Thu. May 23rd, 2024

A recent study suggests that microplastics may go from the gut to the brain

According to a recent study eating microscopic plastic particles is causing them to enter human bodies and accumulate in the brains of people.

As microplastics are so common in our surroundings, there are serious worries about how they may affect both human and animal health.

According to a recent study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, eating these microscopic plastic particles is causing them to enter human bodies and accumulate in the brains of people.

The study’s authors believe that swallowed microplastics travel to the brain, liver, and kidneys from the gut. Skin contact, inhalation, or ingestion (by trophic transfer or contaminated food) could be the entry point.

In depth

According to study author Marcus Garcia, PharmD, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy, “our findings recommend that microplastic exposure can lead to metabolic changes in these tissues, indicating potential systemic effects.” These discoveries have important ramifications for human health, said the study author.

Plastic particles smaller than five millimetres in size are known as microplastics, and they have become a common environmental contaminant of food, water, and soil.

The goal of the study was to replicate human exposure to a similar level of microplastic intake. Through oral stomach feeding, mice were exposed to varying concentrations of polystyrene or mixed polymer microspheres. The researchers looked for microplastics in the serum, brain, liver, kidney, and colon tissues of the mice after they were fed the microplastics.

Researchers found microplastics in the exposed mice’s liver, kidneys, and brain, which is concerning. This finding raises the possibility that microplastics can pass through the stomach and end up in other parts of the body. Additionally, they discovered that the colon, liver, and brain had particular metabolic alterations following exposure to microplastics.

Take away

Garcia added, “We found that these particles can in fact migrate from the gut into organs such as the liver, kidney, and brain by exposing mice to levels of microplastics similar to human ingestion.”

If microplastics or even smaller nanoplastics get inside the brain, they could interfere with its sensitive processes. Many concerns, such as aberrant protein failure, neuronal communication problems, and loss of brain cells, might result from this disruption.

The end result might be the onset or exacerbation of neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s or even issues related to a child’s brain development.

By Parvathy Sukumaran

Parvathy Sukumaran is a Content Creator and Editor at JustCare Health. She is an Educator and a Language Lecturer. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Education and an M.A in English Literature. She is passionate about writing, archaeology, music and cooking.

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