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BPA Plastic and Male Sexual Dysfunction

Canned foods and sliced turkey were found to be contaminated with the plastics chemical BPA, which has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and erectile dysfunction.

October 25, 2012 |
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Sources Cited

Acknowledgements

Images thanks to: Edgar181 via Wikimedia Commons, soopahgrover, and David Reverchon.

Transcript

What about food sources of BPA, a plastics chemical “used for lining metal cans and in polycarbonate” as opposed to PVC plastics. “In humans, BPA is associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and male sexual dysfunction in exposed workers.” “Food is a major exposure source, but there weren’t any studies reporting BPA in U.S. fresh, canned, and packaged foods in the scientific literature, until now.

Before we get to what they found, what do they mean by male sexual dysfunction? The relationship between urine BPA level and declining male sexual function. “Increasing urine BPA level was associated with decreased sexual desire, more difficulty having an erection, lower ejaculation strength, and lower level of overall satisfaction with sex life.” "This finding may have important public health implications given the widespread human exposure to BPA.” But from where in our diet in particular?

They measured BPA levels in over a hundred fresh and canned foods, foods sold in plastic packaging, and in cat and dog foods in cans and plastic packaging. Nearly all the canned foods were contaminated, from green beans to sardines, tuna and V8 to Chef Boyardee. There was only one fresh, noncanned food that had detectable levels. So if you don’t buy canned foods, or stick to BPA-free canned foods, the only food left to worry about appears to be sliced turkey.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.

To help out on the site please email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org

Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

I've previously covered BPA in Which Plastics Are Harmful?, in which I go through which "numbers" of plastic are probably safest. My other video on plastics chemicals, similarly found particularly high levels in poultry. Eden Foods is one of the few manufacturers that doesn't use BPA. See my blog about their canned beans: Do Eden Beans Have Too Much Iodine?. For more on male sexual health see Xenoestrogens & Sperm Counts, Watermelon As Treatment For Erectile Dysfunction, and my two prostate enlargement series Prostate Versus Plants and Prostate vs. a Plant-Based Diet. I have 35 videos on men's health and hundreds of others encompassing more than 1000 topics.

For some context, please check out my associated blog post: Pollutants in Californian Breast Tissue

If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

    I’ve previously covered BPA in Which Plastics Are Harmful?, in which I go through which “numbers” of plastic are probably safest. My other video on plastics chemicals, similarly found particularly high levels in poultry. Eden Foods is one of the few manufacturers that doesn’t use BPA. See my blog about their canned beans: Do Eden Beans Have Too Much Iodine?. For more on male sexual health see Xenoestrogens & Sperm Counts, Watermelon As Treatment For Erectile Dysfunction, and my two prostate enlargement series Prostate Versus Plants and Prostate vs. a Plant-Based Diet. I have 35 videos on men’s health and hundreds of others encompassing more than 1000 topics.

    If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

    • HemoDynamic, M.D.

      I love this stuff!  I remember back in my college days when we were speculating that BPA’s may be estrogen mimmikers and that they could possibly be endocrine disrupters.  A lot of people and scientist poo pood (sp) the idea.  Who’s the one without the sex drive now huh!  Vindication at last!
      ;-}
      All kidding aside, this is what we may see as well with GMO’s when some scientist will be allowed to do the research unfettered.  This will most likely have to come from the National Acadamies or other government agency that has no conflicts of interest.  Did I really just say that?

      Good luck with that right now because guess who is the food safety czar?
      The infamous Michael Taylor, former vice-president for public policy for Monsanto and now appointed deputy commisioner of the FDA by President Obama. Taylor had been instrumental in getting approval for Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone.

      Read below for more interesting info.  And don’t believe anything, research it yourself and become educated on this subject!

      Were playing with the Big Boy’s now!

      Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/037310_Barack_Obama_Monsanto_lobbyist.html#ixzz2AJYaE7bN

      • HemoDynamic, M.D.

        All kidding aside, this is what we may see as well with GMO’s when some scientist will be allowed to do the research unfettered.  This will most likely have to come from the National Acadamies or other government agency that has no conflicts of interest.  Did I really just say that?

        Good luck with that right now because guess who is the food safety czar?
        The infamous Michael Taylor, former vice-president for public policy for Monsanto and now appointed deputy commisioner of the FDA by President Obama. Taylor had been instrumental in getting approval for Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone.

        Read below for more interesting info.  And don’t believe anything, research it yourself and become educated on this subject!

        Were playing with the Big Boy’s now!

        Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/037

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=670735069 Tan Truong

           Nice sleuthing. Thanks.

          • HemoDynamic, M.D.

