Abattis Medical Advisory Board Chairman Brazos Minshew spotlights Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical linked to infertility and other health problems.

There is a simple way to describe your endocrine system: it is the glands and organs that make hormones. Hormones are messengers: they deliver commands to your body. Once the command is completed, other hormones reply with messengers of their own. The cycle is intricate, but the steps are simple. When it comes to hormones, we “make” them, we “use” them and we “get rid of them” through detoxification.

BPA is a hormone disruptor, also called an EDC: Endocrine Disrupting Chemical. BPA is in a family of chemicals that prevents us from making the right blend of hormones, prevents us from using them correctly and blocks us from detoxifying them appropriately. This leads to hormone imbalances and a toxic soup of fake, inflammatory hormones circulated and stored inside of us. 

In 2013, scientists from Brigham and Women's Hospital published findings showing that BPA exposure can affect humans. The authors add: "The detrimental effects on reproduction may be lifelong and transgenerational." That means it may ruin your health and be passed on to your children and grandchildren.

Infants and young children are said to be especially sensitive to the effects of BPA. Products that contain BPA include water bottles, baby bottles, skin care and cosmetics packaging, and sports equipment.

A review of previous studies, published in 2015, found evidence that BPA can interfere with endocrine function involving the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. According to the article, Thyroid effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (Boas M, et al. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2012) “…there is now reasonably firm evidence that bisphenol A may have thyroid disrupting properties.

One way to promote proper detoxification of Bisphenol A is by eating foods high in Quercetin – such as Saskatoon berries and Hawthorn berries. Quercetin balances the detoxification system for BPA (called glucuronidation). Quercetin improves the enzymes that “get rid of” BPA and prevents BPA from interfering with the way we “make” hormones.

It is important to prevent as much BPA exposure as possible by selecting BPA-Free products. This is especially true for children, women who are pregnant and both women and men who are planning a family. It is also important to consume high-quercetin foods to balance detoxification and promote hormone health.

Author: Brazos Minshew, Msc, ND