BPA Causes Symptoms Of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome In Rats

An emerging study has revealed that neonatal exposure to <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">bisphenol A—BPA—can lead to “reproductive and endocrine alterations resembling … polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in adult rats,” wrote Environmental Health News. Those rats exposed to the estrogenic compound in their early life developed symptoms consistent with PCOS, a key cause of female infertility.

The emerging data found that this very early exposure to the polycarbonate plastic can not only negatively affect fertility, but can leave long-lasting effects on the female reproductive system, said Environmental Health News. The study was among the first of its kind to link early BPA exposure to PCOS in adults, wrote Environmental Health New. The study did not look at those metabolic links common in PCOS to elevated insulin levels and resistance and obesity.

Four to eight percent of women suffer from PCOS, the most common hormonal disturbance in young women and a leading cause of female infertility, said Environmental Health News. PCOS involves have irregular menstrual cycles, eggs that develop abnormally, elevated testosterone levels, increased insulin levels, and a host of other hormonal irregularities. Much remains unclear as to what leads to PCOS; however, the syndrome does appear during the reproductive years. Environmental Health News noted that the disorder may actually occur years before the reproductive phase since that system develops under so-called hormonal control.

BPA is known to imitate the hormone estrogen and acts as an anti-androgen and is also known to affect sexual development and processes, especially in developing fetuses, infants, and children, explained Science Daily previously.

Many hundreds of studies have linked BPA to cardiovascular disease, intestinal problems, brain cell connection interference, increased risks of reproductive and immune system diseases and disorders, problems with liver function testing, interruptions in chemotherapy treatment, and erectile dysfunction and male sexual problems. In urine tests, BPA is found in the overwhelming majority of Americans, more than 93 percent and, significantly, the chemical is found in 90 percent of all newborns.

Environmental Health News wrote that the ubiquitous chemical has been shown to affect normal reproductive system development and function and that science has suggested that early exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals could be involved in the development of PCOS. An Argentine research team found that rats exposed to BPA just after birth experienced similar symptoms to PCOS in women, such as altered hormone levels, ovarian differences, and fertility problems, explained Environmental Health News. Higher BPA levels were linked to increased testosterone and estrogen levels; lowered progesterone levels; and irregularities in GnRH secretion, all consistent with typical PCOS symptoms, said Environmental Health News. GnRH is a hormone in the brain that regulates reproductive hormone activity.

The ovaries of the rats exposed to high BPA levels were smaller and cystic; there were more degenerating eggs and few healthy developing eggs; and the rats neither ovulated nor conceived, all consistent with PCOS. Moderately exposed rats exhibited fertility issues and smaller litters; those with low exposure did not exhibit fertility declines, explained Environmental Health News.

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