by DNAIndia

It is well known that faulty diet and poor childhood nutrition are major factors contributing to the swelling number of diabetics in the world, but according to a study published in the German journal Environmental Health Prospect, pollution may also play a part in the spread of Type 2 diabetes.

Speaking to journalists at SL Raheja Hospital, senior diabetologist and secretary of the scientific section of the Diabetics Association of India, Dr Anil Bhoraskar said that in the German study, data from 1,775 women was analysed over a 20-year period and the primary reason for Type 2 diabetes was ascribed to pollution and rapid urbanisation. He said, “Excessive pollution creates oxidative stress by generating free radicals in the body which could potentially damage the pancreas and the endocrine system.”

Dr Bhoraskar added that this might explain the rapid rise in the number of diabetics in India. According to the International Diabetic Federation (IDF), there are 71.4 million diabetics in South-east Asia as of 2011, and 61.4 million of them are Indians. The rather alarming prognosis made by the study is that the number of diabetics in South-east Asia is expected to rise to a stunning 120.9 million by the year 2030.

According to Dr Bhoraskar, the consumption of good dietary fats found in homemade butter, ghee, coconut oil and fish is one significant way to counter the threat of diabetes. He also blames Vitamin D deficiency for the rise in the number of Type 1 diabetes patients. “Indians are prone to Vitamin D deficiency because of the lack of time spent out in the sun. Also, most Indians have heavily pigmented skin which reduces the ability of the body to absorb sunlight,” said Bhoraskar.

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