Tuesday, June 15, 2010
By Dr. Stephen Chaney, PhD
You've heard the saying "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" - and sometimes we don't really know what we are preventing until after the fact.
Toxic chemicals such as BPA are a case in point! Bisphenol A or BPA is a chemical additive that has been added to clear plastic bottles for years, but we are just now starting to learn how toxic it is.
Recent studies have suggested that BPA increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and liver disease...
...and the news keeps getting worse!
One recent study showed that BPA prevents the formation of nerve connections in the portion of the brain that controls formation of memories and control of moods (Leranth et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 105:14187-191, 2008) - in short that BPA may negatively affect brain function.
That had been previously shown in mice, but what makes this study so concerning was that the authors demonstrated the same effect in monkeys - and at doses that the EPA considers to be "safe" for humans.
The second study in the August 14, 2008 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives showed that BPA suppresses a hormone called adiponectin which is responsible for maintaining normal weight and preventing the development of metabolic syndrome - a precursor to diabetes.
Those data suggest that BPA may increase the risk of both obesity and diabetes.
All of these potential health consequences of BPA exposure are especially concerning in light of a recent study showing that 90% of the US population has BPA in their urine.
So does that mean that it is too late - that there is nothing that we can do to prevent the damage caused by an environmental toxin that we were all exposed to but did not know about until recently?
The answer is no.
As I pointed out in a previous "Health Tips From the Professor" (Bad Effects Of Additives In Plastics, archived at: http://www.socialmarketingconnection.com ) those of you who have been taking a preventative approach and making sure that you had plenty of folic acid and genistein (a phytonutrient found in soy protein) in your diet may have protected yourself from the bad effects of BPA.
So, my word of advice to all of you is follow a holistic approach to health that includes weight control, exercise, good diet and supplementation.
It will help protect you from the dangers that you know about and the ones that you don't.
To Your Health!
Dr. Stephen G Chaney