Can your cell phone elevate your blood sugar?

Can your cell phone elevate your blood sugar?

The effects of mobile phones on human health is an emerging science.  There has been concern that these devices can lead to a wide variety of chronic diseases.  However, it’s often difficult to tell by the science if any of these claims have any validity.  However, we know that elevated blood sugar is a problem that can lead to diabetes.  We also know that blood sugar elevations that are still within the high end of “normal” can still increase disease risk.  With this in mind, a group of scientists from King Saud University College of Medicine tried to determine if the electromagnetic field radiation(EMFR) from cell phones can lead to elevations of blood glucose.

To do this, scientists used Winstar Albino rats and separated them into five groups based on how long they would be exposed to cell phone radiation from a transmitting phone that was placed in close proximity to them (in their cages). The electromagnetic field radiation was approximately 1800 MHz, and the transmitting phone was the equivalent of a person talking on the phone.  They then checked fasting glucose and insulin levels for 3 months to determine the effects on the rats.  What they found is that the rats who had higher exposure to the EMFR from transmitting cell phones had higher fasting insulin and glucose levels.  The more EMFR they were exposed to, the more it elevated glucose and insulin levels.  They also then plugged these numbers into a model for insulin resistance called HOMA-IR.  The trend for insulin resistance matched the trend for glucose and insulin (insulin resistance increased the more minutes the phone was transmitting).

So what does this mean for free living humans?  Well, hopefully more studies like this will be done to determine what frequencies are safe for humans to be around long term.  It’s tough to tell exactly what to make of this study as it was performed in rats.  However, it does raise suspicion that EMFR from cell phones can cause some metabolic issues that could lead to higher baseline glucose levels.  If this continues over a long period of time then this might contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes.  For me, this study definitely strengthens recommendations to use headsets or hands-free devices to distance ourself from our phones when they are transmitting.  Also, making sure that phones are off or moved away from our bed when sleeping is probably a sound recommendation until we get more information.  If you are concerned that you might have elevated blood glucose, then you should talk to your doctor who can easily test this.




 

References

Effects of exposure to electromagnetic field radiation (EMFR) generated by activated mobile phones on fasting blood glucose. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23771861.