BPA Exposure May Impact Uterine Health

BPA may impact uterine health, according to a new study on the industrial chemical. Bisphenol A—BPA—is a ubiquitous polycarbonate plastics chemical that has been linked in numerous studies to a growing array of adverse physical effects.

University of Cincinnati researchers revealed evidence that BPA not only affects the heart, brain, and nervous system, the chemical could also affect a mammal’s ability to reproduce, altering the uterus in structural ways that can lead to a potentially deadly infection, said Science Daily. The findings appear in the March 9, 2012 advance online edition of the Journal of Reproductive Toxicology.

Pyometra—uterine infection and inflammation—is typically seen in dogs and cats, but is also seen in humans and is the result of hormonal and structural changes to the uterine lining which can lead to death if untreated, said Science Daily. “This condition can be caused by chronic exposure to estrogens; however, it is unknown whether estrogenic endocrine disruptors, like bisphenol A, can cause pyometra,” said Scott Belcher, PhD, professor in the department of pharmacology and cell biophysics and principal study investigator, said Science Daily.

“We wanted to see if dietary exposures to BPA induced the condition in animal models of differing sensitivity to estrogens,” Belcher explained. The researchers exposed different types of mice to different dietary doses of either BPA or 17á-ethinyl estradiol (EE), a semi-synthetic steroidal estrogen, in their food. The control group received no BPA or EE, according to Science Daily.

“Using two different strains of mouse models, we monitored to see which doses of endocrine disruptors affected which strains,” Belcher said. One strain revealed a five-fold increased risk when compared to the control group. In the second strain used, a similar increase was seen, but with increased exposure, according to Science Daily. “These results suggest that BPA enhances the immune responsiveness of the uterus and that the heightened responsiveness in the C57BL/6 strain of females is related to increased susceptibility to pyometra,” he said. C57BL/6 is a commonly used mice strain. The team said that additional studies might help reveal why “sensitive subpopulations” are “at risk for developing immunological disorders related to exposures to estrogen disruptors like BPA.”

BPA the most commonly utilized estrogenic mimicker is found in many, many consumer products, making the debate over this chemical significant. BPA is also known to leach into products, whether heated or cold, and into the skin, from every day items such as paper money, toilet paper, and receipts.

A recent study revealed a link between BPA exposure and future cardiac issues and followed a similar study that yielded similar results. Another study on which we wrote revealed that even tiny amounts of synthesized substances, such as BPA, are sufficient to mix up hormones and how they work in our bodies. This can include, for instance, our fat cells taking in more fat or confusing the pancreas into releasing too much insulin, the hormone responsible to regulate the breakdown of fat and carbohydrates in the body.

We’ve also written about at least two BPA-breast cancer links and links to increased anxiety and depression in preschoolers exposed to BPA in the womb. BPA has been linked to toxic injury and implications in 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, premature puberty, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and other female fertility and endocrine issues, and erectile dysfunction and male sexual problems in males as young as the developing fetus.

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