Men exposed to high levels of the polycarbonate plastic <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">bisphenol Aâ€”BPAâ€”test with what WebMD described as a small but significant increase in testosterone, the male sex hormone. The study appears in Environmental Health Perspectives.
BPA is found in a wide variety of consumer products and is known to imitate the hormone estrogen. BPA acts as an anti-androgen, affecting sexual development and processes, especially in developing fetuses, infants, and children.
Earlier studies linked higher testosterone levels with increased risks of some cancers and heart disease; however it remains unknown if BPA has significant effects on testosterone, noted WebMD.
Hundreds of prior studies link 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, premature puberty, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and erectile dysfunction and male sexual problems. BPA is found in the bodies of 93 percent of Americans and 90 percent of all American newborns.
The research looked at the CHIANTI Adult population study, measuring BPA levels in the urine of 715 Italian men and women aged 20 to 74 in a 24-hour period and discovered measurable BPA levels in over 95 percent of the men, said WebMD. The research revealed that average daily exposure was over five micrograms of BPA, slightly higher than levels seen in U.S studies, pointed out WebMD. Of note, those men who tested with the highest BPA urine levels also tested with increased blood testosterone, said WebMD.
“BPA is what’s known as an anti-androgen. That means that it blocks the normal action of testosterone in the body and what we might be seeing is the body making more testosterone to overcome this,” said study researcher Tamara Galloway, PhD, quoted WebMD. Galloway is a professor of ecotoxicology at the University of Exeter, U.K. “The levels we saw in our study group were still within the normal range for healthy men, so we can’t say for sure what the effects might be,” she added in an email.
“Small fluctuations in endocrine function could have a lot of consequences, some which may not have been characterized yet,” said John Meeker, ScD, an assistant professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, quoted WebMD. Meeker has studied BPA and testosterone.
Meeker also told WebMD that the emerging study “is adding to a small, but growing body of literature that background exposures to BPA could have potential health implications for people in the general populationâ€¦. Human studies are limited, but there are a number underway so we should know a bit more about the human health risks of BPA exposure in the near future.”
We recently wrote that another report containing the must current collection of published scientific literature regarding BPAâ€™s health impacts found that of 81 studies included in the compilation, 75 concluded that humans are exposed to the chemical there exists negative health reactions connected to exposure to BPA, wrote Toxics Action.