Monday, March 19, 2012

BPA's Diabetes Link Strengthened by New Study

BPA's Diabetes Link Strengthened by New Study

Growing evidence suggests that even minuscule amounts of BPA (used in everything from pesticides to water bottles) can scramble hormone signals, and trick fat cells into taking in more fat or mislead the pancreas into secreting excess insulin....
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Among the most ubiquitous and scrutinized of these so-called endocrine disruptors is bisphenol, better known as BPA. The chemical is a common ingredient in plastics and food-can linings.
[...]

Nadal's latest research, finds that the chemical triggers the release of almost double the insulin actually needed to break down food. High insulin levels can desensitize the body to the hormone over time, which in some people may then lead to weight gain and Type 2 diabetes.

To achieve this feat, BPA fools a receptor into thinking it is the natural hormone estrogen, an insulin regulator.

[...]

"That pretty much nails it," Bruce Blumberg of the University of California, Irvine, who was not involved in the new study, told The Huffington Post. He notes that despite the prior associations made between BPA and metabolic problems, including obesity and diabetes, doubt had lingered because of a lack of understanding about how the phenomenon occurred. Long-term studies of children -- tracking BPA exposures and health outcomes -- remain ongoing around the world.

An estimated 90 percent of people in developed countries have BPA circulating in their blood at levels often higher than the threshold for causing hormone disruption used in Nadal's study. This high incidence is due not only to exposures from leaching food packages but also BPA-infused cash register receipts, dental sealants and toilet paper.

Frederick vom Saal, another expert in endocrine disruptors at the University of Missouri-Columbia stated that, "People are seeing effects of BPA down to 1000-fold below [Nadal's threshold]." "It takes so little of this chemical to cause harm."

I've been watching this issue for a while, and it is interesting to see this new study lend more credence to the hypothesis that BPA causes diabetes.

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