BPA Exposure In Utero May Increase Risk of Breast Cancer Later

by , 10/07/11

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is in it’s 25th year, and it’s cool to celebrate and support the cause. However, you should avoid supporting the cause via questionable products, such as pink-washed bottled water. Especially in light of a new research linking BPA (readily found in most plastic water bottles) to breast cancer. A recent study published in Molecular Endocrinology, found that bisphenol A (BPA) may alter long-term hormone response and breast development, thus increasing the risk of developing breast cancer later in life. Not good news, especially since study authors go on to say that not only is BPA one of the highest-volume chemicals produced worldwide, but also it’s been detected in the body fluids of more than 90% of the human population. This new research was conducted with mice, not humans, but evidence points to a real link between BPA and breast cancer.

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Photo © Flickr user Andrea_44

The researchers, based at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, point out that they can’t prove that BPA causes breast cancer, but they have shown that perinatal exposure to, “Environmentally relevant doses of BPA” can alter an individual’s long-term hormone response, which in turn, can increase the risk of later developing breast cancer. Just what is an, “Environmentally relevant dose of BPA?” Well, in order to mimic human exposure, researchers added BPA to the drinking water of mice. The amount of BPA added to the water was the same amount typically found in average beverages and food that are stored in BPA-laden containers, fcanned food items for example. After weaning, any female mice babies born from the BPA-consuming parents were housed in a BPA-free environment. Although moved to a safer environment, these female mice still showed an increased response to the hormone progesterone and exhibited a 1.5 fold increase in cell numbers in their milk ducts. Both the previous issues are linked to an increased risk of getting breast cancer later in life.

Research just keeps on linking BPA exposure to health problems, so your best bet is to avoid BPA when possible, especially while pregnant and breastfeeding.

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Lead photo © Flickr user diongillard

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