Plastics component affects intestine: study

December 14, 2009

The chemical Bisphenol A used in plastic containers and drinks cans has been shown for the first time to affect the functioning of the intestines, according to a French study published Monday.

National Institute of Agronomic Research researchers in Toulouse found the digestive tract of rats react negatively to even low doses of the chemical also called BPA, the Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences journal reported.

Their research, also conducted on human cells, found that the chemical lowered the permeability of the intestines and the immune system's response to digestive inflammation, it said.

BPA is used in the production of polycarbonated plastics and epoxy resins found in baby bottles, plastic containers, the lining of cans used for food and beverages, and in dental sealants.

Over 130 studies over the past decade have linked even low levels of BPA, which can leach from plastics, to serious health problems, , obesity and the early onset of puberty, among other disorders.

The French study focuses on the first organ to come in contact with the substance, the intestine.

The researchers orally administered doses of BPA to the rats that were equivalent to about 10 times less than the daily amount considered safe for humans, a statement from the Toulouse institute said.

They saw that BPA reduced the permeability of the instentinal lining through which water and essential minerals enter the body, it said.

They also found that newborn rats exposed to BPA in the uterus and during feeding have a higher risk of developing severe in adulthood.

The study "shows the very high sensitivity on the intestine of and opens news avenues for research" including to define new acceptable thresholds of the substance for humans, the institute said.

In May this year, the six major makers in the United States agreed to stop using the chemical.

(c) 2009 AFP

Related Stories

Recommended for you

One in 4 women and 1 in 6 men aged 65+ will be physically disabled in Europe by 2047

October 23, 2017
By 2047 one in four women and one in six men aged 65 and above is expected to be living with a physical disability that will severely restrict everyday activities, reveals an analysis published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Protein regulates vitamin A metabolic pathways, prevents inflammation

October 23, 2017
A team of researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have discovered how uncontrolled vitamin A metabolism in the gut can cause harmful inflammation. The discovery links diet to inflammatory diseases, ...

New insights into controversial diagnosis of adolescent chronic fatigue

October 23, 2017
Crucial new research could provide some clarity around the controversy surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in adolescents. The research by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute published ...

Do boys really have a testosterone spurt at age four?

October 23, 2017
The idea that four-year-old boys have a spurt of testosterone is often used to explain challenging behaviour at this age.

Our laws don't do enough to protect our health data

October 23, 2017
Have you ever wondered why your computer often shows you ads that seem tailor-made for your interests? The answer is big data. By combing through extremely large datasets, analysts can reveal patterns in your behavior.

New prevention exercise programme to reduce rugby injuries

October 23, 2017
A new dynamic 20-minute exercise programme, performed by rugby players before training and pre-match, could dramatically reduce injuries in the sport according to a benchmark study published today (Sunday 22 October).

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Caliban
1 / 5 (2) Dec 15, 2009
The article lead understates the case. Should read something more like: the compound bisphenol-A, found in virtually ALL prepackaged foods(including beverages)/food packaging....

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.