The influence of phthalates and bisphenol A on the obesity development and glucose metabolism disorders

Endocrine. 2017 Mar;55(3):666-681. doi: 10.1007/s12020-016-1158-4. Epub 2016 Nov 7.


The prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus epidemics presents a great health problem worldwide. Beside the changes in diet and decreased physical activity, there is growing interest in endocrine disrupting chemicals that may have effects on these conditions. Among them, the role of certain phthalates and bisphenol A is confirmed. We have summarized the existing literature on this issue including cross-sectional, follow up epidemiological studies and in vivo and in vitro studies. Most data support the effects of bisphenol A and some phthalates, such as di-2-ethyl-hexyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate, dibuthyl phthalate, dimethyl phthalate, dibenzyl phthalate, diisononyl phthalate and others on the development obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. These endocrine disrupting chemicals interfere with different cell signaling pathways involved in weight and glucose homeostasis. Since the data are rather inconsistent, there is a need for new, well-designed prospective studies.

Keywords: Bisphenol A; Glucose metabolism; Metabolic syndrome; Obesity; Phthalates.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Benzhydryl Compounds / toxicity*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Glucose Metabolism Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / chemically induced*
  • Phenols / toxicity*
  • Phthalic Acids / toxicity*


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Phenols
  • Phthalic Acids
  • phthalic acid
  • bisphenol A