The next time you're spraying down your garden to prevent pests, you might want to take a second look at the mix's ingredients. Researchers at the University of Buffalo have found that chemicals commonly found in garden products and insecticides impact melatonin in the body, which could lead to an increased diabetes risk.
The study, which was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and published in Chemical Research in Toxicology, suggests that the synthetic chemicals contained in these products bind to the receptors that direct the body's biological clock, interrupting circadian rhythms. According to Science Daily, disruptions in these rhythms can increase the risk of a number of metabolic diseases, including diabetes.
The two controversial chemicals included in the study are carbofuran, a toxic insecticide which was banned from use on food crops for human consumption in 2009, and carbaryl, one of the most widely used insecticides in the U.S., despite being outlawed in several countries. While previous research has shown that these chemicals can affect the human body, never before has research pointed to a direct impact on melatonin.