Several studies have associated adverse health problems to exposure of Bisphenpol A (BPA). BPA is a chemical used to manufacture plastic and is widely found in a variety of consumer products, including plastic bottles, food cans and cash register receipts. The Center for Disease control estimates that 96% of Americans have some level of BPA in their body.
A new study has determined that BPA exposure during pregnancy can impact on the developing baby and cause a number of health problems by causing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by a high levels of reactive chemicals that may harm cells when the body processes oxygen.
“This study provides the first evidence that BPA exposure during pregnancy can induce a specific type of oxidative stress known as nitrosative stress in both the mother and offspring,” said the senior author, Vasantha Padmanabhan, MS, PhD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. “Oxidative stress is associated with insulin resistance and inflammation, which are risk factors for diabetes and other metabolic disorders as well as cardiovascular disease.”
The study participants consists of 24 mother and infant pairs. The mothers had their blood tested during the first trimester of pregnancy and were divided into two groups. Those who had lower levels of BPA in their blood, and those who had higher levels. Researchers also took blood samples from the umbilical cords after the babies were delivered and measured the amount of chemical byproducts created by oxidative stress.
The study findings revealed that human mothers exposed to higher levels of BPA and their infants showed signs of oxidative stress caused by overexposure to nitric oxide-derived free radicals.
The impact of BPA exposure during pregnancy was also studies in sheep, rats and mice. Animals were fed a diet containing either high or low doses of BPA. The researchers then measured the resulting oxidative stress on the mothers and their offspring using blood samples. The results corroborated the results in the human study.
“Whether or not BPA is harmful to human health has been vigorously debated,” Padmanabhan said. “These findings demonstrate that more studies like this one are needed to determine the disease risk of exposure to BPA. In the interim, these results indicate that pregnant women should minimize their exposure to BPA to safeguard their babies and themselves from oxidant injury.”
Almudena Veiga-Lopez, Subramaniam Pennathur, Kurunthachalam Kannan, Heather B. Patisaul, Dana C. Dolinoy, Lixia Zeng, Vasantha Padmanabhan. Impact of Gestational Bisphenol A on Oxidative Stress and Free Fatty Acids: Human Association and Interspecies Animal Testing Studies. Endocrinology, 2015; en.2014-1863 DOI: 10.1210/en.2014-1863