By Charles Bankhead, Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Published: August 25, 2010
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco and
Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner
Increased exposure to a chemical common to food and drink packaging predicted higher testosterone levels in men, suggesting the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) effects endocrine changes in men, data from a cohort study showed.
In multivariable-adjusted models, higher daily excretion of BPA had a significant association with higher total testosterone concentrations (P=0.044 to P=0.004), investigators reported in Environmental Health Perspectives.
BPA excretion was not associated with other serum parameters in men and had no associations with serum outcomes in women.
“These results are important because they provide a first report in a large-scale human population of associations between elevated exposure to BPA and alterations in circulating hormone levels,” Tamara Galloway, PhD, of the University of Exeter in England, and colleagues noted in the discussion of their findings.
BPA has a history of suspicion regarding its possible effects on the human endocrine system. Exposure occurs primarily through dietary means, although dental sealants, dermal exposure, and inhalation of household dust also may contribute to total daily exposure, the researchers noted.
Population studies have shown that more than 90% of people have detectable urinary levels of BPA metabolites.
Studies of the health effects of BPA generally have focused on estrogenic activity, including evidence of estrogen agonism and androgen antagonism. Additionally, BPA has been linked to thyroid dysregulation, altered pancreatic beta-cell function, and obesity.