BPA is a compound in many of our products, including water bottles. Last year, researchers from Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH) at the Mailman School of Public Health, found prenatal BPA exposure to contribute to the child’s future obesity. Now a study from The Endocrine Society based in Washington DC reinforce this claim. Additionally, BPA (Bisphenol A) has been linked to diabetes, depression, early female puberty, asthma, ADHD and heart disease.
What is BPA?
Bisphenol A is a synthetic compound used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. These resins coat water supplies and food containers, and BPA can be found in dental sealants, water bottles, cash receipts, medical devices and so many more commonly used products. According to the National Institute of Environmental Services, Bisphenol A can leach into food from the protective internal epoxy resin coatings of canned foods and from consumer products such as polycarbonate tableware, food storage containers, water bottles, and baby bottles. The degree to which BPA leaches from polycarbonate bottles into liquid may depend more on the temperature of the liquid or bottle, than the age of the container. BPA can also be found in breast milk.
In previous studies, 93% of people had detectable levels of BPA in their system.
BPA is considered a “hormone disruptor” by mimicking estrogen. If it binds to a receptor when the real hormone cannot, a cascade of effects could occur, such as negative feedback mechanisms, and a boosting in production of the same hormone the body believes is not present.
Why would BPA promote obesity?
We make the homone, leptin, which regulates satiety by telling the hypothalmus to send a signal to decrease our appetite. In this most recent study, the researchers found mice exposed to BPA in the womb had less responsiveness to the hormone.
Water bottles heating up in a car pose risks as well
In 2014, a University of Florida study of bottled water in China found plastic water bottles that were heated up release the chemicals antimony and BPA. Antimony has been linked to cancer, lung disease and heart disease. We as consumers may be careful not to drink the water that turned warm in our cars, but what about prior to us purchasing the bottle. Was it in a truck for long periods of time?
How to avoid BPA
So should pregnant women avoid water bottles? I recommend using glass or stainless steel to all my patients, especially if they are consuming hot foods. Additionally we should avoid heating up plastics in the microwave and eating food contained within. Decreasing the use of canned foods could decrease BPA exposure, and of course using BPA free products.
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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician