Common Chemicals BPA and Phthalates May be Damaging Your Arteries
Exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalate metabolites, usually associated with plastic products and canned goods, have been found to harden your vital arteries. Research linked the two chemicals to a disorder known as atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries through the buildup of unwanted hard structures known as plaques. Over long periods of time, the plaque buildup stiffens the arteries and negatively impacts your blood flow.
While shocking, the research is not the first of its kind to link BPA exposure to thickened artery walls. Bisphenol A has been previously linked to coronary heart disease in more than one instance, with one team finding that those with the highest levels of BPA in urine tests were more than twice as likely to suffer from coronary heart disease than those with the lowest concentrations. In the second instance, scientists evaluated the data from 1,455 United States adults tested between 2003 and 2004. What they found was an association between increased BPA levels and not only your likelihood of heart disease, but also diabetes and abnormal liver function.
BPA Exposure Wreaks Havoc on Your Body
The newest study found a substantial relationship between bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalate metabolites and carotid ( a vital artery that supplies the head and neck with oxygenated blood) plaques even after adjustments for factors such as blood glucose, blood, body mass index, smoking, statin use, gender, and others.
Outside of heart disease and artery hardening, BPA has been linked to:
- Infertility in offspring
- Hyperactivity and depression
- Wheezing in children
- Breast cancer (over 130 studies)
While usually associated with plastics, BPA and phthalates are actually in a number of common products and household items. Unfortunately, phthalates and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals can even be lurking on plastics labeled as ‘BPA-free’ despite having the same negative effects as BPA. In fact, the study found that 70% of common plastic products were tested positive for estrogenic activity, and the number skyrocketed to 95% when the products were put through real world conditions such as microwaving or dishwashing.
These chemicals can be found in water bottles, plastic containers, plastic wrapping, dental fillings and sealants, and perhaps most importantly canned goods. BPA levels have been found to spike by over 1,200 percent after eating canned food, making it a major source of exposure. Of course it is daunting how easy it is to be exposed to toxic BPA, but solutions do exist.
In my article The BPA Solution, I explain how to not only diminish the presence of BPA in your body, but diminish or reverse the harmful effects of BPA exposure. You should do your best to avoid exposure, but do not stress over past BPA exposure.
Natural Society staff contribution