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Blog posts tagged with 'Bisphenol A'

BPA Linked to Thyroid Hormone Changes

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BPA Linked to Thyroid Hormone ChangesBisphenol A, or BPA, the chemical compound that has gathered a lot of negative attention over the years due to its effects on neural health, has now been linked to changes in thyroid level hormones. The UC Berkeley study is one of the first to analyze the effects of BPA on pregnant women and newborn boys, and the results were alarming, to say the least.

BPA Affects Neural Health

Previous studies have linked BPA to blocking the conversion of folic acid into its active form called 5-MTHF, which is essential to neural health and supporting a healthier mood, concentration, and memory. For this reason, folic acid supplementation is highly encouraged in pregnant women to support the health of developing children. This latest study shows that increased BPA levels in pregnant women correspond to a decrease in their levels of thyroid hormone T4. Incidentally, the higher the BPA levels in the mothers, the more active were the thyroids in newborn boys. Thyroid hormones are crucial to brain development in young children as well as other aspects of growth such as metabolism, which is why it’s important for thyroid function to be neither overactive nor underactive to support proper growth and development.

More Manufacturers Cutting Back on BPA Use

The use of BPA in plastics manufacturing is so commonplace that up to 90% of American women have traces of BPA in their system. Up till recently BPA was used in everything from microwavable plastic containers to water bottles to sales receipts. Even dental sealants and the preservative lining of canned foods have BPA. In July, 2012, the Food and Drug Administration prohibited the use of BPA in manufacturing plastic baby bottles and cups. Some states, such as California, are also enforcing tougher restrictions on how much BPA can be used in manufacturing plastics. These tougher restrictions have led to certain manufacturers, such as Campbell’s soup, to completely ban the use of BPA in their products. With increasing awareness on the dangers of BPA to health, and more manufacturers stepping up and admitting the potential dangers of this chemical, younger generations can hopefully look towards a future where BPA will no longer be used in any items associated with food or drink.

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Effects of BPA May Stick Around Long After You’re Gone

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Effects of BPA May Stick Around Long After You’re GoneIf you own a lot of plastic products, you may have heard a lot of negative buzz about a chemical called bisphenol A, or BPA. BPA is popular in the plastics industry for manufacturing transparent bottles, food containers, receipt paper, gardening tools, and lining the inside of canned goods. The plastic industry loves BPA because of its diverse number of uses. Unfortunately, BPA isn’t so good for your health, and it’s estimated that almost 93% of Americans have traces of it in their systems. BPA is able to enter your body because it’s sensitive to extreme temperature variations: Extreme cold (such as freezing) or extreme heat (heating a container in a microwave or leaving a water bottle out in the sun) can cause BPA to become unstable, allowing small amounts to seep into whatever food or drink you have stored in that plastic container. You can also absorb BPA through handling store receipts or plastic tools that have been heated in the sun all day.

How Does BPA Affect You?

Every day your body absorbs trace amounts of toxins that your immune and digestive systems help filter out. The problem with BPA, however, is that it isn’t just any old chemical—BPA is a type of compound that’s known as an endocrine disruptor. In layman’s terms, this means that BPA is able to fool your body into thinking that it’s a hormone (such as estrogen) and it can have disruptive consequences. Worse still, prolonged BPA absorption can mutate your genes and this mutation can be passed on to your children and your children’s children. Several studies have shown that the main consequence of BPA contamination is a mutation which affects how you absorb folic acid. This B vitamin is essential to developmental health and can usually be obtained from leafy greens, which is why pregnant women are often advised to load up on folic acid to support proper growth and development of their unborn babies. Before folic acid can be used by your body, an enzyme called 5-MTHFR needs to break it down to a usable form called 5-MTHF. This is relatively simple process, if your genes are normal and able to produce 5-MTHFR. Mutated genes, however, aren’t able to break down folic acid into 5-MTHF, so even if you’re taking double or triple the required daily amounts, you may not be absorbing any of it.

Low Folic Acid Linked to a Number of Health Challenges

So one less vitamin in your diet doesn’t sound like a big deal, right? Wrong. Numerous studies have linked low folic acid levels to low moods, anxiety, sleeplessness, trouble focusing, weight gain, and even behavioral problems in some infants. In fact, the health challenges associated with low folic acid levels are so numerous that BPA is already banned in Europe and Canada. Some U.S. states are following suit by initiating statewide bans on BPA bottles and baby goods, too. The good news is that many manufacturers are becoming more conscientious of the concerns that the public has over BPA in plastics and many non-BPA-containing plastic products are also available. As a consumer, it’s your right to be picky about what you consume, so insist on all your plastics to be BPA free for the sake of your health and future generations.

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