By Dr. Michael Cerami
Here’s some information and a suggestion to change a few things in the home that will likely improve the health of you and your family.
There has been a lot of talk over the past few years about the plastics in our food containers. Plastic containers, bike bottles, plain water bottles, metal cans (lined with plastic), baby bottles and many more have been shown to have chemicals that act as hormone disruptors. Hormone changes in this case usually are an increase in estrogen and a decrease in testosterone.
The short title for this chemical is BPA or Bisphenol A. The latest information suggests that no children should be given food or liquids with BPA in the container and adults might want to avoid the chemical as well.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is widely used in epoxy resins lining food and beverage containers. Evidence of effects in animals has generated concern over low-level chronic exposures in humans. Bisphenol A is used extensively in epoxy resins lining food and beverage containers and in plastics of many consumer products. Studies have noted that BPA has well-documented estrogenic activity, causes liver damage, disrupts pancreatic function, disrupts thyroid hormones, and has obesity-promoting effects.
Identification: Plastics that are recyclable have a triangle on the container somewhere which displays a number in the center. It is likely that containers and water bottles with numbers “3 and 7” contain BPA and should be avoided. You may have bike bottles that have been hanging around the house that you have been using which you can replace with a variety of “BPA Free” labeled bottles that are readily available.
Action Step: Check your running water bottles for the correct numbers in the triangle and replace any that display the numbers 3 and 7. Try and stay away from canned food liners that contain BPA; (Good news: Many food manufacturers have started to replace the BPA in their canned foods). Don’t ever microwave your food in plastic containers. Consider replacing all of your storage containers with a glass alternative. Pyrex makes a neat glass product that has a sealable top with a pop up vent (to let the steam out) if you choose to use the microwave.
Research and brief summary; partially from JAMA: Volume 300 No. 11 September 17, 2008
1) Bisphenol A is used extensively in epoxy resins lining food and beverage containers and in plastics in many consumer products.
2) “Widespread and continuous exposure to BPA, primarily through food but also through drinking water, dental sealants, dermal exposure, and inhalation of household dusts, is evident from the presence of detectable levels of BPA in more than 90% of the US population.”
3) Studies have noted that BPA has well-documented estrogenic activity, causes liver damage, disrupts pancreatic function, disrupts thyroid hormones, and has obesity-promoting effects.
4) “Weighted mean BPA concentrations adjusted for age and sex appeared higher in those who reported diagnoses of cardiovascular diseases (including coronary heart disease, heart attack, and angina) and diabetes.”
5) These authors found that higher BPA concentrations were associated with diagnoses of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and clinically abnormal concentrations of the 3 liver enzymes (GGT, alkaline phosphatase, and lactate dehydrogenase).
Dr. Michael Cerami is an avid runner, cyclist and triathlete. He is available for a no charge consultation one Saturday per month at The Salt Lake Running Company (Salt Lake store) by appointment. He can be reached at 801-486-1818 or online at www.utahsportsandwellness.com