PCOS a BPA magnet

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A new study shows that women with PCOS may be more sensitive to BPA than women in the general population. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormone imbalance in women of reproductive age and a common contributor to infertility. The chemical bisphenol A or BPA is found in many plastic household items. BPA can be absorbed into the bloodstream from common food and beverage containers that are made of polycarbonate hard plastic or lined with epoxy resins, or from some dental sealants and composites. The results are being revealed at The Endocrine Society’s 92nd Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Previous studies have shown that BPA is a known hormone disrupter. Past studies revealed elevated BPA in women who have had recurrent miscarriages. It can cause elevated levels of male hormones in women with PCOS as compared with healthy women. These findings were consistent for both lean and obese women with PCOS, said Evanthia Diamanti-Kandarakis, MD, PhD, study co-author and professor at the University of Athens Medical School in Greece.

“Women with the polycystic ovary syndrome should be alert regarding this environmental contaminant’s potential adverse effects on reproductive aspects of their health problem,” she said.

Excessive secretion of androgens -- hormones which promote masculine characteristics -- occurs in PCOS. The syndrome raises the risk of infertility, obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It’s not clear if BPA is causing PCOS or just compounding the effect PCOS already has on the women who have been diagnosed with it.

In the new study, the researchers divided 71 women with PCOS and 100 healthy female women into subgroups matched by age and body composition. Blood levels of BPA in the PCOS women were compared to the healthy control group. They were nearly 60 percent higher in lean women with PCOS and more than 30% higher in obese women with the syndrome.

“However, “ she said, “no one has proved that by reducing BPA levels in PCOS, it will have beneficial effects.” Still, an ounce of prevention, right? Talk to your dentist about past dental work and do a clean sweep on your house eliminating all BPA laden plastics.

Source: The Endocrine Society, Science Daily


 
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