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Plastics component affects intestine: study


Senior Member
This study shows how digestive inflammation due to BPA found in the lining of soup cans, processed food packaging and even in dental sealants can cause a lack of permeability in the get and poor absorption of nutrients.


The chemical Bisphenol A used in plastic containers and drinks cans has been shown for the first time to affect the functioning of the intestines, according to a French study published Monday.

National Institute of Agronomic Research researchers in Toulouse found the digestive tract of rats react negatively to even low doses of the chemical also called BPA, the Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences journal reported.

Their research, also conducted on human intestine cells, found that the chemical lowered the permeability of the intestines and the immune system's response to digestive inflammation, it said.

BPA is used in the production of polycarbonated plastics and epoxy resins found in baby bottles, plastic containers, the lining of cans used for food and beverages, and in dental sealants.

Over 130 studies over the past decade have linked even low levels of BPA, which can leach from plastics, to serious health problems, breast cancer, obesity and the early onset of puberty, among other disorders.

The French study focuses on the first organ to come in contact with the substance, the intestine.

The researchers orally administered doses of BPA to the rats that were equivalent to about 10 times less than the daily amount considered safe for humans, a statement from the Toulouse institute said.

They saw that BPA reduced the permeability of the instentinal lining through which water and essential minerals enter the body, it said.

They also found that newborn rats exposed to BPA in the uterus and during feeding have a higher risk of developing severe intestinal inflammation in adulthood.

The study "shows the very high sensitivity on the intestine of Bisphenol A and opens news avenues for research" including to define new acceptable thresholds of the substance for humans, the institute said.

In May this year, the six major baby bottle makers in the United States agreed to stop using the chemical.

(c) 2009 AFP


Senior Member
Sofa, UK
Non-stick chemical linked to thyroid disease

Also this:

May be of significance here because thyroid disease has lots of similarities with ME/CFS and I've seen interest in thyroid function elsewhere on this forum.

Although they call it 'non-stick chemical', it seems it's also a flame retardant - like PBDEs which I've tested sensitive to and which cause me to itch wildly whenever I sit on a flame-retardant-coated seat (which includes all fabrics and furnishings and many clothes, in the UK at least). These symptoms are, of course, "imposssible". Fortunately, I have managed to obtain some flame-reatardant-free furniture (at great cost) and can now live relatively happily in a small flat on my own.

Dr Myhill and the MCS crowd have been warning about - and detoxing - Bisphenol A and VOCs for many years, and the whole thing has been shunned by mainstream science all that time. MCS is still not an accepted theory or diagnosis. It's nice to know the whole thing has now at long last been proved correct on all the major chemical fronts - all the main toxins have at last been shown to be toxic in the real world in humans, and to have adverse health effects in the real world - but unfortunately they've also been 'proved safe' by experiments on mice, so whether this will get us anywhere remains to be seen...does Wessely have studies planned that fail to confirm it all I wonder?...

Non-stick chemical linked to thyroid disease

A chemical used in non-stick pans and water resistant fabrics has been linked to a common disease that affects the metabolism of the body.

By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent
Published: 7:30AM GMT 21 Jan 2010

Researchers have found that higher concentrations of the compound perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in the blood correlates with up to double the rates of thyroid disease.
The findings, although not conclusive proof of a link, do raise concerns over the use of the ubiquitous chemical in households and factories.

Professor Tamara Galloway, the studys senior author at the University of Exeter, said: Our results highlight a real need for further research into the human health effects of low-level exposures to environmental chemicals like PFOA that are ubiquitous in the environment and in peoples homes.
"We need to know what they are doing.
Thyroid disease is a common condition that affects around one in 50 women and up to one in a 1000 men at one time in their lives. It is particularly associated with ageing.
An overactive or under-active thyroid can have significant affects on heart rate, body temperature and many other body functions, including metabolism, reproduction, digestion and mental health.
PFOA is a very stable man-made chemical used to repel heat, water, grease, and stains.
It is used during the process of making common household and industrial items including nonstick pots and pans, flame-resistant and waterproof clothing, carpets, sofas and curtains.
There have long been suspicions that PFOA concentrations might be linked to changes in thyroid hormone levels. Now this latest study seems to back up those suspicions.
A study by the University of Exeter and the Peninsula Medical School it shares with the University of Plymouth, for the first time links thyroid disease with human exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
The study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, involved 3966 adults aged 20 and older whose blood serum was sampled between 1999 and 2006 for PFOA.
The researchers found that the individuals with the highest amount of PFOA concentrations ,above 5.7 nanograms per mililitre were more than twice as likely to report current thyroid disease than individuals with the lowest 50 per cent of PFOA concentrations (below 4.0ng/ml).
David Melzer, a professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Peninsula Medical School, said: Our analysis shows that in the ordinary adult population there is a solid statistical link between higher concentrations of PFOA in blood and thyroid disease.
Professor Ashley Grossman, at Queen Mary, University of London, said the link was definitely not proven.
"We'd need to do a lot more research to verify this link and to understand how the two are linked," he said.
"In the meantime, it's important to remember that thyroid disease can be successfully treated."


