Avoid Bisphenol-A (BPA) for a better body composition and less risk of disease. BPA mimics the hormone estrogen in the body and a notable new study found a direct association between urinary BPA levels and obesity risk in a large multi-ethnic population. This study shows BPA makes both men and women fat, and that it affects all races.
BPA is a chemical that is used to make plastic, line the inside of food
cans, and it functions as an epoxy resin, coating everything from
medical equipment to receipt paper. When it enters the body it mimics
the hormone estrogen and binds to estrogen receptors. Because the body
always tries to achieve homeostasis, any time one hormone is altered it
affects the levels of other hormones, meaning that greater BPA exposure
doesn’t just increase your estrogen levels—it can influence the function
of everything from testosterone to insulin.
For example, there’s evidence that BPA exposure decreases reproductive
function, increases heart disease risk, causes inflammation, affects
brain function, and causes hyperactivity in children. In one study, BPA
exposure in young girls was linked to behavior problems such as
ADHD-like symptoms. And a 10-year study found that subjects who had
increasing urinary BPA concentrations over the study period had much
greater risk of heart disease, after adjusting for confounding factors.
The new report in the International Scholarly Research
Network-Endocrinology found that in 4,792 Americans, greater urinary BPA
levels were associated with much greater risk of obesity as defined by
BMI and waist circumference even after adjusting for factors such as
smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, education, and race. The
study broke urinary BPA levels into quartiles and found that there was
an across the board increased risk of obesity with higher levels of
urinary BPA. This means that in every subgroup (gender, race, age,
education level), rates of obesity increased with more BPA exposure.
For example, people who had more than 4.20 ng/ml BPA in their urine had
at least a 34 percent chance of being obese compared to those with less
than 1.10 ng/ml BPA who only had a 23 percent chance of being obese.
Researchers think that greater BPA exposure increases body fat because
it alters insulin sensitivity, affects metabolism, causes inflammation,
and decreases levels of a hormone called adiponectin that regulates fat