Tag Archives: toxins

BPAs in store receipts can trigger autoimmunity and other health issues

426 BPA store receipts copy

BPA (bisphenol-A) is gaining recognition as an undesirable toxin that people now try to avoid in plastics, particularly water bottles. But it’s harder to avoid than you think – research shows handling those seemingly innocuous store receipts quickly raises blood levels of BPA.

BPA on store receipts

Store and fast food receipts, ATM receipts, airline tickets, gas station receipts, and other thermal papers use large amounts of BPA on the surface as a print developer. Holding a receipt coated with BPA for just five seconds is enough to transfer it to your skin and if your fingers are wet or greasy about 10 times as much is transferred. Having hand sanitizers, lotions, or sunscreen on your hands also increases the amount of BPA your body takes in from receipts. Cash stored with receipts in a wallet also become contaminated with BPA that raises blood levels when handled.

Why BPA is bad for health

So why should you care? BPA has estrogen-like qualities that meddle with hormone function and become a toxic burden. In rodents BPA has been proven to cause reproductive defects, cancer, and metabolic and immune problems. BPA is particularly threatening to a developing fetus as it can cause chromosomal errors, miscarriage, and genetic damage. In children and adults BPA is linked to decreased sperm quality, early puberty and early breast development, ovarian and reproductive dysfunction, cancer, heart disease, thyroid problems, insulin resistance, and obesity.

BPA and autoimmunity

Recent research also links BPA to the triggering and flaring of autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. BPA does this because it stimulates and disrupts various pathways in the immune system, which raises the risk of triggering autoimmune disease or flare-ups.

Where BPA is found

BPA is the main component of polycarbonate and is also found in water and beverage bottles, plastic lids, the lining of tin cans, food storage containers, dental sealants, contact lenses, and electronics. BPA contamination from canned foods is significant. One study found a person who eats canned soup versus fresh soup receives 1,000 percent more BPA because it is in the lining of the can. Plastics exposed to heat, light, or acids (such as soda) release considerably more BPA. Eating from a microwaved plastic container and drinking hot coffee through a plastic coffee lid, sugary soda from a plastic water bottle, or water from a plastic bottle that has been sitting in the sun are examples of ways you will increase your exposure to BPA.

BPA-free is no guarantee

Given the documented health risks it poses, BPA has been banned from use in baby bottles and sippy cups and many companies now offer BPA-free products. Unfortunately, researchers have found many non-BPA plastics still have synthetic estrogens similar to BPA. Some even have more. Basically, if it’s plastic, it’s a problem–- 95 percent of all plastic products can disrupt hormones, even if they carry a “BPA-free” label. Also, be aware that some metal water bottles are lined with plastic, negating the purpose of avoiding a plastic water bottle.

How to reduce your exposure to BPA

It’s important to reduce your exposure to BPA as much as possible. Minimize use of plastics and especially avoid drinking or eating from heated plastic. Maintaining healthy gut bacteria with cultured and fermented foods such as kimchi and taking probiotics is believed to help mitigate the absorption of BPA and help degrade it in the body.

Your brain is what you eat: Hydrogenated fats

Question

What is all the fuss about hydrogenated oils, or trans fats? Aren’t they OK to eat in moderation?

Answer

The hydrogenated fat you eat becomes part of your brain and nervous tissue. Because of its unnatural structure, cells and neurons composed partly of hydrogenated fat do not function properly.

The brain is made up of the fat you eat

If someone calls you a fat head they are not off the mark. The brain is made up mostly of fat, including the fat you eat. While hydrogenated fats are best known for contributing to cardiovascular disease, lesser known is their impact on brain health. Hydrogenated oils have been molecularly restructured for a long shelf life and are found in many processed foods.

Cell membranes communicate with other cells and determine what is allowed to enter and exit the cell. These membranes incorporate hydrogenated oils into their structure, making them more rigid and less able to function properly. The nerve sheaths that insulate and protect neurons also incorporate trans fats. Continue reading

Why do so many people have autoimmune diseases?

Question

My practitioner diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s and celiac disease, two autoimmune diseases. It seems many of my friends have an autoimmune disease too, including psoriasis, arthritis, Type I diabetes, and even multiple sclerosis. Why is it so common now?

Answer

Incidences of autoimmune disease, in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue, have skyrocketed and continue to climb, affecting as many as one in nine Americans.

Hygiene hypothesis incomplete

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The most powerful antioxidant

Question

It seems every day there is a new antioxidant for sale that claims to be the best. Which one truly is the best?

Answer

The one you don’t hear much about—glutathione. Glutathione is the body’s most important antioxidant. But it’s not effective taken orally.

What is glutathione?

Glutathione is a molecule that performs many protective functions. It helps shield the body’s cells from destruction and disease, it aids in detoxification, and it helps the immune system function at its best.

Ideally our bodies make sufficient glutathione to resist illness, to slow aging and degeneration, and to prevent chronic and autoimmune diseases.

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