Endocrine disruption and obesity: A current review on environmental obesogens

Elsevier, Current Research in Green and Sustainable Chemistry, Volume 3, June 2020, 100009
Authors: 
Radhika Gupta, Prashant Kumar, Nighat Fahmi, Bhaskar Garg, Sriparna Dutta, Shipee Sachar, Avtar S. Matharu, and Karani S. Vimaleswaran

Obesity represents an important public health concern because it substantially increases the risk of multiple chronic diseases and thereby contributing to a decline in both quality of life and life expectancy. Besides unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and genetic susceptibility, environmental pollutants also contribute to the rising prevalence of obesity epidemic. An environmental obesogen is defined as a chemical that can alter lipid homeostasis to promote adipogenesis and lipid accumulation whereas an endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) is defined as a synthetic chemical that can interfere with the endocrine function and cause adverse health effects. Many obesogens are EDCs that interfere with normal endocrine regulation of metabolism, adipose tissue development and maintenance, appetite, weight and energy balance. An expanding body of scientific evidence from animal and epidemiological studies has begun to provide links between exposure to EDCs and obesity. Despite the significance of environmental obesogens in the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases, the contribution of synthetic chemical exposure to obesity epidemic remains largely unrecognised. Hence, the purpose of this review is to provide a current update on the evidences from animal and human studies on the role of fourteen environmental obesogens in obesity, a comprehensive view of the mechanisms of action of these obesogens and current green and sustainable chemistry strategies to overcome chemical exposure to prevent obesity. Designing of safer version of obesogens through green chemistry approaches requires a collaborative undertaking to evaluate the toxicity of endocrine disruptors using appropriate experimental methods, which will help in developing a new generation of inherently safer chemicals.