-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Women with polycystic ovary
syndrome (PCOS) appear to be more vulnerable to a chemical found in
many consumer products than other women, a new study suggests.
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is widely used in plastic products, food
and drink packaging and even dental materials. PCOS, a common
endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age, is characterized
by excessive production of male sex hormones (androgens). PCOS
raises the chances of obesity, type 2 diabetes, infertility and
In this study, Greek researchers checked blood levels of BPA in
71 women with PCOS and a control group of 100 women without the
syndrome. Compared to the control group, BPA levels were nearly 60
percent higher in lean women with PCOS and nearly 30 percent higher
in obese women with PCOS.
As BPA levels increased, so did concentrations of the male sex
hormones testosterone and androstenedione, a steroid hormone that
converts to testosterone.
The study findings are scheduled for publication in the March
issue of the
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
"Excessive secretion of androgens, as seen in PCOS, interfere with BPA detoxification by the liver, leading to accumulation of blood levels of BPA," study co-author Dr. Evanthia Diamanti-Kandarakis, a professor at the University of Athens Medical School, explained in a news release from the Endocrine Society. "BPA also affects androgen metabolism, creating a vicious circle between androgens and BPA."
According to Diamanti-Kandarakis, the study "shows that BPA may
be more harmful to women with hormonal and fertility imbalances
like those found in PCOS. These women should be alert to the
potential risks and take care of themselves by avoiding excessive
everyday consumption of food or drink from plastic containers."
WomensHealth.gov has more about
polycystic ovary syndrome.
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