Topical Area: Energy and Macronutrient Metabolism
Objectives : Alkyl esters of para-hydroxybenzoic acid, colloquially known as parabens, are types of preservatives found in multiple foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals and personal care products to which Americans are exposed daily. It is unclear if parabens exhibit carcinogenic or endocrine-disrupting properties. Methylparaben and propylparaben, two of the parabens most commonly found in foods, may interact with triglycerides in adipose tissue and impact lipid metabolism. Due to the potential for adverse impact, it is imperative to study how parabens interact with lipids in humans. Our objective was to evaluate the association between urinary parabens and serum triglyceride concentrations.
Methods : This cross-sectional study used data from adults 20 years and older from the 2013-2014 NHANES. Triglyceride levels were associated with urinary paraben concentrations (methyl and propyl) using a Hierarchical Multiple Regression, adjusting for ethnicity/race, gender, waist circumference, BMI and age.
Results : A total of 794 participants were included in the analyses; their mean age was 49.7 years, 52.4% were female, 43.07% were white, and 20.2% were black. Triglycerides were inversely associated with methylparaben (CI 95% -.054, -.004, β=-0.82, P= 0.022) and propylparaben (CI 95% -.04, -.003, β=-0.81, P=0.026). When adjusting for age, gender, race/ethnicity, BMI and waist circumference, the model remained significant for methylparaben (P< 0.05, adjusted R2 =.140), and propylparaben (P< 0.05, adjusted R2 =.140).
Conclusions : Despite the potential detrimental effects of parabens on triglycerides, our results suggest that urinary excretion of methylparaben and propylparaben are associated with lower circulating triglycerides. Further research is needed to confirm the mechanisms and health impact of this relationship.
Funding Sources : Florida International University Internal Funding