Dear Living Well Daily Reader,
Diabetes threats are seemingly everywhere.
From the sugar-laced foods in the grocery store to the genes that created you — it seems like you just can’t escape the imminent threat of becoming diabetic.
So you do what you have to do to stay healthy… you eat right and exercise regularly.
But as it turns out, passing on dessert and hitting the gym won’t provide much breathing room between you and the latest diabetes risk …
You see, this latest culprit is literally everywhere… it’s in the air.
A new study from Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, a German research center for environmental health, has linked diabetes risk to two types of air pollution — particulate matter and nitrogen oxide. Both are byproducts of transportation, power production, manufacturing and other factors of an industrialized life and can lead to increased levels of insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance happens when the cells in your body don’t properly respond to insulin. In turn, your body is unable to absorb sugar from your bloodstream, which increases your blood sugar levels. If left unchecked, insulin resistance can lead to both prediabetes and full-blown diabetes.
For the study, the researchers tracked the blood glucose levels and other diabetes markers of roughly 3,000 people living in and around the Augsburg, Germany, area. At the same time, they also monitored the levels of particulate matter and nitrogen oxide where the participants lived.
And what they found next was astonishing…
For every 7.9 microgram per cubic meter increase of particulate matter, the risk of insulin resistance shot up a whopping 15 percent!
However, what was more shocking — for folks who were already diagnosed as prediabetic, the risk increased by almost 50 percent, even after they factored for other serious risks like smoking and obesity.
This means for folks who are already predisposed to being diabetic, air pollution can increase your risk by a massive 50 percent, regardless of your weight or habits.
While it’s unclear to the scientists exactly why air pollution can so greatly impact your blood sugar, they think it could be caused by increased inflammation and oxidative stress.
One Way to Breathe Easy
Air pollution — more specifically, particulate matter — has been linked to other health issues like obesity, autism, cognitive decline and even heart disease.
In fact, because these tiny particles can get deep into your lungs, and even into your bloodstream, they can also trigger devastating symptoms like heart attack, aggravated asthma, irregular heartbeat and decreased lung function.
While this study took place in a relatively urban setting, due to wind patterns, air pollution can also affect the health of folks in rural areas. The bottom line is you’re going to be exposed, regardless of where you live. This means you need to protect yourself from fine particulate matter in your home.
One way to do this is with a quality air purifier.
Some air purifiers use HEPA filters to drastically reduce the levels of fine particulate matter in your home — HEPA filters can filter out particles as tiny as 0.3 microns. This means the filter can reduce your exposure to these diabetes-linked particles.
In fact, one study shows that HEPA filters can reduce the overall level of indoor fine particulate matter by 40 percent.
Another important feature to look for in an air purifier is an activated carbon filter. These filters can remove impurities and contaminants and is some cases can remove up to 99.97 percent of airborne contaminants when coupled with a HEPA filtration system.
I’ve recently invested in an air purification system for my home, and I’m now breathing easy. The air in my home is fresher, and I can already feel difference in my energy and overall well-being. Not to mention, I might just be lowering my risk of developing diabetes.
If you’re looking for air purification system, be sure to choose one that offers both HEPA and activated carbon filtration.
Managing editor, Living Well Daily
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