July 23, 2024

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More Evidence Links Bisphenol A (BPA) Exposure to ADHD and Autism

More Evidence Links Bisphenol A (BPA) Exposure to ADHD and Autism


More Evidence Links Bisphenol A (BPA) Exposure to ADHD and Autism.

Scientists have, for the first time, described the biochemical mechanisms linking attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to the common but problematic compound, Bisphenol A (BPA).

Researchers from Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, building upon previous studies linking ADHD and BPA exposure, have found that individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders have a harder time eliminating BPA from their bodies.


More Evidence Links Bisphenol A (BPA) Exposure to ADHD and Autism




“This is the first solid biochemical evidence that establishes a connection between BPA and the development of autism or ADHD,” said the first author, T. Peter Stein, a professor of surgery at Rowan University. “We were surprised to find that ADHD also exhibits the same deficiency in BPA detoxification.”

In 2016, U.S. researchers discovered significantly higher levels of BPA in the urine of children with ADHD. Two years later, a large-scale study in China confirmed this, finding much higher concentrations of BPA and 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG, a biomarker of oxidative DNA damage) in urine samples from neurodevelopmental disorder-afflicted children.

To date, there has been limited data on the metabolic processes of BPA exposure in relation to human neurodevelopmental diseases.

BPA is an industrial compound used to harden plastics and has been used in food packaging since the 1960s. It is widespread in various common products, including polycarbonate beverage bottles, food packaging, and containers. Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reaffirmed its previous stance on the safety of BPA in consumer products, stating that “current levels of BPA in food are safe.”

BPA is also an endocrine disruptor, interfering with natural hormones in the human body, affecting cellular responses and crucial endocrine pathways. Recent research suggests that long-term exposure to BPA disrupts dopamine transmission, a key area in the brain implicated in ADHD regulation.

Stein and his team studied the glucuronidation process in children: 66 with ASD, 44 with ADHD, and 37 with no neurodevelopmental issues. Glucuronidation is a crucial process in the liver that adds sugar molecules to toxins, making them more water-soluble and easier to excrete from the body. While this process varies among individuals, a sluggish ability to process BPA means that body tissues are exposed to toxins for longer.

They found that children with ADHD had a roughly 17% lower capacity for effective glucuronidation with added sugar molecules compared to the control group. Children with ASD had a deficit of about 10% in their glucuronidation process.

Stein noted, “The clearance of BPA is a ‘major pathway,’ or it wouldn’t show up so readily in a modestly sized study.”

Both ASD and ADHD are complex, multifactorial neurodevelopmental disorders that cannot be attributed to a single cause. However, little is known about how environmental factors and genetics interact to lead to these conditions.

The research team also pointed out that not every child with ADHD or autism struggles to process BPA correctly, and there is limited research on older children or adults with these neurodevelopmental disorders. BPA has also been linked to cognitive impairments, reproductive issues, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Recent studies suggest that consumers should not consider its “replacement,” Bisphenol S, as a healthier alternative.

This research was published in the journal “PLoS ONE.”



More Evidence Links Bisphenol A (BPA) Exposure to ADHD and Autism

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