Bisphenol A, or BPA, the chemical compound that has gathered a lot of negative attention over the years due to its effects on neural health, has now been linked to changes in thyroid level hormones. The UC Berkeley study is one of the first to analyze the effects of BPA on pregnant women and newborn boys, and the results were alarming, to say the least.
BPA Affects Neural Health
Previous studies have linked BPA to blocking the conversion of folic acid into its active form called 5-MTHF, which is essential to neural health and supporting a healthier mood, concentration, and memory. For this reason, folic acid supplementation is highly encouraged in pregnant women to support the health of developing children.
This latest study shows that increased BPA levels in pregnant women correspond to a decrease in their levels of thyroid hormone T4. Incidentally, the higher the BPA levels in the mothers, the more active were the thyroids in newborn boys.
Thyroid hormones are crucial to brain development in young children as well as other aspects of growth such as metabolism, which is why it’s important for thyroid function to be neither overactive nor underactive to support proper growth and development.
More Manufacturers Cutting Back on BPA Use
The use of BPA in plastics manufacturing is so commonplace that up to 90% of American women have traces of BPA in their system. Up till recently BPA was used in everything from microwavable plastic containers to water bottles to sales receipts. Even dental sealants and the preservative lining of canned foods have BPA.
In July, 2012, the Food and Drug Administration prohibited the use of BPA in manufacturing plastic baby bottles and cups. Some states, such as California, are also enforcing tougher restrictions on how much BPA can be used in manufacturing plastics. These tougher restrictions have led to certain manufacturers, such as Campbell’s soup, to completely ban the use of BPA in their products.
With increasing awareness on the dangers of BPA to health, and more manufacturers stepping up and admitting the potential dangers of this chemical, younger generations can hopefully look towards a future where BPA will no longer be used in any items associated with food or drink.
- Borrell B. US opts not to ban BPA in canned foods. Nature. http://www.nature.com/news/us-opts-not-to-ban-bpa-in-canned-foods-1.10370.
- Kleffman S. UC Berkeley study: BPA linked to thyroid hormone changes in pregnant women and newborn boys. MercuryNews.com. http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_21688476/uc-berkeley-study-bpa-linked-thyroid-hormone-changes?source=email.