Scientific studies have revealed numerous adverse health effects of BPA (bisphenol-A)*. BPA has been shown to be an endocrine (hormonal) disrupting chemical. BPA is used on a variety of products in the U.S., including in the lining of canned foods and plastic bottles containing a variety of drinks (in these cases, BPA is officially listed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a “food additive”). BPA has been shown scientifically to leach or migrate into both food and drinks.
Despite public outcry demanding that food manufacturers stop using BPA, this estrogen-mimicking chemical is still present in some food and drink containers. (Unfortunately, some food manufacturers have begun replacing BPA with BPS…a chemical in the same family as BPA, BPS, has been shown in recent studies to be even more dangerous than BPA to human health an well-being.)
Now, new research examining BPA has discovered that its ability to trigger allergic asthma in some people could last for as long as three generations. Scientists
analyzed the proteins produced by immune cells of BPA-treated pregnant mice, their pups and two generations of mice afterward that had not themselves been exposed to BPA. Using mass spectrometry, the researchers compared the proteins produced by certain immune cells from BPA-exposed mice and their descendants with those from control mice.
Study results overview
In the BPA-exposed mice and subsequent generations, some proteins related to an activated innate immune system — which plays a key role in antiviral defense and is also related to allergic diseases — were produced at higher amounts than in control mice. In particular, the BPA-exposed mice and their offspring produced about twice as much of a protein called ZDHHC1, which is also produced at higher levels in response to estrogen. In addition, BPA exposure caused changes in enzymes that modify DNA-binding proteins called histones. That kind of modification can cause heritable changes in gene expression. Therefore, descendants of the original BPA-exposed mice could have inherited changes in DNA expression that cause aberrant immune system activation, even in the absence of BPA.
*Other scientific findings linking BPA to adverse health outcomes:
Journal Reference: Mark L. Sowers, Hui Tang, Bing Tian, Randall Goldblum, Terumi Midoro-Horiuti, Kangling Zhang. Bisphenol A Activates an Innate Viral Immune Response Pathway. Journal of Proteome Research, 2019; DOI: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.9b00548