When we talk about obesity and weight gain, we blame diet, lack of exercise, genetics, medicines...The last thing we think of is air pollution. However, a new study suggests that air pollution may be linked with weight gain.
Automobile exhaust affects the fat cells
Pollution from car exhaust can change the chemical signals generated and received by the fat cells, according to scientists. These signals dominate the basic activity of cells in the body. When they are altered by the pollution, they can be distorted and stimulate the fat cells to grow 12 to 25 % larger in size or even increase in number.
As study leader Amie Lund said, "cells in the body talk.” The fat cells want to tell you that something is wrong by changing themselves.
Changes in the cells promote inflammation
On the other hand, after cells change, they increase inflammation and lipid storage as well as contribute to immune response. These changes can in turn promote the production of fat cells. The production of fat cells then promotes inflammation and immune response again, causing a feedback loop.
That’s how car exhaust can lead to weight gain and even obesity.
What you should do
Although your body systems are strong enough to make you in good shape, external intervention can become uncertain factors and even upset the balance of the body.
So, when there is serious air pollution or when the air quality is too low, you’d better stay indoors as far as possible. If you have a habit of jogging or taking a walk, do not go outsides on those kinds of days. Instead, you can use a treadmill or walk around in your house.
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