Yeah, me too.
And I was none too pleased when I learned that epoxy-lined cans appear to be our main source of bisphenol A (BPA) exposure. I now avoid most canned food, which is kind of a drag convenience-wise (although it has done wonders for my soup-making skills).
Nonetheless, I'm still troubled by the estrogen-mimicking chemical's widespread presence in food packaging and other items (cash-register receipts is my new favorite).
So I was happy to learn from the Soft Landing (via Dr. Greene's blog—and thanks, Michele, for the tip) that preliminary research from Duke University suggests that folate and genistein may counteract the effects of BPA, particularly for children and possibly for adults as well.
The endocrine-disrupting chemical is of particular concern for fetuses and children, because, as Dr. Greene puts it, "[BPA] turns on and off different genes," resulting in a higher risk for problems such as obesity, early puberty, and breast and prostate cancer.
In their experiments, the Duke researchers exposed pregnant animals to BPA and gave them extra folate (found in leafy greens) and genistein (found in legumes such as soy and fava beans). They found that "[t]hese nutrients switched the genes back the way they should be, and the BPA effect was completely nullified." Greene continues: "Beyond this, the researchers propose that these nutrients could block the effects of chemical estrogen exposures, even if given later in childhood and possibly even in adulthood."
Hmm... What's on the menu tonight? I think some romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, mustard greens, parsley, collard greens, and broccoli with fava beans![Creative Commons-licensed photo by Sherrie Thai]