Pesticides administered to plants can kill them along with the pests that it was sprayed for. Would they have the same effects to us?
These chemicals have been known and used worldwide to produce mass quantity of crops that could supply the whole population of an area or two. But these chemicals are also known to be harmful. How harmful you ask? It is harmful to the point that you can pass it on to your genealogy without being constantly exposed to it.
Natural Health News — New evidence suggests ancestral exposures to the pesticide methoxychlor may lead to adult onset kidney disease, ovarian disease and obesity in future generations.
“What your great-grandmother was exposed to during pregnancy, like the pesticide methoxychlor, may promote a dramatic increase in your susceptibility to develop disease, and you will pass this on to your grandchildren in the absence of any continued exposures,” says lead researcher Michael Skinner, Washington State University (WSU) professor and founder of its Center for Reproductive Biology.
It was in 1948 when methoxychlor was introduced. Its other names include: Chemform, Methoxo, Metox, and Moxie. It was used to replace DDT on crops, ornamental plants, livestock and pets. Up until now, it is still used in some parts of the world.
It was banned in the US in 2003 due to its toxicity and ability to disrupt endocrine systems. Methoxychlor can behave like the hormone estrogen and profoundly affects the reproductive system.
Support for earlier studies
The scientists discovered that animals exposed to methoxychlor at a range typical of high environmental exposures, had proliferations in the occurrence of kidney disease, ovary disease and obesity in offspring spanning three generations. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome increased in the third generation or “great-grandchildren.”
The researchers say the pesticide may be affecting how genes are turned on and off in the progeny of an exposed animal, even though its DNA and gene sequences remain unchanged.
Implications for obesity, fertility, disease
It also shows that a majority of diseases transmitted throughout the generation can be conveyed through the female line.
Additionally, the study identified mutations in the sperm epigenome of great-grandchild males. The epigenome functions like a set of switches for regulating gene expression and can be altered by environmental conditions.
According to Skinner, people exposed to the pesticide have showed reduced fertility, increased adult onset disease and the possible handing over of those conditions to succeeding generations.
He says that ancestral exposures to methoxychlor over the past 50 years in North America might have a role in today’s increasing number of people getting diseases.
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