Drink Your Water In Glass, Not Plastic
By Dr. Colleen Huber, NMD. Comments by Dr. JD Meeker
Plastic polycarbonate bottles such as Nalgene are still popular as drinking water bottles. However polycarbonate releases a chemical known as bisphenol A also know as BPA. Whereas plastic industry safety studies find no significant health effects from typical daily doses of bisphenol A, a full 90% of government studies found harmful health effects  especially to children and expecting moms,  but also for male reproductiveity and reproduction as well. 
The problem is that bisphenol A acts as a "xenoestrogen," which just means it's like the female hormone estrogen, except for two things: 1) it's foreign to the body, which is what "xeno" means, and 2) it is way more harmful than our natural estrogen for everyone, male and female. Breast cancers are much more of a risk in women who carry a high burden of xenoestrogens, and both men and women are subject to a huge range of other harmful health effects. The most far-reaching effects are birth defects and miscarriages. Another effect is a disruption of beta cell function in the pancreas, which creates a pre-diabetes type condition of high blood insulin and insulin resistance.
We have previously warned our readers never to leave a plastic water bottle on a hot car seat, because the phthalates used in the manufacture of plastics leach into the water that you then drink. Phthalates are another xenoestrogen. However, with the polycarbonate bottles it has been found that even at room temperature, bisphenol A leaches into the water, and more so with increased temperature. Also with repeated use of plastics, you may notice the fine line scratches that you see on an old plastic container. These increase the surface area exposed to the liquid inside and release more of the xenoestrogens into the water.
The Glass Bottle Solution
Sure, glass can break. But if you're careful with it, that's not a problem. And considering all the problematic substances in plastics, the break ability of glass does not seem like such a tragedy. I send my 5 year-old son, a very active little boy, to school with a glass water bottle, and he doesn't break it. Okay, once he broke one. But the replacement cost was cheap: Only $1.69. I get our glass bottles from the health food store. Ice tea is usually sold in glass bottles. The Tazo brand of teas has a 13.8 oz. bottle that is fairly thick glass and short enough to refill conveniently, with a wide enough spout to allow in some small ice cubes or slice of lemon. Once you get used to carrying it, it is just as easy as Nalgene, and its small size fits better in a purse or briefcase.
1. Vom Saal F, Hughes C. An extensive new literature concerning low-dose effects of bisphenol A shows the need for a new risk assessment. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2003:111. pp. 926-933.
2. Hunt P, Koehler K et al. Bisphenol A cause meiotic aneuploidy in the female mouse. Current Biology. 13: pp. 546-553
3. Akingbemi B, Sottas C, et al. Inhibition of testicular steroidogenesis by the xenoestrogen bisphenol A is associated with reduced pituitary luteinizing hormone secretion and decreased steroidogenic enzyme gene expression in rat Leydig cells. Endocrinology 145. pp. 592-603.
Dr. Huber is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor and Primary Care Physician currently practicing in Tempe, Arizona. Dr. Huber focuses on herbal medicine, nutrition, intravenous therapies, environmental medicine and acupuncture. She received her Naturopathic Medical degree from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine Visit: http://www.naturopathyworks.com
Brain Neuron Toxicity Induced by Bisphenol-A- An Environmental Estrogen
By the College of Pharmacy, Chungbuk National University, Korea.
Bisphenol A (BPA), a ubiquitous environmental contaminant, has been shown to cause developmental toxicity and carcinogenic effects. BPA may have physiological activity through estrogen receptor (ER) -alpha and -beta, which are expressed in the central nervous system. We previously found that exposure of BPA to immature mice resulted in behavioral alternation, suggesting that overexposure of BPA could be neurotoxic. In this study, we further investigated the molecular neurotoxic mechanisms of BPA. BPA increased vulnerability (decrease of cell viability and differentiation, and increase of apoptotic cell death) of undifferentiated PC12 cells and cortical neuronal cells isolated from gestation 18 day rat embryos in a concentration-dependent manner (more than 50 microM). The ER antagonists, ICI 182,780, and tamoxifen, did not block these effects. The cell vulnerability against BPA was not significantly different in the PC12 cells over expressing ER-alpha and ER-beta compared with PC12 cells expressing vector alone. In addition, there was no difference observed between BPA and 17-beta estradiol, a well-known agonist of ER receptor in the induction of neurotoxic responses. Further study of the mechanism showed that BPA significantly activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) but inhibited anti-apoptotic nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) activation. In addition, ERK-specific inhibitor, PD 98,059, reversed BPA-induced cell death and restored NF-kappaB activity. This study demonstrated that exposure to BPA can cause neuronal cell death which may eventually be related with behavioral alternation in vivo. However, this neurotoxic effect may not be directly mediated through an ER receptor, as an ERK/NF-kappaB pathway may be more closely involved in BPA-induced neuronal toxicity.
The food contaminants bisphenol A and 4-nonylphenol act as agonists for estrogen receptor alpha in MCF7 breast cancer cells.
Endocrine. 2003 Dec;22(3):275-84. Department of Pharmaco-Biology, University of Calabria Rende, Italy.
