PCOSand Plastic- what is a big deal !


PCOSand Plastic- what is a big deal !

It seems plastic is there all around us – in the kitchen, pantry, supermarkets and it is so very convenient. The water bottles, milk packets, plastic coated milk cartons, instant noodle packets, cookies and namkeen packets, plastic storage containers, plastics cups and plates at home, the cling wraps, rubbery plastic seals, plastic toys, dental sealants. The list is endless.

So what’s wrong with the plastic. Certain chemicals in the plastic called xenohormones (weak estrogens ) can mimic the hormones or bind the hormone receptor sites in the body, disturbing the hormonal atmosphere in the body. Most of the plastics contain a xenohormones called BPA ( Bisphenol A ) .  The BPA makes the plastic articles hard and clear to make them suitable for commercial use. It is also found in the epoxy resins which forms the protective lining inside the metal food and beverage cans.

So what does plastic have to do do with PCOD….

PCOS is a complex syndrome with predominant androgenic manifestations Like increased body hair, scalp hair fall etc. The BPA directly stimulates theca cells in our ovaries to increase androgen production. It also displaces testosterone and androgens at receptor sites (as it mimics the sex hormones) increasing the amount of free roaming testosterone in the blood leading to excessive male pattern symptoms in the body. High levels of BPA also cause low level inflammation in the liver, compromising the detoxifying capability of the liver.

Many scientific studies have shown that BPA levels are elevated in the blood of PCOD patients ( both lean and obese ) as compared with normal women .  Another study found out that the number and the quality of eggs deteriorated in presence of elevated levels of BPA leading to decreased overall fertility levels. in fact, BPA exposure has been now linked to infertility, PCOS, recurrent miscarriages, ADHD, heart disease, increased triglyceride and cholesterol levels and even cancers (prostate and breast). It also has a role in male infertility, decreasing the sperm count. An alarming finding was that the BPA exposure in utero, could also pre dispose the offspring for PCOS development later in life.

 Though it is not possible to avoid plastics completely from our life, however some tips can be followed…

  • Use glass or stainless steel or clay utensils
  • Drink out of glass bottle. Avoid packaged water bottles
  • Avoid plastic packaged food as much as possible.
  • Store your leftover food in the steel or glass containers
  • Do not microwave in the plastic containers.
  • Do not use a plastic wrap before microwaving as it would let the chemical leech inside the food.
  • Avoid Polyvinyl shower curtains as the heat in the shower cabin can let the chemical leech out in the vapor making it easy to inhale.
  • If you have to use plastic, use plastics labelled PETE, HDPE, LDPE or PP.
  • Eat organic, fresh healthy diet.
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