Bottled Water And Fertility
To date, the main plastic-derived chemicals that have gotten the public's attention are bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, but plastics can contain many other chemicals which may possess equal if not greater endocrine disrupting potential. And, just because a plastic product is touted as being BPA-free does not necessarily mean that it is fertility-friendly when used as a food/beverage container.
The cocktail of chemicals in food, water and the environment are suspected to play a role in both male and female infertility.
A landmark study (1) published in the journal PLOS One tested multiple samples of bottled water and discovered that many contained endocrine-disrupting chemicals which are also called EDCs. This study demonstrated that out of eighteen different samples, most bottled waters contained potent EDC chemicals.
Thirteen samples of bottled waters contained chemicals which significantly blocked estrogen activity while sixteen demonstrated very significant - up to 90% - anti-androgenic activity. The main chemical of concern in this study was identified as DEHF or di(2-ethylhexyl) fumarate which is a plasticizer used to make plastics more flexible, which at present, is completely unregulated.
"We have shown that antiestrogens and antiandrogens are present in the majority of bottled water products..."
"This illustrates the need to identify novel toxicologically relevant compounds to establish a more holistic picture of the human exposome."
This study is not the first to isolate endocrine disrupting chemicals from bottled water, a 2009 study (2) examined the estrogenic burden of bottled mineral water and significant estrogenic activity was discerned in 60% of all bottled water samples.
Researchers of this study also bred snails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) in water bottles made of glass and plastic [polyethylene terephthalate (PET)] and demonstrated an increase in reproductive output in snails which were bred in PET bottles. This demonstrates that substances leaching from plastic packaging materials can act as functional estrogens. The study concluded that:
"Our results demonstrate a widespread contamination of mineral water with xenoestrogens that partly originates from compounds leaching from the plastic packaging material. These substances possess potent estrogenic activity in vivo in a molluskan sentinel."
"Overall, the results indicate that a broader range of foodstuff may be contaminated with endocrine disruptors when packed in plastics."
Many plastics which come into contact with food and beverages contain a veritable cocktail of EDCs which it may be wise NOT to ingest when you are trying to cultivate fertility...and a baby-friendly environment.
Choose your food and beverage storage containers carefully; use glass and stainless steel whenever possible and similarly try to avoid buying foods which are packaged in plastic. Canned foods and beverages have hidden exposure to plastic via can linings. Filter your water and store it in glass or stainless steel to keep your body as clear of plastic residues as possible while you prepare for pregnancy and host your baby-to-be.
(1) PLOS One. Identification of Putative Steroid Receptor Antagonists in Bottled Water: Combining Bioassays and High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry Martin Wagner, Michael P. Schlüsener, Thomas A. Ternes, Jörg Oehlmann, Published: August 28, 2013. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072472
(2) Environmental Science and Pollution Research May 2009, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 278-286, Endocrine disruptors in bottled mineral water: total estrogenic burden and migration from plastic bottles Martin Wagner, Jörg Oehlmann
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