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BPA and BPA-Free Plastics Have Been linked to Brain Changes and Hyperactivity

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By: Dr. Brenna Murphy

BPA-Free products have become more common since concerns about the effects of BPA exposure became public.  BPA, which is shorthand for bisphenol A, is a plastic hardener and is found in many household products and food containers.  BPA exposure has previously been shown to be an irreversible endocrine disruptor in infants and fetuses and a reversible endocrine disruptor in children and adults.  This led to BPA being replaced in water bottles and baby bottles by bisphenol S (BPS).  A recent study showed that very low levels of BPA and BPS caused alterations in brain development leading to hyperactivity.

This study was conducted on zebra fish since fish embryos mature externally and therefore provide a good research subject for the effects of fetal exposure to toxins. Zebrafish also share 80% of human’s genes and undergo similar developmental processes.

The fish embryos were exposed to BPA and BPS at levels found in a local river.  Low levels of BPA and BPS changed the timing of neuron development in the brain.    BPS also increased the number of neurons by 240%. This resulted in the fish demonstrating hyperactivity.  This study is important because the effects were seen at very low levels of exposure; lower than even the researchers expected to cause changes.

Research released in 2014 found congenital neurologic changes involving inappropriate neuron arrangement in the brains of children with autism.  While this recent study did not look at autism, the link suggests itself and should be explored in future research.

BPA, BPS and other plastic components are a part of modern life.  You can, however, reduce your exposure:

  • Do not heat up food in plastics or put hot food into plastic containers
  • Soft plastics (plastic wrap, plastic water bottles) will “dissolve” faster than hard plastics. Do not cover food with plastic wrap before microwaving.
  • Tomato sauce is highly acidic and should be stored in glass.
  • Do not reheat leftovers in Styrofoam or takeout containers
  • Most cans are lined with plastic. Buy frozen or jarred foods instead of canned.
  • Eat cabbage and sweat frequently to assist in the detoxification of environmental toxins.
  • Drink plenty of filtered water from a glass water bottle.
  • Participate in an annual cleanse, like the elements Clean Body Cleanse.
  1. Cassandra D. Kinch, Kingsley Ibhazehiebo, Joo-Hyun Jeong, Hamid R. Habibi, and Deborah M. Kurrasch. Low-dose exposure to bisphenol A and replacement “bisphenol S induces precocious hypothalamic neurogenesis in embryonic zebrafish. PNAS, January 12, 2015 DOI: 1073/pnas.1417731112

Read more about BPA here: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/03/tritan-certichem-eastman-bpa-free-plastic-safe

Are you interested in how you can reduce the amount of chemicals like BPA in your body?  Call today to make an appointment with a cleanse expert.


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