BPA linked to cell damage in post-menopausal women but not men, younger women.

Environmental Health News

July 13, 2009

Yang YJ, YC Hong, SY Oh, MS Park, H Kim, JH Leem, and EH Ha. 2009. Bisphenol A exposure is associated with oxidative stress and inflammation in postmenopausal women. Environmental Research http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2009.04.014.

Synopsis by Michele A. La Merrill, Ph.D. and Wendy Hessler

Women in menopause are more prone to the BPA-associated health effects of inflammation and oxidative stress than either men or women who are still menstruating, finds this study of Korean adults. This is the first time BPA has been linked to these conditions in people and suggests older women may be more susceptible to the chemical’s estrogen-like manner that drives these particular types of cell damage. Oxidative stress can be involved with aging, cancer and other disease states.

What did they do?

The authors evaluated inflammation and oxidative stress markers in the blood of adult Koreans and then compared them to BPA measured in their urine. They examined the measurements in three groups: men, premenopausal women and postmenopausal women.

The urine and blood samples were collected from the participants at the same time. Two markers of oxidative stress – malondialdehyde and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine – and two markers of inflammation – white blood cells and C-reactive protein – were measured.

Questionnaires were administered to gather medical, lifestyle, exposure and demographic information.

Scientists know that inflammation and oxidative stress increase with age. The authors statistically controlled for age so they could see BPA effects independent of age. They also controlled for body mass and possible factors identified elsewhere that could influence oxidative stress.

The study included 259 men, 92 premenopausal women and 134 post-menopausal women.

What did they find?

BPA was found in the urine of 76 percent of the Korean adults in this study. Concentrations were similar among groups for all levels except those with the highest measured amounts, where men had three times the levels of premenopausal women (26.5 versus 7.72 micrograms/gram) and about 50% more than postmenopausal women (17.90 microg/g).

Urine levels of bisphenol A were higher in older adults.

Associations between BPA levels and both oxidative stress and inflammation only occurred in postmenopausal women. Oxidative stress levels were higher in older women who also had higher levels of BPA. Further, levels of the inflammation-marker C- reactive protein was increased in the women with higher levels of BPA.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.