How BPA exposure in infancy affects heart function

written by Meena Azzollini

newborn baby smiling

Credit:123RF

Bisphenol A (BPA) is commonly used in the manufacturing of polycarbonate plastics, polyvinyl chloride plastics, resins, and thermal printing applications. That is more than 8 million pounds of BPA produced each year.

We are inadvertently exposed to BPA through various consumer and medical products.

Acute BPA exposure resulted in altered cardiomyocyte functionality which led to slowed heart rate and increased irregular heart rhythms.

Recent reports have shown a link between exposure to BPA and adverse cardiovascular outcomes – ranging from abnormal heart beat, arrhythmias, angina, chest pain, to coronary artery disease, the narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and death.

These previous studies have been limited to adult heart but very little is known of the outcome on developing infant hearts.

Neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (Cells that form the muscular wall of the heart) were monitored to assess cell viability, spontaneous beating rate, beat rate viability and calcium handling parameters.

The cells were exposed to BPA (for 15 mins) in doses that mimic environmental exposure, maximum clinical exposure and at levels that are higher than normally found in the body (supraphysicological).

Acute BPA exposure resulted in altered cardiomyocyte functionality which led to slowed heart rate and increased irregular heart rhythms.

Exposure to BPA also impaired intracellular calcium handling and led to calcium instabilities which could bring on secondary adverse effects on contractile performance and alterations in the contractions of the heart.

The findings suggest that immature heart cells respond to BPA in a similar way as an adult heart does.

While plastics have revolutionised the way doctors and surgeons treat patients, these plastic medical devices may be putting the human heart at risk.

Researchers hope that this preliminary investigation may lead to the development of alternative products by medical device manufacturers while researchers continue their investigations into the impact of plastics on patients.

We can reduce our exposure to BPA by using less plastic products as even BPA substitutes have adverse effects on our health.

Source: Scientific Reports


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Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!