My mother took DES during pregnancy, and over the years, a number of potential effects has come to light. Over the years, I have struggled with high cholesterol and continued weight gain. Now a potential link is being suggested between DES exposure and metabolic abnormalities. I am wondering whether any other members of this board have been exposed to DES.
DES was widely prescribed for women during pregnancy from the 1940s until 1971, when it was withdrawn after being linked to cancer. Taken by perhaps 8 million women, DES has caused reproductive abnormalities in children and grandchildren of women who took it.
Recent research by Retha R. Newbold, a developmental biologist at the NIEHS has shown that mice exposed to DES during early development produced more fat cells, larger fat cells, and more abdominal fat than those not exposed. Exposed mice became obese adults and remained obese even on reduced calorie and increased exercise regimes. Like tributyltin, DES appeared to permanently disrupt the hormonal mechanisms regulating body weight.
"Once these genetic changes happen in utero, they are irreversible and with the individual for life," Newbold said.
Here are some articles on links between DES exposure and weight: