Are Insecticides Creating a Higher Risk for Diabetes?

Plus how these chemicals dysregulate your sleep cycle.


It’s commonly known that sleep disruptions can increase the risk for both diabetes as well as other metabolic diseases. However, the reason behind this is not entirely clear.

Knowing that sleep disruptions may be a missing link has lead to new research on the connection between synthetic chemicals and diabetes.

While this link may sound strange, keep reading. It will all make sense!

The Connection Between Synthetic Chemicals and Diabetes

So what in the world do synthetic chemicals have anything to do with diabetes? Well, the chemicals I am referring to are the chemicals found in insecticides as well as gardening products. These chemicals are thought to bind to receptors in the body that control our biological clocks according to researchers at the University of Buffalo.

These researchers have found that coming in contact with these particular chemicals can cause trouble with melatonin receptor signaling. This disruption in signaling is what triggers the higher risk for diabetes.

Some what confusing? Let me break it down for you.

What Does This Connection Mean?

To break this complex study down in layman’s terms, the bottom line is that these researchers found that carbaryl, which is a common insecticide used in the United States as well as carbofuran, closely resemble melatonin when it comes to structure.

Keep in mind the danger of these two chemicals. Carbaryl is banned in numerous countries, and carbofuran is considered the most toxic insecticide and is illegal for use on food crops.

These two chemicals were shown to have the potential to impact glucose balance as well as how the body secretes insulin. With these imbalances, sleep could be disrupted, and diabetes could be triggered.

The Next Steps

Now that we know the identity of the culprits, what’s next?

Federal regulators are not currently looking at environmental chemicals and their potential to cause imbalances in the body. However, the researchers from the University of Buffalo are working to create a bioassay to look at environmental chemicals that could potentially cause these particular imbalances.

These researchers plan to use a computer stimulation screening process as well as in vitro techniques to take a closer look at the connection between these chemicals and different diseases.

For now, taking matters into our own hands is probably the first place to start. Avoiding insecticides as much as possible, and choosing organic foods are excellent ways of reducing chemical exposure.

At the end of the day the less chemical exposure we expose our body to, the better. And who knows, it may even help with both diabetes and sleep management!


Science Daily. URL Link. Accessed January 30, 2017.


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