Tags: bpa | anxiety | kid | soy

Soy Found to Blunt BPA Effects

Tuesday, 11 September 2012 11:14 AM

Children exposed to bisphenol A (BPA) early in life are more likely to have high levels of anxiety possible due to genetic changes in the brain tied to the common chemical, according to new research at North Carolina State University. But the scientists also found that a soy-rich diet appears to mitigate these effects.
The findings, based on studies of laboratory rats, showed low doses of BPA during gestation, nursing and through puberty led to significantly higher levels of anxiety and gene changes in regions of the brain associated with stress and fear.
But animals exposed to BPA who were also fed soy did not demonstrate any signs of anxiety – suggesting that a soy-rich diet may mitigate the effects of the chemical, which is used in a wide variety of plastics, consumer products and food containers.
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"We knew that BPA could cause anxiety in a variety of species, and wanted to begin to understand why and how that happens," said Dr. Heather Patisaul, who helped conduct the study, published in the Public Library of Science Journal PLOS ONE.
"Soy contains phytoestrogens that can also affect the endocrine system, which regulates hormones. It is not clear whether these phytoestrogens are what mitigate the effect of BPA, or if it is something else entirely. That's a question we're hoping to address in future research."
For the study, researchers tracked the effects of BPA – and soy – on three groups of laboratory rats. One group was fed a soy-free diet; a second ate only soy products and was exposed to BPA; and a third group was fed no soy and exposed to BPA.
Blood tests showed that the animals exposed to BPA had comparable levels to those found in humans. Similarly, blood tests of animals fed soy showed levels of genistein, an estrogen-like chemical found in soy, were similar to levels found in people who eat vegetarian diets or regularly consume soy foods.
Specifically, the study found BPA exposure led to genetic changes in the amygdala, a brain region known to play a role in anxiety, but the effect was less pronounced in those on soy-rich diets.
The research was funded, in part, by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
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© HealthDay

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Children exposed to the chemical BPA are more likely to suffer with anxiety, but a soy-rich diet can help.
Tuesday, 11 September 2012 11:14 AM
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