Researchers Gave Subjects A Drink Containing A “Safe”Amount Of BPA. The Result? Insulin Resistance.

Thermal paper receipts are a source of BPA exposure. (Credit: Chris Phan/flickr).
“The hormone-scrambling chemical [BPA] has been shown to leach out of the paper and penetrate the skin — especially in the presence of hand sanitizer or other skin care products.”

Virginia tipped me off to this a few weeks ago and I’ve been meaning to get it up. Because, haven’t I been saying this? Endocrine disruptors in the environment – in food, water, air, products we put on our bodies – are contributing to metabolic diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes, and not in a subtle way. It’s diet and exercise, sure. But it’s not that alone.

BPA Exposure In US-Approved Levels May Alter Insulin Response In Non-Diabetic Adults, Science Daily, 14 September 2018

In a first study of its kind study, researchers have found that a common chemical consumers are exposed to several times a day may be altering insulin release. Results of the study indicate that the Food and Drug Administration-approved ‘safe’ daily exposure amount of BPA may be enough to have implications for the development of Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

In A Scientific First, Researchers Gave People BPA — And Saw A Link To Precursor Of Type 2 Diabetes , Environmental Health News, 13 September 2018

The authors say their findings … build on growing evidence that continued exposures over time to BPA — widely used in plastics, canned food linings and receipt paper — might increase a person’s risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

We’re living in an age where type 2 diabetes is rampant. Here is a signal of a new path to explore for what is causing it.

Landmark BPA Study Finds Troubling Health Effects At FDA’s ‘Safe’ Levels, Environmental Working Group, 14 September 2018

“These troubling findings should raise alarms at the Food and Drug Administration and ignite renewed efforts to drastically reduce all Americans’ exposure to BPA,” said Alexis Temkin, Ph.D., an EWG toxicologist. “It’s appalling that the FDA and other federal agencies continue to say current exposure levels to BPA are safe, and refuse to ban BPA from food and food packaging.”

In addition to diabetes and obesity, [BPA] has been linked to ADHD in children and breast cancer in laboratory animals.

The study:
Experimental BPA Exposure and Glucose-Stimulated Insulin Response in Adult Men and Women, Journal of the Endocrine Society, 12 September 2018

This study is an initial step toward investigation of an intriguing hypothesis that exposure to estrogenic chemicals such as BPA may contribute to insulin resistance by triggering an innate insulin resistance mechanism.

This was a study in humans, a first. They actually gave BPA to the subjects, which begins to cross the ethics line. It was placebo-controlled. And they used hardly any BPA:

… Subjects were orally administered a safe dose of BPA, which led to the same amount of BPA in their blood that customers might encounter by handling a cash register receipt.

The dose his team used — 0.05 milligrams of BPA per kilogram of body weight — is presumed safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

When your cells become resistant to the hormone insulin, your blood glucose goes up. That’s not good. Too much glucose in the blood leads to a slew of complications, evident first in the very small blood vessels of the eye (retinopathy), the kidney (nephropathy), and the fingers and toes (numbness and tingling).

In animal studies repeated BPA exposure resulted in insulin resistance.

An association between exposure to BPA and diabetes had been previously found in animal studies and epidemiological studies. However, the FDA and EPA “would not pay attention” to those studies, said Frederick vom Saal, a professor of biology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and another co-author of the new study.

When you eat carbohydrates, your blood glucose will go up. It’s natural. But it should never go over, say, 300 mg/dl, and it should go back down in less than an hour. If it’s too high for too long, you likely have some degree of insulin resistance.

If a few cash register receipts can do this, imagine what all the BPA and other endocrine disruptors we’re exposed to in a day can do? Our grandparents were never exposed to these chemicals like we are. We’re guinea pigs.

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