Endocrine disruption represents one of the most controversial environmental issues of our époque. So far, many substances, both natural and artificial, have been recognized to interfere with endocrine signaling pathways. In intact laboratory animals, this interaction has been documented to generate adverse health outcomes by impairing normal functions. With regard to humans, evidence is limited and inconsistent to clearly establish a causal inference, however, accumulating data incriminate endocrine disrupting chemicals to reproductive disorders and disturbed thyroid homeostasis. Recently, as a result of animal models and preliminary human studies, a new area of interest has arisen concerning the implication of endocrine disruptors in the etiology of obesity and diabetes, the two major, life-threatening, epidemics of modern world. This article reviews the evidence linking endocrine disrupting chemicals to a broad spectrum of clinical perturbations from reproduction and thyroid to metabolic regulation.
(c) Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart . New York.