Is there a link between BPA exposure and autism?

Is there a link between BPA exposure and autism?

A new study from Rowan University is the first to find a link between BPA exposure and autism spectrum disorder. This study shows that BPA is not properly metabolized in children with autism.

BPA, or bisphenol A, is an industrial chemical that is used to make certain types of plastics and resins.

It has been suspected for a lot of years that BPA is involved in autism, but there was no direct evidence,” said T. Peter Stein, of RowanSOM and lead author of the study. “We’ve shown there is a link. The metabolism of BPA is different in some children with autism than it is in otherwise healthy children.”

The research team analyzed the urine samples from 46 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 52 children without ASD for free BPA and total BPA levels. BPA becomes water soluble when processed by the liver, and is then removed from the body as a toxin through urination.

The research team also performed what is called a “metabolomic analysis” to find all the chemicals in the children’s urine samples. They found that BPA levels in the ASD group were about three times higher than the control group.

Other studies involving rodent data have shown that BPA functions as an endocrine disruptor, but ours is the first to show this in humans and the first to associate it to autism,” Stein explained. “The observations show that for some children there was a relationship between intermediary metabolism, the ability to conjugate BPA and symptoms of autism.”

Although it is a relatively small study, “The key point is that the study seems to link BPA to autism and creates an open area for further research. One implication of our study is that there might be a benefit to reducing BPA exposure for pregnant women and for children with autism,” Stein said.

The study showing the link between BPA exposure and autism was published in the journal Autism Research.

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REFERENCES:
1. “Rowan University Study Links BPA Exposure to Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Newswise. Rowan University, 2 Mar. 2015. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.
2. “Bisphenol A Exposure in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders.” Wiley Online Library. Autism Research, 13 Jan. 2015. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.
3. “What Is BPA? Should I Be Worried about It?Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2015.

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3 Comments

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