(NaturalNews) The widespread toxin bisphenol-A (BPA) damages the intestines and may lead to a painful condition known as leaky gut syndrome, according to a study conducted by researchers from the National Institute of Agronomic Research researchers in Toulouse, France, and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences.
The study "shows the very high sensitivity on the intestine of BPA," the National Institute of Agronomic Research said.
BPA is used to make hard clear plastics for products such as water and baby bottles. It is also used to make dental sealants and composites, and is in the liners food cans, beverages and infant formula. More than 130 studies have linked the hormone-mimicking chemical to a wide variety of health problems, including cancers, birth and reproductive defects, obesity, early puberty onset, behavior disorders and brain damage.
In the new study, researchers exposed both living rats and human intestinal cells to a dose of BPA 10 times lower than that currently considered safe by most governments. They found that the permeability of intestinal cells in both humans and rats decreased upon exposure to the chemical. The intestinal lining developed damage characteristic of the condition known both as "poor intestinal permeability" and "leaky gut syndrome."
Normally, a mucus lining prevents undigested substances from passing through the intestinal lining and into the bloodstream. When this lining is damaged, however, toxic substances and foreign pathogens can enter the body more easily. Because the intestinal lining also contains immunoglobin A, its disruption can affect the entire body's immune system.
People with leaky gut syndrome often experience abdominal pain, digestive upset, rashes, hampered immune function and chronic muscle pain. Damage to the intestinal lining can cause poor nutrient absorption, leading to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Adding to the body of evidence that BPA is particularly dangerous to developing fetuses and children, the researchers found that exposure to BPA in utero or immediately after birth significantly increased rats' risk of developing severe intestinal inflammation as adults.
Sources for this story include: sg.news.yahoo.com.