Bisphenol A (BPA) has been a chemical item of great health concerns for the past few years. It’s common in many plastics, including plastic food and beverage containers, inner epoxy linings of cans used for canned foods, thermal paper, and paper money.
BPA leaches into the liquids and foods in those containers. It also leaches into your blood through the skin while handling paper money and thermal paper, commonly used for printing receipts.
Although the FDA refuses to consider BPA unsafe, other nations have. Several have banned BPA. The researched health hazards include links to cancer, especially breast cancer, and hormone imbalances causing physical/sexual manifestations that affect both genders of all ages.
Even a CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2003-04 study found that 93 percent of over 2,500 Americans surveyed had measurable BPA in their blood. Unfortunately, BPA remains in the bloodstream for a long time unless the right nutritional antidotes are taken, which are discussed later in this article.
That means expectant mothers can pass BPA on to their newborns while in the womb and afterward while breastfeeding. Also, beware of plastic baby bottles that aren’t BPA free.
BPA also affects the brain and nervous system
A recent animal study using mice at North Carolina State University proved that the brain and nervous system are also affected adversely by BPA. Here’s their research paper published in the journal PLOS ONE. (http://www.plosone.org)
Summarizing: The rats were divided into different groups, some fed BPA levels comparable to human levels, some not fed BPA, and others fed BPA with soy. They discovered that early exposure to BPA causes gene expression changes that affect the molecules of a part of the brain known as the amygdala.
This region of the brain is responsible for dealing with response to fear and stress. It also affects social behavior. Another human pediatric study determined neurological effects from BPA at three years of age, especially among girls. Anxiety and/or depression were the common symptoms.
Ironically, soy’s estrogen mimicking element, genistein, seemed to counteract or block BPA’s estrogen mimicking ability in the study. That’s like fighting fire with fire. The scientists doing this research seem to desire exploring soy’s BPA neutralizing properties.
They probably don’t know why many informed foodies reject soy: Most are GMOs; non-GMO soy is difficult to digest unless fermented, and just how would they know when the BPA level has been neutralized by soy, allowing soy’s genistein to take over the estrogen mimicking function, causing problems all over again?
Preventing and getting rid of BPA
Phase into glass and ceramic containers as much as possible. If you must use plastic, try to keep the container cool and out of sunlight. Plastic containers have recycle numbers placed with triangles, usually at the bottom of the container. Those numbered one or five are the least harmful.
If a canned food item doesn’t have “BPS-free” on the label, leave it on the shelf. After handling thermal paper or paper money, wash your hands thoroughly. If your work demands considerable handling with either type of paper, try wearing thin latex gloves.
Now here are those antidotes to BPA’s estrogen mimicry:
Increase probiotic consumption. Probiotic supplements should include bifidobacterium breve, lactobacillus casei, bacillus pumilus, and bifidobacterium 3.
Instead of expensive supplements, you can use homemade water or milk kefir, and fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, and tempeh. (http://www.naturalnews.com)
Black tea and Royal Jelly also work well. Supplementing with melatonin (for sleep only), folic acid, or quercetin are other good choices. Genistein extracts are contraindicative to pharmaceuticals for allopathic breast cancer patients.
Caveat: Bisphenol-S (BPS) may have replaced BPA in many products. Though apparently not as strong, its properties are similar to BPA.
Sources for this article include:
Image Credits: Flickr