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BPA Villain of Fertility
Villain by definition is a deliberate scoundrel or criminal, a character in a story or play who opposes the hero, one blamed for a particular evil or difficulty. (Meriam Webster dictionary)
BPA could easily be the villainous henchman in the story of fertility. It is part of the gang xeno-estrogens which mimic real estrogen. They change your hormone receptors, modify their production, and damage ovarian follicles.
BPA is an abbreviation for bisphenol A which is a chemical compound especially found in hard plastics. (Meriam Webster dictionary) BPA is also found in the lining of tin cans, dental sealants, and cash register receipts. It has only been banned from children’s bottles and cups. BPA has been proven to wreak havoc with egg quality and fertility. If you want more history on BPA and the FDA, an excellent book on fertility is It Starts with the Egg by Rebecca Fett. (1)
BPA has been connected to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome (a main cause of infertility), and damage to brain and reproductive systems of infants exposed during pregnancy. BPA interferes with the activity of estrogen, testosterone, and thyroid hormones.
A study found that eggs from women found to be higher in BPA levels were less likely to fertilize. (2) During IVF it was found that women with higher levels of BPA had less 5 day old embryos available to transfer. Another study showed a correlation between high BPA levels and failure of embryos to implant. (3) Harvard researchers speculated that BPA both decreases egg quality and interferes with the environment of the uterus, reducing the ability of embryos to implant. A small study found that the average BPA level in women with recurrent miscarriage was three times higher than in the control group. (4)
These are only a few examples of studies implicating BPA in poor fertility outcomes. There is evidence that BPA causes chromosomal abnormalities, which would account for lower rates of fertilization, less implantation, and higher miscarriage. For this reason the most important time to avoid BPA is during the 5 months before ovulation when the egg is going through the process of growth and reproduction of chromosomes called meiosis.
To avoid BPA you must eliminate plastic from your kitchen. This includes mixing bowls, spatulas, storage containers, measuring cups, drink cups, plastic zip lock bags, etc. BPA-free plastics may still leach other chemicals that disrupt hormonal systems, so it is best to do away with plastics as much as possible. BPA is also found in the lining of cans, takeout containers from restaurants, and coffee machines where plastics comes in contact with hot water. Consider switching to French press or eliminating coffee altogether, especially if you want to become pregnant. BPA is also found on receipts from the store, so if you work where you handle receipts consider wearing gloves or washing your hands frequently.
BPA has been shown to pass through the placenta to the developing baby. It has been found in both the baby and amniotic fluid during pregnancy. (5)
Though the best goal is to lower exposure to BPA this can be difficult and most of us already have some in our body. The best way to help eliminate it is with cruciferous vegetables which contain phytonutrients. Phytonutrients enhance the liver’s ability to detoxify from estrogens. Cruciferous vegetables are everyone’s favorites!
Cruciferous Vegetables: Argula, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brusseles Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chinese Cabbage, Collard Greens, Daikon Radish, Horseradish, Kale, Kohlrabi, Land Cress, Mustard Greens, Radish, Rutabaga, Shepherd’s Purse, Turnip, Watercress.
If you don’t love cruciferous vegetables you can get them in a supplement or green drink. Another option is you can take the supplement DIM which is derived from cruciferous vegetables and is produced in small amounts in the digestive system. DIM is primarily known to increase the enzymatic activity in the liver and can be very powerful at lowering xeno-estrogens in the body. DIM is well tolerated in the 200-400mg/day range when split into two doses. (6)
This may feel overwhelming to you, but let me encourage you: small steps make a big difference and it might be the difference between not getting pregnant or having a healthy baby.
You might also be interested in reading my blog The Golden Egg.
I recommend Cruciferous Complete from Standard Process. I carry Standard Process but because of my agreement with them I can only sell it to my health clients. Consider having an appointment with me and enjoy my client supplement discounts. Make Appointment
Or you can use my affiliate link to purchase it from Amazon: Cruciferous Complete
1. It starts with the egg by Rebecca Fett
2. Fuijmoto VY, Kim D, vom Saal FS, Lamb JD Taylor JA, Bloom MS. Serum unconjugated bisphenol A concentration in women may adversely influence oocyte quality during in vitro fertilization. Fertil Steril. 2011 Apr; 95(5) ;1816-9
3. Ehrlich S., Williams PL, Missmer SA, Flaws JA, Berry KF, Calafat AM, Petrozza JC, Wright D, Hauser R. Urinary bisphenol A concentration and early reproductive health outcomes among women undergoing IVF. Hum Reprod. 2012 Dec; 27(12):3583-92
4. Sugiura-Ogaswara M, Ozaki Y, Sonta S, Makino T, Suzumori K. Exposure to bisphenol A is associated with recurrent miscarriage. Hum Reprod. 2005 Aug;20(8):2325-9
5. Takahashi O, Oishi S. Dispostion of orally administered 2,2-Bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)propae (Bisphenol A ) in pregnant rats and the placental transfer to fetuses. Environ Health Perspect. 2000 Oct; 108(10):931-5;Vom saal 2007.
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