Senior Member
Wow. That's scary about the BPA. I have to drink a lot of liquid nutrition Boost because with CFIDS I have a paralyzed gut. And that means plastic bottles every day. Everything else I eat is healthy and organic.....but I've never found a way to manage without the liquid nutrition component. Thanks for posting. Though it's hard to do anything about it. ~FernRhizome



Wow. Rats fed BPA during feeding had severe intestinal inflammation during adulthood. Does this mean the BPA persists in the intestines ? I would have thought the BPA would be removed as intestinal cells are sloughed off into the gut lumen. this is scary.


Admin Assistant
as a side note, there is only one food company that publicly promises their metal cans are not lined in BPA- Eden Organics. They have a limited selection but that is what I buy if I need canned food. Don't assume any other organic companies do the same.


Senior Member
Useful advice and info Sarahg. I don't eat out of cans a lot, but this is certainly something to think about. (for those who do use cans a lot, you might want to consider dried foods as an option. There are a lot more of these available now: chopped veg of various sorts, beans, sauces, soups, and other things. Of course I suppose now we have to think about the plastic they're packaged in...but at least they're not wet, seems you'd get less reaction.)

As for the rest: all my life I have shied away from nonstick coatings and plastic bottles, preferring iron, stainless steel, and canning jars. Some of it was an instinctive reaction: things that smell that bad will affect the flavor. Another was back-to-the-land knee-jerk puritanism. Still another was the strong feeling that things that have been used for a long time with no visible poor results are preferable to new things that nobody really knows about.

The final factor? I went to school with Lex Dupont and he was a total jerk. It became clear to me that the Dupont company was unlikely to have any good intentions towards unknown plebeian customers when the family who runs it isn't interested in being civil even to people they know in person.

I'm so glad these bitter biases and resentments and prejudices have contributed to my health and made the science unnecessary!


Senior Member
Olympia, wa
As for the rest: all my life I have shied away from nonstick coatings and plastic bottles, preferring iron, stainless steel, and canning jars.

BTW the white coating on some brands of home canning lids is the very same toxic plastic. I've made sure to stick with the plain old steel ones.


Senior Member
Wow, I had a few dental sealants just before I developed CFS... and I have leaky gut. Yet another contributing factor?


Senior Member
Good tip about the canning jar tops, talkingfox. I'd used both kinds and never thought about that.


Senior Member
Thanks LiveRock and Mark for posting this important info -- stuff that isn't discussed on the XMRV threads at all.

Think about all the ways plastics, and other chemicals have DRAMATICALLY increased in use in our lifetimes (at least in mine). When I was a little kid back in the early 1960's, milk came in GLASS BOTTLES. One has to search high and wide to find milk in a glass bottle now, and once located, it's twice the price.

Think about the 'scented' air in almost every drugstore and grocery store and department stores. Are they made from 'rose petals'? I doubt it. Think about all the perfumes, aftershaves, cosmetics and other toiletries that are loaded with petrochemicals.

Think about fabric 'protectors' like Scotchguard, that was taken off the market for 3 years when they found a link to cancer (and other diseases) back in 2000, yet it's back on the market since 2003, and who knows if it's really safe. And the fact that Dupont KNEW the chemical in the original product wasn't safe in the first place.

Think about all the cooking done in plastic containers in microwaves (another novel) and all the yogurts, cottage cheese, and other dairy that comes in plastic containers.

Think about how many people use non-stick cookware that says on it's label that fumes from the pan may KILL your pet bird (paraphrasing), yet people use them to cook with?

Think about products like "Febreeze" that suggest they clean the air, and remove odors, yet aren't required to list a SINGLE ingredient on the cans they come in.

And we wonder why the rates of chronic illness and disease like cancer, CFS/ME, autism, parkinson's, alzheimer's, etc has exploded in the last 30 years...

Okay, I'll shut up.

But thanks for posting this...


p.s. Remedying some of this is of course avoidance, but I'm guessing that this is where Rich Van K's methylation theories fit in too. Perhaps if our methylation and detoxification systems can work better, then we could process this stuff better...?