Hydrate! One of the healthiest habits is to consume fresh, pure water throughout the day. But if you haven’t given up your convenient plastic water bottle for the sake of the earth, perhaps you may after you learn the link between plastic and your weight. It seems research from Health Canada is the first to show how the body metabolizes bisphenol-A (BPA) results in fat accumulation.
BPA is a chemical found in polycarbonate plastic. Among its many uses are plastic containers to store food and for beverages like water. But it does not stop there. BPA is also used in epoxy resins that coat metal such as canned food and bottle caps. As such, BPA may leach from these containers into food and water that you consume. The connection between BPA and breast cancer risk is well-known.
BPA is everywhere and it’s not new. It’s been used in various plastic products since 1957. Today an estimated 8 billion pounds a year of BPA is in commercial products. Canada was the first country to ban the use of BPA in baby bottles and products and the European Union has similar bans. The Federal Drug Administration, although studying BPA, has not banned BPA to date.
Let the buyer beware. What happens when you ingest BPA could be spelled F-A-T. Your detox organ, the liver, helps metabolize BPA. About 50% of it is converted to a substance called BPA-glucuronide (BPA-G), once considered nontoxic. However, when researchers exposed human and mouse cells to BPA-G, the treated cells had a “significant increase” in fat accumulation. This study is the first to show that BPA-G is not an inactive byproduct as previously supposed but is a potentially harmful contributor to obesity. The association of obesity is even more prevalent for children if exposed to BPA during their developmental years.
BPA may still deserve its bad press but apparently in several studies, BPA-G has been found in human blood and urine in higher concentrations than BPA. Perhaps that makes it the new "bad kid" on the block, particularly in the obesity-BPA link. Researchers believe BPA encourages fat storage by mimicking estrogen while BPA-G stimulates fat cells by influencing certain receptors in the cells themselves.
There are critics, however, in the chemical industry who state that the levels of BPA used in the study produced higher concentrations of BPA-G than humans are normally exposed. Study researcher Vandenberg said the levels are not far off from those found in people’s blood. And she states the point of the study is that it shows BPA-G is not harmless after all.
The study is under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
While you may not be able to avoid every BPA laden bottle and can, you can limit your exposure by 1) using a BPA free, glass, ceramic or stainless steel, reusable water bottle, 2) eating fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, and 3) helping your liver to be as healthy as possible with alpha lipoic acid, which incidentally may help with weight loss efforts, given its role in metabolizing carbs and fats in the first place. Read more in Alpha Lipoic Acid & Weight Loss by Dr. Michael Smith and Alpha Lipoic Acid, Defending Your Liver by Margy Squires.
Source: Boucher et al. Bisphenol S Induces Adipogenesis in Primary Human Preadipocytes From Female Donors.Epidemiology 2016
©TyH Publications (M. Squires). For informational purposes only.