If you missed the xenoestrogens blog (Part 1) about Bisphenol A (BPA) and its health consequences, you can find it here. BPA is everywhere. More than likely, all of us are exposed to BPA fairly regularly. Are there any diet-related remedies for eliminating this toxin already in our bodies? There just may be! PROBIOTICS!
Specific probiotics: Bifidobacterium breve and Lactobacillus casei are two beneficial bacterial strains shown to reduce intestinal absorption of BPA by carrying it out of your digestive system (1). This is great news because consuming these probiotic strains may destroy the harmful effects of BPA. These two strains can be found in both foods and supplements, depending on the supplement.
- Bifidobacteria breve belongs to a group of bacteria called lactic acid bacteria. Lactic acid bacteria are found in naturally fermented foods, kefir, and cheese.
- Lactobacillus casei grows naturally in the human digestive system. The bacteria help the digestive system operate properly, boost immune function, and help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Lactobacillus casei is predominantly found in naturally fermented foods and kefir.
BPA is very concerning for parents and soon-to-be parents because some animal studies report ill effects in fetuses and newborns exposed to BPA. This tells me all pregnant women would benefit by taking a probiotic containing Bifidobacterium breve and Lactobacillus casei on a nightly basis. Why nightly? Because stomach acid is not as strong after dinner so probiotics have the best chance at establishing residence in your digestive tract. You also are not going to eat for about another 8 hours, giving the probiotics time to attach to your intestinal wall and form colonies.
Another reason for parents to be concerned is BPA’s estrogen mimicking effects and its possible link to obesity (2), so infants, toddlers, and children can also benefit by a probiotic supplement to prevent absorbing this incredibly harmful chemical into the bloodstream.
Why take probiotics daily? Levels of beneficial bacteria don’t reside in your intestines forever. In fact, they stay there for only a short time before they’re utilized or excreted. Some reasons beneficial bacteria decrease include not eating whole foods, consuming too much alcohol, salt, and chlorinated water, consuming too many drugs and antibiotics, and they decline with age. A daily probiotic is very helpful to keep levels up.
You’re off to a good start by understanding how these two strains of probiotics, Bifidobacterium breve and Lactobacillus casei, are beneficial for binding BPA. Replenishing the beneficial bacterial colonies on a nightly basis will keep you healthier today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow.
In Health and Happiness,
Kelly Harrington, MS, RD
Nutritionist for Healthy Goods
References: 1. Oishi K, Sato T, Yokoi W, Yoshida Y, Ito M, Sawada H. Effect of probiotics, Bifidobacterium breve and Lactobacillus casei, on bisphenol A exposure in rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2008 Jun;72(6):1409-15.
2. Trasande L, MD, MPP; Attina TM, MD, PhD, MPH; Blustein J, MD, PhD. Association Between Urinary Bisphenol A Concentration and Obesity Prevalence in Children and Adolescents. JAMA. 2012;308(11):1113-1121.