Does plastic make you fat?

Bisphenol A, an additive in plastic that made Nalgene water bottles go out of fashion, may be worse than carcinogenic – it may be fattening. Angry Toxicologist (blogging once more! Yay!) posted on a new study that found a link between BPA and metabolic syndrome.

The Angry Toxicologist writes:

It’s not clear how the BPA does this, though it’s likely due to it’s ability to disrupt hormones. In the study, estradiol (the potent estrogen) had the same effects on breast and abdominal fat tissue. They used human fat tissues that were removed from patients undergoing other procedures. The one issue I have here is that it may be that those undergoing the procedures have cells that react differently than the rest of the population. The samples came from patients getting breast reduction sugery, a tummy tuck, or gastric bypass. The people may have bodies that like to build up fat anyway, especially in the last two. Even if this is true, however, it at least means that some people are effected by BPA; in fact, it may be those who can least afford it.

There was a wide variety of effect of BPA (i.e. some patient’s tissues were sensitive to it and others weren’t). However, on average, BPA was more potent than estradiol at equimolar doses (that’s an equivalent dose based on the number of molecules, not weight, for those of you who didn’t take or don’t remember chemistry). Yikes!

Anyway, here’s the kicker. The levels were environmentally relevant. 1-10 nM are common in people (some up to 20 nM). The study found effects at 0.1 and 1.0 nM. Good ‘ole plastics. Is there anything they can’t do?

Yikes! You can keep your opaque white Nalgene bottles, though – they’re high-density polyethylene and do not contain BPA.


2 Responses to Does plastic make you fat?

  1. Kevin Z says:

    I switched to Sigg bottles a year.interestingly, I really like the slightly metallic taste.

  2. Eric Wolff says:

    I just abandoned my BPA laden bottle,but then someone pointed out that I still drink water from the water cooler, whose water is stored in a…a BPA laden container.

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