Organophosphorus pesticides can influence the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes with concomitant metabolic changes

Environ Res. 2019 Nov;178:108685. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2019.108685. Epub 2019 Aug 26.


Widespread use and the bioaccumulation of pesticides in the environment lead to the contamination of air, water, soil and agricultural resources. A huge body of evidence points to the association between the pesticide exposure and increase in the incidence of chronic diseases, e.g. cancer, birth defects, reproductive disorders, neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, developmental disorders, metabolic disorders, chronic renal disorders or autoimmune diseases. Organophosphorus compounds are among the most widely used pesticides. A growing body of evidence is suggesting the potential interdependence between the organophosphorus pesticides (OPs) exposure and risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This article reviews the current literature to highlight the latest in vitro and in vivo evidences on the possible influence of OPs on obesity and T2DM development, as well as epidemiological evidence for the metabolic toxicity of OPs in humans. The article also draws attention to the influence of maternal OPs exposure on offspring. Summarized studies suggest that OPs exposure is associated with metabolic changes linked with obesity and T2DM indicated that such exposures may increase risk or vulnerability to other contributory components.

Keywords: Developmental exposure; Insulin resistance; Obesity; Organophosphorus pesticides; Type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Organophosphorus Compounds / toxicity*
  • Pesticides / toxicity*


  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • Pesticides