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Persistent Organic Pollutants Affect Stress Hormone Levels

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as PCBs, affect the way your body synthesizes the stress hormone cortisol.

POPs are widespread, and animals and humans are exposed to them daily, often through food. There have been concerns raised about the potential of these pollutants to affect hormone balance. Cortisol plays an important role in fetal development, and also affects your body functions during periods of stress.

According to Science Daily:

"... [E]xposure during early life stages interferes with hormone levels and may therefore cause harm to health later in life ... [E]xposure to PCBs during fetal life and the suckling period caused altered cortisol levels in the blood of both fetuses and adult animals ... [A]ltered cortisol balance during early life may lead to a predisposition to develop several diseases in adulthood, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases."

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