Xenoestrogens are chemically distinct industrial products potentially able to disrupt the endocrine system by mimicking the action of endogenous steroid hormones. Among such compounds, the ubiquitous environmental contaminants bisphenol A (BPA) and 4-nonylphenol (NPH) may promote adverse effects in humans triggering estrogenic signals in target tissues. Following a research program on human exposure to endocrine disruptors, we found contamination of fresh food by BPA and NPH. More important, these contaminants were found to display estrogen-like activity using as a model system the estrogen-dependent MCF7 breast cancer cells (MCF7wt); its variant named MCF7SH, which is hormone-independent but still ERalpha-positive, and the steroid receptor-negative human cervical carcinoma HeLa cells. In transfection experiments BPA and NPH activated in a direct manner the endogenous ERalpha in MCF7wt and MCF7SH cells, as the anti estrogen hydroxytamoxifen was able to reverse both responses. Moreover, only the hormone-binding domains of ERalpha and ERbeta expressed by chimeric proteins in HeLa cells were sufficient to elicit the transcriptional activity upon BPA and NPH treatments. Transfecting the same cell line with ERalpha mutants, both contaminants triggered an estrogen-like response. These transactivation properties were interestingly supported in MCF7wt cells by the autoregulation of ERalpha which was assessed by RT-PCR for the mRNA evaluation and by immunoblotting and immunocytochemistry for the determination of protein levels. The ability of BPA and NPH to modulate gene expression was further confirmed by the upregulation of an estrogen target gene like pS2. As a biological counterpart, concentrations of xenoestrogens eliciting transcriptional activity were able to stimulate the proliferation of MCF7wt and MCFSH cells. Only NPH at a dose likely too high to be of any physiological relevance induced a severe cytotoxicity in an ERalpha-independent manner as ascertained in HeLa cells. The estrogenic effects of such industrial agents together with an increasing widespread human exposure should be taken into account for the potential influence also on hormone-dependent breast cancer disease.
Comments By Dr. Meeker
University of Michigan School of Public Health, researcher Dr. JD Meeker published in the October 2012, Archive of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine revealing;
"A growing body of evidence shows that exposure to a number of endocrine disrupting chemicals, commonly found in consumer goods, personal care products, food, drinking water, and other sources may adversely affect child development through altered endocrine function."
Adverse effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), on child development include:
- Fetal growth
- Early reproductive tract development
- Pubertal development
Historical trends show increased rates of endocrine-related diseases and disorders among children. PMID: 23367522
Environmental Estrogen Tulane.edu
Common Plastic Disrupts Endocrine System - Xeno Estrogen Effect
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry - 2006 Oct 21
Hormonal compounds are a class of pharmaceutical product that disrupt the endocrine system of animals and humans. Exposure to these molecules, even at low concentrations, can have severely damaging effects on the environment, to organisms, and to humans. The cumulative presence of these compounds is also characterized by synergistic effects which are difficult to estimate. They are an underestimated danger to the environment and to the human population. This paper presents an in-vivo model enabling to assessment of the real impact of exposure to hormonal compounds and the synergistic effect which can be involved. The anatomical effects of in-ovo exposure to two natural estrogen compounds (estrone and estriol, at 600 ng g(-1)) and a synthetic estrogen (ethynylestradiol, at 20 ng g(-1)) have been investigated. Estrone and estriol lead to morphological defects, mainly in the urogenital system of the developing chick embryo, whereas ethynylestradiol has fewer effects. Estriol caused persistence of Mullerian ducts in 50% of male embryos and hypertrophic oviducts in 71% of females. Estrone had the same effects but at the percentages were lower. Kidney dysfunction was also observed, but only with estrone, in both males and females. We also tested estrogenic compounds in two types of cell line which are estrogen sensitive (BG1 and MCF7) then completed and confirmed our previous in-vivo results. Seven pharmaceutical-like compounds-estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), estriol (E3), ethynylestradiol (EE(2)), carbamazepine (C), genistein (G), and bisphenol-A (BPA)-were tested alone or in mixtures. Different effects on the two cell lines were observed, indicating that endocrine compounds can act differently on this organism. Experiments also showed that these molecules have synergistic action and induce more severe effects when they are in mixtures.
Endocrine disruptor bisphenol A strongly binds to human estrogen-related receptor gamma (ERRgamma) with high constitutive activity.
Toxicol Lett. 2006 Sep 3. Laboratory of Structure-Function Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry, Faculty and Graduate School of Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.
Bisphenol A (BPA) has been acknowledged as an estrogenic chemical able to interact with human estrogen receptors (ER). Many lines of evidence reveal that BPA has an impact as an endocrine disruptor even at low doses. However, its binding to ER and hormonal activity is extremely weak, making the intrinsic significance of low dose effects obscure. We thus supposed that BPA might interact with nuclear receptor(s) other than ER. Here we show that BPA strongly binds to human estrogen-related receptor gamma (ERRgamma), an orphan receptor and one of 48 human nuclear receptors. In a binding assay using [(3)H]4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHT) as a tracer, BPA exhibited a definite dose-dependent receptor binding curve with the IC(50) value of 13.1nM. 4-Nonylphenol and diethylstilbestrol were considerably weaker (5-50-fold less than BPA). When examined in the reporter gene assay for ERRgamma using HeLa cells, BPA completely preserved ERRgamma's high constitutive activity. Notably, BPA exhibited a distinct antagonist action to reverse the inverse agonist activity of 4-OHT, retaining high basal activity. ERRgamma is expressed in a tissue-restricted manner, for example very strongly in the mammalian brain during development, and in the adult in the brain, lung and other tissues. It will now be important to evaluate whether BPA's hitherto reported low dose effects may be mediated through ERRgamma.