BPA, commonly found in plastics, is a potent hormone disruptor that is increasingly linked to health effects like brain and behavior changes, cancer, and reproductive system damages (Click on Plastics to read more.). Furthermore, the CDC estimates that right now BPA is in the bodies of 93 percent of Americans, with higher levels in teens than in adults, and higher levels in children than in teens.
"Bisphenol A can easily pass through the placenta, where absorption and distribution in the fetus is rapid."
-- The Toxic Sandbox (2007) by Libby McDonald; page 86
Researchers at Duke University have shown that this early exposure affects the offspring’s epigenetics: it turns on and off different genes, resulting in the problems that we see.
Here’s the exciting part: They found that they could completely block BPA damage, even in the face of significant exposure, by giving pregnant animals extra folate (found mostly in green leafy vegetables – foliage – such as spinach) or extra genistein (found mostly in legumes such as soy). The amount of genistein given was comparable to what we would get in our diets if we ate soy foods regularly.
These nutrients switched the genes back the way they should be, and the BPA effect was completely nullified. The researchers describe this as compelling evidence that certain nutrients can counteract BPA when given during pregnancy.
Beyond this, the researchers propose that these nutrients could block the effects of chemical estrogen exposures, even if given later in childhood and possibly even in adulthood.
Click on Dr. Greene to read more about the latest research.