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Exposure to BPA’s in infancy linked with risk of obesity, allergies and chronic disease in later life

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Exposure to BPA’s – the chemical toxicants, either during pregnancy or in early infancy has been found to adversely affect gut bacteria and thought to increase the likelihood of developing obesity, diabetes and chronic diseases linked with the gut in later life.

A report published this week by the American Society for Microbiology highlighted new evidence that exposure to the environmental toxicants either shortly before birth or in early life may promote susceptibility to chronic disease. BPA exposure shortly before birth or in early infancy was found to reduce gut bacterial diversity and increased gut permeability – or leaky gut–common early indicators of latter susceptibility of chronic diseases.

What are BPA’s

BPA’s, short for Bisphenol A, are industrial chemicals that have been used to make plastics and epoxy resins for over 50 years. They have been suspected of causing negative health effects and fertility concerns for some time, acting as an endocrine disruptor that can mimic estrogen, however they remained in widespread use and were only recently removed from baby bottles, products and formula packaging. They can still be found in many plastic containers used for storing foods and drinks, such as water bottles, and found to be easily absorbed and transferred to humans – posing a health risk to mother.

The findings from the research study – which was conducted on rabbits – in which two groups were created were published : one which was exposed to BPA and one that was not. The group exposed to BPA were fed pureed organic carrots orally from midway through their gestational period until a week after they gave birth.

The scientists concluded that the exposure to bisphenol A could lead to an inbalance of the gut bacteria – a condition known as dysbiosis in the fetus, which has been found to lead to a large number of ailments and chronic conditions in later life including asthma, obesity, diabetes, allergies, as well as chronic liver and gut inflammation.

How to protect your child

To be sure to avoid exposure to these chemicals you should look out for food and drink in plastic packaging or cans – and ensure that any packaged food you consumer is clearly labeled BPA-free. Likewise for storing food at home use glass, stainless steel or crockery.

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