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Did you know that most plastic water bottles contain substances that can cause weight gain?
By now, many of us have heard of bisphenol A (BPA), which has been used since the 1950s to make reusable water bottles, baby bottles, pacifiers, plastic utensils, children’s toys, compact discs, and certain microwaveable and reusable plastic containers. After it was determined that BPA acts as a endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) as well increase one’s susceptibility to cancer, many companies switched over to using bisphenol S (BPS), to make their plastics “BPA-free”.
Bisphenol-A (BPA)and its similar counterpart bisphenol-S (BPS) belong to a class of substances called obesogens. An obesogen is a chemical that, you guessed it, disrupts normal development and fat metabolism and can, in some cases, lead to obesity.
According to a Canadian study, BPS, like BPA, can actually trigger fat cell growth.1 Cells when exposed to BPS were stimulated to accumulate fat as well as signalled to produce proteins that allowed the cell to become more efficient in fat deposition. One study actually found BPS to be more effective in stimulating fat accumulation than BPA. 2
The mechanisms by which these toxins disrupt the body’s metabolism is complex. They include the dysregulation of several hormones, disruption in regulation of hunger and satiety, and a reprogramming of metabolic set points. Both BPA and BPS have also been shown to affect the proper functioning of beta and alpha cells in the pancreas, fat cells, and liver cells which can contribute to the development of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. 3,4,5 Exposure to even small amounts of these substances in unborn children can trigger obesity later in life. These substances are not benign and have a significant impact on many aspects of our health.
So while drinking water is certainly beneficial for your health (it can speed weight loss by 550 percent and rev energy by 89 percent), you need to give your water container some serious consideration.
Here are five strategies to reduce your exposure:
- Carry your own water bottle (stainless steel or glass) with you. If you must buy water when you are on the go, choose water that comes in either a glass bottle or a box. Avoid plastic water bottles, as most are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), another EDC which increases estrogenic activity.
- Avoid drinking from plastic cups or using other plastic kitchenware.
- Avoid touching cash receipts – as the paper is usually coated with BPA or BPS.
- Reduce your consumption of canned food – choose dry or fresh foods whenever possible. If you do buy canned items, try to find BPA and BPS-free versions, such as those made by Eden Foods.
- Don’t reheat foods in the microwave if they are in plastic containers. Instead, use ceramic or glass containers. Better yet, reduce/eliminate your reliance on plasticware and plastic wrap to store food and go with glass instead whenever possible.
- Boucher, JG, Ahmed, S, Atlas E. 2016. Bisphenol S Induces Adipogenesis in Primary Human Preadipocytes From Female Donors. Endocrinology. 2016 Apr;157(4):1397-407.
- Ahmed, S, Atlas, E. 2016. Bisphenol S- and bisphenol A-induced adipogenesis of murine preadipocytes occurs through direct peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma activation. International Journal of Obesity volume 40, pp.1566–1573
- Bodin, J, Kocbach Bolling, A, Wendt, A. Eliasson, L, Becher, R, Kuper, F, Lovi, M, Nygaard, C. 2015.Exposure to bisphenol A, but not phthalates, increases spontaneous diabetes type 1 development in NOD mice. Toxicology Reports, Volume 2, pp.99-11
- Mirmira, P, Evans-Molina, C. 2014. Bisphenol A, Obesity, and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Genuine Concern or Unnecessary Preoccupation?. Transl Res. Jul; 164(1): 13–21.
- Provvisiero, D, Pivonello, C, Mucogiuri, G, Negri, M, de Angelis, C, Pivonello, R, Colao, A. 2016. Influence of Bisphenol A on Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Int J Environ Res Public Health. Oct; 13(10): 989.