If you’re having trouble getting pregnant you might not need to look any further than the contents of your shopping cart for the culprit. It turns out that foods that come in cans or plastic containers could be to blame for your troubles.
Researchers say that the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), found in the linings of canned foods and plastic containers, may be responsible for low sperm count and quality in many men. The controversial chemical has already been implicated as a possible player in some cases of cancer, heart disease and birth defects.
BPA could be messing with your fertility
The five-year study, appearing in thejournal Fertility and Sterility, followed 514 volunteers. It turns out that the men with higher BPA levels in their urine had two to four times the risk of having poor semen quantity and quality.
You may recall that I wrote to you back in July about BPA’s being a powerful endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors are synthetic chemicals that our bodies perceive to be natural hormones. In the case of BPA, the body reacts to the chemical as if it were estrogen. And it’s this hormone-mimicking behavior that scientists feel is at the heart of BPA’s ability to negatively affect both the male and female reproductive systems.
So why is this dangerous chemical still in our food supply? Excellent question.
Canada has already placed BPA on its list of toxic chemicals. But, here in the United States, the FDA’s wheels are turning way too slow for comfort on this issue. The agency has finally given into the pressure and called for more study on this dangerous chemical, but judging from its past track record it will be a long time before we see regulations with any real teeth passed here.
Reduce your BPA exposure
We can’t wait for the FDA to make its move. In light of the ballooning list of health dangers associated with this toxic chemical… ranging from cancer to conception problems… we should start reducing our exposure immediately!
Some manufacturers are already on board eliminating BPA in certain plastic containers, so look for “BPA-free” stamps on products. Whenever possible, avoid canned foods. Check the bottoms of plastic containers and avoid any with a #7 stamped on them. On the other hand, plastics with the recycling labels of #1, #2, and #4 are safer (but NOT risk free!) BPA-free plastics and, in general, cloudy-colored plastics do not contain BPA.
We should be especially mindful of our children’s exposure to BPA, and, of course, if you know a couple that’s having trouble getting pregnant, you might want to forward them this article so they can start taking steps to remove BPA from their lives.