You are Likely Eating and Drinking this Hormone Disruptor Every Day…
And removing it may help you reduce symptoms of crazy hormones, periods or acne!
You will be surprised to learn a 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found detectable levels of this chemical in 93% of 2517 urine samples from people six years and older. What is this ‘chemical’? Bisphenol A.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a common chemical we are exposed to in our everyday life. It is used to line beverage (beer, soda and seltzer) and food cans (soups, juice, tuna, and green beans), take out coffee lids, and is in many plastic bottles, containers, water coolers bottles, dental composites, baby bottles made prior to 2011 and some store receipts.
BPA is used to prevent foods and drinks from becoming contaminated and to prevent corrosion of the cans and it’s a cheap easy way to package food or drinks. But is it really that common? Consumer Reports’ tests of canned foods found that almost all of the 19 name-brand foods tested contained some BPA. Don’t let the “Organic” labeling fool you… the canned organic foods tested did not always have lower BPA levels than nonorganic brands of similar foods analyzed. To compound the issue, acidic foods (like tomatoes) can break down the plastic, leaching BPA. In addition, any heat exposure during food processing can also break down the plastic.
How does this affect us?
Bisphenol A (BPA) has been associated with increased risk for peripheral arterial disease, cardiovascular disease, miscarriages, breast and prostate cancer, metabolic dysfunction and diabetes, behavioral disorders and HORMONE disruption.
BPA is a chemical that changes the way our body works. It increases the toxic load to our organs and strains the liver’s function. In May, Health Canada – the Canadian government’s public health department – published updated research that questions the long held but previously untested assumption that BPA is harmlessly metabolized by the liver. The Canadian researchers found that the liver converts BPA into a compound called BPA-gluconide, which has been linked to obesity in human and animal studies.
BPA acts like estrogen in our body (kind of like taking up the space of where the estrogen is supposed to go and adding more). This happens to both men and women. Suffice to say we shouldn’t have excessive facial hair and boobs. There is growing evidence that BPA is a major player in the endocrine pathways for obesity as well as for hormone dysregulation. This dysregulation leads to conditions such as endometriosis, acne, thyroid disorders, irregular and/or heavy menses, breast, prostate, uterine and ovarian cancers, weight gain and male gyneomastia (enlarged breast). Although many common products contain chemicals known to disrupt our hormones, this post is specific to BPAs.
Below is a pictorial of how BPA interrupts our hormone pathways
(ED = Endocrine Disruptor, ER = Estrogen Receptor, E2 = Estrogen)
Summary: The xenoestrogen BPA can stimulate cell proliferation and endocrine disruption at extremely low levels by acting on a G Protein-Coupled Receptor. BPA does not, therefore, need to be present at the high levels needed for it to affect the nuclear Estrogen Receptor (ER) in order to have a substantial effect. Dr John Newby, Medical Information Scientist, Cancer Prevention and Ed. Soc.
In 2010, The FDA reversed its opinion on BPA, with concerns about health risks. The agency recommended that people reduce their exposure to BPA, especially in baby bottles.
In recent years, BPS (Bisphenol S) has replaced BPA in printing. This includes the use of thermal paper used for cash register receipts and ultrasound photos. Sadly, the alternative BPS has also been found to be a hormone disruptor at nearly the same level as BPA.
Tips to reduce your exposure to BPA 4 Better Health
Stop eating from cans and plastic
- Switch to glass containers.
- Avoid drinking out of plastic water bottles – switch to glass or steel.
- If you have a drink that has even a hint of plastic taste – don’t drink it.
- If you must store food in plastic- try to get BPA free and do not put food in them. This includes hot or heat food (even if they say ‘dishwasher/microwave safe’) – this leaches the BPA into the food.
- The highest levels of BPA are found in tomato cans and soups with high acidity (buy non-BPA boxed or glass ones instead).
Buy fresh food and store in glass mason jars at home.
- A 2011 study by the Breast Cancer Fund showed that people decreased the amount of BPA in their bodies by 60 percent. In just three days they eliminated canned foods and food packaged in plastics from their diet. Cook from scratch to avoid other added chemicals.
- Use dried beans. Soak and store in the freezer for future use. Much cheaper and no BPA or purchase BPA free canned beans.
- Frozen vegetables and fruit are a better choice over canned.
- If you must buy frozen meals, pop food out of the containers. Put it onto a (nonplastic) plate prior to cooking to reduce the high levels of BPA.
Do not use one time containers for use again (ie: Yogurt, sour cream, microwave dinner containers)
We recognize that there is no way to completely avoid BPA in our life. But each time you shop, eat and drink you have the power to shift the load of exposure and reduce the effects on your body.