Diet In The Media

Chemical Compounds Present in Plastic Containers Can Reduce Levels of Vitamin D

You probably already know how important vitamin D is to your health. If you have a vitamin D deficiency, you can increase the risk of depression, dementia, heart disease, cancer and virtually all other health problems that keep you awake at night.

The bad news is that more than a third of the world's population suffers from low vitamin D. And the worst news is that some very common chemicals found in their cosmetics, cleaning products and food packaging may be further reducing your D levels - especially if you are a woman, according to a new study from the University of Michigan.

Using data from urine samples collected from more than , 00 adults, University researchers found that people who had the highest levels of phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) also tended to have low levels of vitamin D. In particular, women who had high BPA or phthalate in their urine were more susceptible to vitamin D deficiency.

While it is unclear how these chemicals reduce your vitamin D levels, there are some theories, according to co-author John Meeker, a professor of Environmental Health Sciences in Michigan.

Both can break down digestive and metabolic enzymes that help convert vitamin D into something your body can use, says Meeker. It is also possible that these chemicals will break the calcium balance in your body, which in turn limits the activity of vitamin D in your system.

However, more research is needed to understand all the details of cause and effect, including why these chemicals may impair vitamin D levels in women more than in men, he adds. Meeker.

Both chemicals are endocrine disruptors, which means they can mess with how your body produces or regulates your hormones.

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Phthalates are a class of chemicals used to make plastic containers and other materials more flexible. They are also added to personal care products to prevent the weakening of fragrances. Research linked phthalates to diabetes, breast cancer and obesity.

BPA is used in the coating of plastic food cans and containers, and also in many hard plastics. It is linked to heart disease, anxiety and a host of other diseases.

So even if these substances do not lower your vitamin D levels, you should pay more attention to them. How can you do that?

It's not so easy, says Meeker. These chemicals are everywhere. "However, it is possible to reduce exposure by limiting the use of plastic-containing products by natural alternatives to personal care products and limiting the consumption of highly processed foods and packaged ".

Basically, try to buy and eat unprocessed whole foods whenever possible. Even cans or BPA-free plastics may not be safer for you. There are some non-toxic "green" personal beauty products that can reduce your exposure to chemicals. Buying cosmetics and other fragrance-free body care products can also help prevent exposure to phthalates.

The Environmental Working Group has a database of chemical cosmetics and personal care products, as well as many other resources, to help prevent phthalates and BPA.

Although getting more vitamin D through sun exposure, diet and supplements can also help, it is unclear whether amounts of vitamin D from these sources can overlap the phthalates and BPA that your body already has. absorbed. For now, your best bet is to even reduce exposure to these chemicals.

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Do you have the custom of using these plastic containers and other products that contain these two chemicals that can be harmful? Comment below!

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