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UB study suggests link between two insecticides, diabetes

Chemicals in insecticides and garden products bind to receptors that govern our biological clocks in a way that may increase the risk of such metabolic diseases as diabetes, a University at Buffalo suggests.

The research published online in Chemical Research in Toxicology focused on two toxic insecticides, carbaryl and carbofuran, which is banned in the United States on food crops for human consumption but still used in other countries.

The researchers found that both insecticides can disrupt circadian rhythms in the body and potentially affect metabolism related to glucose and insulin. That means that exposure to them could put people at higher risk for diabetes and also affect sleeping patterns, they reported.

"This is the first report demonstrating how environmental chemicals found in household products interact with human melatonin receptors,” Margarita L. Dubocovich, senior author and SUNY distinguished professor in the UB Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, said in a statement.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

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