            You bet.  If you are really interested in some interesting science based info check out Jeffery Smiths book Genetic Roulette.  Be forewarned, it gets depressing reading the info and really makes you start to feel helpless because you start to see that the FDA has given control of all GE (Genetically Engineered) foods to the companies who make them.

            Here’s another great website: http://www.gmwatch.org/

          • HemoDynamic, M.D.

            Check this evaluation of the FDA on GE foods by William Freese with the Center for Food Safety:

            “Contrary to popular opinion, the FDA does not regulate GE foods.  Instead, the FDA has a ‘voluntary consultation’ process that allows biotechnology companies to make all of the important decisions related to bringing their novel GE crops to market.  The company, not the FDA, decides which, if any, safety tests to conduct and how they will be performed.  The company, not the FDA, determines which data, if any, are shared with regulators.  In fact, the company even determines whether it will consult with the FDA at all. Because the process is voluntary, biotech companies sometimes refuse to supply additional data requsted by the FDA. And at the end of the consultation, the FDA does NOT approve the GE food as safe, or even as similar enough to its conventional counterpart to exempt it from scrutiny.  Instead, the pertinent bioteck company makes these determinations on its own authority.”
            http://www.biosafety-info.net/file_dir/2183848844f3c1e862.pdf

            This is just one of thousands of articles that state that the FDA has disregulated the GE food industry.

            Sad but true.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=670735069 Tan Truong

            Thanks. Will check it all out.

        • Thea

           I agree.  Awesome post Dr. HemoDynamic!

          • HemoDynamic, M.D.

            Thanks!  Want an even more interesting and eye opening site?  Check this out: http://www.gmwatch.org/

          • Thea

             wow.   Thanks for the link.

    • Gorden Tri

      Can phytoestrogens cause growth plates to fuse ? Is there a way to disable its effects

  • tryan

    What about beer cans? Please say they’re alright. 

  • Mike Quinoa

    I’m not liking the sounds of this. I eat a lot of canned beans (kidney, chickpea). I always cook lentils, but maybe I should start buying only dried beans.

    • Thea

       Mike: I hear you.  I eat a lot of canned beans too. 

      One thing to keep in mind is: if you are willing to pay a price, there are brands of canned beans that are BPA free.  Dr. Greger did a blog post about the Eden brand which not only (if memory serves) is BPA-free, but is also cooked in some seaweed, so you get some (the right amount) iodine with your beans, assuming you include the liquid.

      Eden is quite spendy compared to other organic canned beans.  But it might be worth it…  And maybe there are other brands which are also BPA free?

      Good luck.

      • Mike Quinoa

        Thanks Thea. I may look for the Eden brand, but I really should master the art of cooking dried beans.

        • Thea

          I have a tip for you:  Look into pressure cooking.  That’s something I did after deciding that I needed to start getting comfortable cooking dried beans.  (It’s kind of scary and time consuming…) 

          The pressure cooker has turned out to be awesome!  I find that I still tend to reach first for a can when it comes to beans, but when I want to cook whole grains, including something as simple as brown rice, the pressure cooker is my darling.  That said, I *have* cooked beans some in the pressure cooker, and I can’t imagine wanting to cook beans any other way.  The pressure cooker is both a time and energy saver.

          I have three cookbooks on pressure cooking.  The one I think is best is: Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure by Lorna Sass.  This book has a great section on beans, including big, convenient charts on bean cooking inside the front cover for quick reference.  The title says “vegetarian”, but the book is really vegan as near as I can tell.  I’ve enjoyed almost all of the recipes that I have made from this book and some are favorites.

          My second favorite book is: The New Fast Food.  The Veggie Queen Pressure Cooks Whole Food Meals In Less than 30 minutes.  The book I didn’t like very much was the Everything Vegetarian Pressure Cooker.

          Good luck!

          • Mike Quinoa

            Thanks Thea. I like the title of the one by Lorna Sass. I have to do something once I run out of my stores of canned beans (lol).

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=670735069 Tan Truong

            “pressure cooking.”

            Exactly. :)

      • Cory Goldblatt

        Amazon has Eden Black Eyed Peas for $23.96 for a pack of 12 cans and that includes free shipping (2 day shipping if your a prime member). You can also buy them directly from Eden @$2.06 a can or $3.32 for the 29 ounce cans and shipping is $10-$13 depending on the size of your order. I agree that it costs a bit more for eden’s products and for me the pros outweigh the cons. Amazon only has a few of Eden’s legumes available that include free shipping. I went to several grocery stores by my home and I couldn’t find any retailers that had a wide selection of Eden’s products. I’ll probably be placing a large order on Eden’s website to save on shipping as I really like their products as well.

        • Thea

          Cory: It is nice of you to share your research with us. I really do appreciate it. But to give everyone some price comparison, I have a very easy time finding organic canned beans right in the store for $1/can. That makes Eden about twice as much with your best prices. At my store, the prices for Eden beans are more like $3-4.

