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More Men’s Health -­ Environmental Influences

Article presented by Labrix Clinical Services, LLC

By now most have heard about bisphenol-­A (BPA) and its deleterious effects on the endocrine system.

A few years ago we wrote a newsletter about how BPA affects the neurological and endocrine systems
of infants and children, and we’ve mentioned how it (and other xenoestrogens) can contribute to many
women’s health concerns including endometriosis, infertility and polycystic ovarian syndrome ­ but
what about the men in our lives? Since June is officially Men’s Health Awareness Month, it’s a good
time to talk about “the stronger sex”, as they are not immune to the negative effects of environmental

BPA is an organic compound found in many plastics since the 1960s, and human exposure to BPA is
thought to be ubiquitous.1 There is some debate about the quantity of exposure necessary to cause
adverse effects. The EPA currently sets the human exposure limit as 50 mcg/kg/day,2 although there
are numerous studies that suggest toxic levels occur at much lower doses. For example, a recent study
found that oral administration of only 2 mcg/kg for 14 consecutive days to study rats reduced the
sperm count as well as the serum levels of testosterone and FSH.3

This has significant implications when it comes to fertility; however, decreased testosterone levels also put a man at greater risk of
developing cardiovascular and metabolic disease. And, if the decreased testosterone isn’t sufficient
risk, BPA exposure contributes directly to metabolic syndrome and diabetes risk by disrupting the
release of insulin from pancreatic beta cells.4

In addition to affecting fertility and increasing the risk of
diabetes, BPA also has negative implications relating to prostate cancer. Exposure in utero increases a
man’s risk of developing prostate cancer later in life, and low concentrations of BPA increases both
proliferation of prostate cells, and the migration and metastasis of prostate cancer cells.5

These are all compelling reasons to keep our children, but also our husbands, fathers, and brothers
away from BPA. The fact is that no one should be exposing themselves to this dangerous chemical.
Common sources of exposure to BPA include hard, reusable, plastic water bottles or food containers
(especially bad if food or beverages are heated in them), canned food liners, thermal receipts and soda
and beer cans. So remember to skip the receipts, eat fresh foods and enjoy that next frosty beverage
from a nice cold glass bottle.

1. Vandenberg LN, Chahoud I, Heindell JJ et al. Urinary, circulating, and tissue biomonitoring studies indicate widespread exposure to bisphenol A. Cien Saude Colet. 2012 Feb; 17(2):407­34.
2. Integrated Risk Information System: Bisphenol A. (CASRN 80­05­7): Oral RfD Assessment:
Bisphenol A; 1988 [cited May 10, 2013
3. Pengpeng J, Wang X, Chang F et al. Low dose bisphenol A impairs spermatogenesis by suppressing
reproductive hormone production and promoting germ cell apoptosis in adult rats. J Biomed Res.
2013 March; 27(2): 135­144.
4. Jayashree S, Indumathi D, Akilavelli N et al. Effect of Bisphenol­A on insulin signal transduction
and glucose oxidation in liver of adult male albino rat. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2013 Mar, 35
(2): 300­10. Mohan M, Tracey R, Guerrero­Bosagna C, Skinner MK. Plastics derived endocrine
disruptors (BPA, DEHP and DBP) induce epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of obesity,
reproductive disease and sperm epimutations. PLOS ONE 8(1): 1­16.
5. Nagel SC, Vom Saal FS, Thayer KA et al. Relative binding affinity­serum modified access (RBA­SMA)
assay predicts the relative in vivo bioactivity of the xenoestrogens bisphenol A and octylphenol.
Environ. Health Perspect. 1997;105(1):70­6
6. Derouiche S, Warnier M, Mariot P et al. Bisphenol A stimulates human prostate cancer cell
migration via remodeling of calcium signaling. Springerplus. 2013 Dec; 2(1): 54.

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