Yet Another Reason to Avoid BPA
An obscure experiment conducted by French researchers appears to show there’s yet another reason to avoid the widespread chemical, BPA. According to the report, exposure to BPA in the womb sets the stage for subsequent food allergies and intolerances, in a mouse model of human disease. If the same holds true for humans, it could explain the curious increase in food intolerances around the globe.
Food intolerance is an increasingly common, disturbing trend. Consider the rising tide of people who identify themselves as gluten intolerant, for example. Many others are lactose intolerant, while increasingly common allergies to foods such as peanuts pose a deadly threat to people who are allergic to these foods.
Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical that has been used for decades to make plastics more pliable. It’s present in plastic film used to line food and beverage containers, coming in direct contact with foods and drinks intended for human consumption. In recent years, it’s become clear that this chemical is capable of leeching out of plastic and into the foods or drinks it comes into contact with. Up until recently, it was included in products intended for infants and newborns, too. Not surprisingly, the chemical has been detected in the blood of a vast majority of people.
That’s a big concern, because we now know that BPA is an endocrine disruptor; a chemical that resembles natural estrogens enough to activate and interfere with delicate processes that are controlled by estrogens in the body. It’s thought to interfere with reproductive maturation and health, for example, and may impede fertility. It may even increase the risk of heart disease and/or diabetes. It’s also been linked to possible weight gain and/or obesity.
The French experiment showed that mice that were exposed to BPA in the womb were significantly more likely to develop food intolerances and allergies than mice that were not exposed to the chemical. At the very least, this suggests there’s yet another reason to demand, as consumers, that food and beverage manufacturers take swift and definitive steps to remove this and other unsafe chemicals from the food supply.
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