Findings from research publications suggest that BPA is a reproductive toxicant that negatively affects female fertility. In this article, triple board certified physician and endocrinologist Dr. Salas-Whalen dives into the truth about the endocrine disrupting chemical BPA.
Endocrine Disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are chemicals or mixtures of chemicals that interfere with the way the body’s hormones work. Some EDCs “mimic” hormones, tricking our body into thinking they are hormones, while other EDCs block natural hormones from doing their job. Because of this, EDCs can increase or decrease the levels of hormones in our blood.
There are many EDCs, but today I want to talk specifically about Biphenol A (BPA) and how it can affect you.
- BPA is usually found in plastics and food storage materials including the lining of canned foods.
- BPA can leach from the plastic and contaminate the food and beverages that we consume. Leaching is enhanced by environmental factors such as heat, sunlight, and acidity.
- The CDC estimates that greater than 96% of all Americans have BPA in their bodies. BPA has been found in urine, blood, umbilical cord blood and amniotic fluid.
- BPA acts as an estrogen in the human body.
- BPA exposure, even at low levels, can alter the density of estrogen receptors.
- Early life exposure to BPA alters the density of neurons in a part of the brain that is critical to female ovulation and behavior.
- BPA has been linked with reduced oocyte quality in women undergoing fertility assistance, including IVF.
- BPA exposure compromises ovarian development, uterine structure, and embryo implantation.
- Elevated BPA levels have been associated with PCOS and elevated androgen levels.
Bottom line: ditch the plastic! Never, ever microwave food in plastic containers; use glass containers. Stop drinking water from plastic bottles. For babies, avoid plastic baby bottles, and use glass. Switch to glass as much as you can.