          I can very much understand why you say that the Eden brand is worth it. But for some people, price is a big factor. And if we can help people to just eat beans, even from a non-Eden brand, those people would be better off than on the SAD diet. That’s why I don’t push people to Eden or other BPA-free brands. Just something to think about.

          FYI: I’ve lately been cooking lots and lots of dried bean hearty stew dishes in my pressure cooker and having marvelous success. Great winter food and a way to avoid the cans altogether.

          Good luck to you. If I decide to get some Eden cans, I’m going to use your advice and look on Amazon. Thanks!

          • Susan

            I buy dried beans whenever and wherever available from Eden Foods. But, they are becoming more and more rare. I google, Eden Organic, and the name of the bean, and canned beans generally come up.

            Have you tried VITA-COST for canned Eden Organic beans?

  • joeboosauce

    Dr G, good stuff! Have you seen this Canadian documentary, The Disappearing Male? http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-disappearing-male/

  • http://www.facebook.com/rohit.k.mehta Rohit Kumar Mehta

    I wish there were a BPA-free source of boiled in-shell Cajun peanuts.

    • Susan

      Why not reuse of well washed and dried cloth bag?

  • John

    Any problem with plastic produce bags for storing things like greens, dry beans and oats, etc.?  I also wash and reuse them but am always worried about possible leaching.

  • BPCveg

    This video makes it sound like there is good reason to believe that sliced turkey is dangerous from the point of view of BPA exposure. But if you read the article (Scheter et al.) the authors found a very low level (much lower than canned) in only sample of the meat tested.

    From the methods section:

    “Food samples consisted of three samples for each of 31 kinds of canned and plastic wrapped food for human consumption, four kinds of fresh meat and fish (one sample each), and eight individual samples of canned and plastic wrapped pet food.”

    From the results and discussion section:

    “One fresh food sample, sliced turkey, had a BPA level of 0.35 ng/g ww, which is lower than reported BPA levels in fresh food from Italy”

    Since the authors only tested one piece of turkey, we cannot conclude that this is generally applicable finding.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=670735069 Tan Truong

      Good post.

  • BeetsBeansButts

    I’m trying to gauge whether eating canned beans and beets once or twice a week could make a significant impact on my health. Maybe I should get off my lazy butt and figure out how to slow cook dehydrated beans more effectively, and buy fresh beets when available.

    Anyone have any tips for slow cooking dehydrated beans? Mine always come out poorly.

    Thanks for the info Dr Greger and friends. You make a difference in improving my health.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3PBOENWVIMHE36DPOWHVWFYCAA alex

    What about BPA leaching in cans of Coca Cola?

    • Susan

      Coca Cola is already toxic, but can be made more toxic because of the aluminum and if BPA is part of the mix.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=670735069 Tan Truong

    The second citation link is broken. I’ve found it though if you’re
    interested in using it: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20467048

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

      Fixed–thank you Tan!

  • nonyabizzz

    How long does it take for BPA to leave your system? Are effects reversible? Anyone know?

  • http://www.facebook.com/heidi.woodruff.92 Heidi Wood

    What about canned beans and lentils? I’m too busy / lazy to cook them from dried

    • Thea

      Some brands claim that they are BPA-free. Eden is one example. I understand that there are other examples too. You pay a price for it, but it may be worth it…?

  • Emma

    Is it possible that
    bisphenol-A (BPA) leach out from paper cups into food and drinks? I heard about
    that paper cups coated with polymer to make effect of waterproof, and I wonder
    if polymer lining will release BPA when it holding hot coffee. If it is a fact,
    it means when we drink coffee also swallow BPA at same time.

  • DvoraChesed

    It’s not just BPA!
    Beware “BPS” too!!

    Industry is using BPS as a BPA substitute. Unfortunately, it comes loaded with similar harmful effects.
    What coating (if any?) is Eden Foods using in place of BPA?
    For more on BPS and where it is found: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130122191412.htm

  • http://www.eatandbeatcancer.com/ Harriet Sugar Miller

    Eden’s canned beans don’t contain BPA but their canned tomatoes still do (or to be more accurate, their canned tomatoes still did when I inquired a few months ago).

    Here’s a list of canned salmons with and without BPA. http://eatandbeatcancer.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/salmon-says-an-anti-cancer-investigation-what-kind-is-healthiest-part-6-canned-salmon/

    • Susan

      I now buy Eden Organic pressed tomatoes in glass jars. They come very carefully wrapped to my front door via Fed-X. Glass, while breakable, is far more inert than canned/tinned with or without BPA.

  • http://ecopeaceful.com/ Lena Mumma

    Where can I find the list of foods min. 1:25?
    Thank you.