Recently, the New York Times reported that the FDA had changed its position on Bisphenol-A, or BPA.  Before, the FDA had said this chemical found in plastics was safe for human consumption.  Now, they are joining other countries in voicing concern over the leaching of BPA into our food supply.

BPA is used in a wide variety of hard plastic containers and canned food linings.  It’s so prevalent in our food supply that a study found that 90% of people had this chemical in their urine or breast milk, and it was even found in umbilical cord blood!

BPA is a hormone mimicker.  Specifically, it mimics estrogen.  In a study using rats, female rats exposed to high and low amounts of the chemical showed decreased production of luteinizing hormone (LH).  This caused decreased ovulation and interruptions in the menstrual cycle.  More research is needed into whether this contributes specifically to the formation of ovarian cysts, but it seems to be a definite possibililty.

How do you avoid this chemical that’s seemingly everywhere?  First, avoid plastics with the number 7 printed on the bottom.  These contain the highest concentration of BPA.  Also, avoid putting anything plastic in the microwave or freezer.  Exposure to extreme heat or cold seems to speed the release of this chemical.  Third, dispose of any plastic that gets scratched or nicked.  Fourth, make sure your water bottle is BPA free, or use a metal bottle.  Nalgene is now supposed to have BPA free plastic water bottles.

Another sneaky source of BPA besides plastics is in can linings.  If you are currently dealing with ovarian cysts, you may want to avoid foods that come in lined cans.  One of the worst offenders is canned tomatoes.