Archive for January, 2011

If we can’t see it, can’t smell it, can’t hear it and can’t touch it, does it exist?

We can no longer hide our head in the sand and pretend that environmental chemicals have no effect on polycystic ovarian syndrome and our collective health.

The evidence is in. The chemical Genie is out of the bottle. We have a serious problem to solve.

Researchers in the UK and Greece have just published a report. The report says that women with polycystic ovary syndrome have a significantly higher body burden of bisphenol A (BPA) than other women.

BPA, a chemical in our environment, is a known estrogenic “hormone disrupter”.

The study compared 71 women with PCOS to 100 “normal” women. All women were subdivided into lean and overweight groups.

All together, the PCOS women had 1.5 times the amount of BPA in their blood than the other women did.

The lean PCOS women had 1.6 times the amount compared to other lean women. The overweight PCOS women had 1.3 times as much as the other overweight women.

The overweight women tended to have lower BPA levels in their blood than the lean ones. We can speculate that in the overweight women, they have more BPA stored in their fat cells and not as much in their blood. Fat cells are excellent storage sites for many environmental chemicals.

The study also established a close correlation between BPA levels and the level of male hormones such as testosterone. A close association was also shown between BPA and insulin resistance. In other words, the higher the BPA, the higher the male hormones and insulin resistance are.

Please note that high levels of male hormones and insulin resistance are believed to be the reason why you have PCOS.

The study concluded: “Higher BPA levels in PCOS women compared to controls and a statistically significant positive association between androgens and BPA point to a potential role of this endocrine disruptor in PCOS pathophysiology.”

They are implying that BPA appears to be a partial cause of your PCOS.

But there’s more.

What happens if you conceive? What happens to your developing baby?

In lab animals, BPA passes from the mother to the fetus. So BPA is still available to do its damage. Fetuses have a severely limited capability to detoxify chemicals such as BPA. Essentially, your future baby is at increased risk for problems that go far beyond PCOS or infertility.

For example, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill has reported that the 2-year old children of mothers with higher levels of BPA had more disturbed behavior. This was more pronounced in female children than males.

What happens if your new baby is exposed to BPA? If rodent studies are any clue, both your male and female babies will tend to be less fertile when they become adults.

For example, the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina recently completed a study of baby female rats exposed to BPA.

When the female rats became adults, they discovered that their BPA exposure was associated with increased testosterone and estrogen, and reduced progesterone. (This is an unbalanced hormone pattern commonly seen in women who have PCOS).

In addition, the exposed female rats had much reduced fertility. Also, their ovaries had large numbers of ovarian cysts.

We could go on and on about all the health problems created by BPA, to say nothing of the other 80,000 chemicals to which we are exposed.

Let’s cut to the chase. Is there anything you can do about BPA?

There are two things you can do. Reduce your exposure to BPA, and try to get rid of the BPA you already have.

Reduce Exposure

You can reduce your exposure by trying to find out where it is. It is used in a multitude of hard plastic products such as water bottles, food containers, infant bottles and medical equipment and supplies. BPA may also be found in the lining of canned foods and in many other non-obvious products such as thermal-printed cash register receipts and some dental sealants.

Reduce the use of canned foods and eat more fresh food instead. Try to use glass containers instead of plastic for food, water and beverages. Don’t use plastic bottles to feed your baby; use glass instead.

It may be difficult to get rid of the BPA you already have, but it’s worth trying anyway. Your liver can detoxify BPA and send it to the intestines for excretion. However, up to one-half of women with PCOS have livers that are infiltrated with fat, thus possibly slowing down the detoxification process.

We don’t have space here to discuss repairing your liver. However, a healthier diet is a place to start.

Another problem is that, as the detoxified BPA passes down your intestines into the colon, much of the BPA is reabsorbed back into the bloodstream and goes straight back to the liver, where it just came from. This problem is made worse if you tend to be constipated.

However, if you consume a diet that is high in whole foods and fiber, like the one in the e-book, you improve your chances of flushing out the BPA before it can be reabsorbed into the body.

Source: PCOS review


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