do we know from animal and human studies?

M. de Cock, M. van de Bor

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Background: Hormonal actions and activation of receptors involved in adipogenesis and brain development during the prenatal period may be affected by exposure to certain chemicals. Experimental studies have shown that amongst others polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-153 and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) may have obesogenic effects in prenatally exposed mice. Objective: To provide an overview of five classes of chemicals which have frequently been indicated as potential obesogens, and to discuss the evidence available regarding early life exposure to these compounds and overweight later in life. Methods: Pubmed was systematically searched for publications which related early life exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) to growth parameters later in life. We included 19 studies, which were published from 1995 and onwards. Results: Both positive and negative associations are observed between early life exposure and weight or height at various ages, including as early as 14. months, as well as until 20. years of age. In none of the included studies negative associations between perinatal exposure to EDCs and body mass index (BMI) were found and in several studies a positive association was observed. Dose-response relations appear to be non-monotonic. Conclusion: For certain EDCs, early life exposure may be associated with weight homeostasis later in life, however not necessarily in an obesogenic direction. More sensitive measures of adiposity as well as long-term follow-up are warranted for future studies. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)15-24
    JournalEnvironment International
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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