Short Communication
Volume 6 Issue 2 - 2016
Plastic Additives in Bodily Fluids Have Hormonal and Behavioral Effects
Kaufui Vincent Wong*
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida 33146, USA
*Corresponding Author: Kaufui Vincent Wong, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida 33146, USA.
Received: December 24, 2016; Published: December 27, 2016
Citation: Kaufui Vincent Wong. “Plastic Additives in Bodily Fluids Have Hormonal and Behavioral Effects”. EC Nutrition 6.2 (2016): 95-99.
Abstract
It is known from the ubiquitous presence of plastic additives in the environment (air, water and land) worldwide, that the human body anywhere (including the Arctic) is bombarded by these compounds daily. It is not surprising then there is ubiquitous presence of plastic additives in human bodily fluids around the world, facilitated by the numerous pathways of these organic compounds into our bodies. It has been shown that Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates upset the hormonal balance in the human body, more in some than in others. In particular, BPA has been demonstrated to cause an adverse effect on sperm and fertility. The United States Food and Drug Administration has expressed “concern about the potential effects of Bisphenol A on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children.” Additionally, that endocrine disruptors can cause phenotypes to form, foretell consequences in the fields of environmental contaminants, evolutionary biology and disease pathology. There is thus suspicion that occurrences of homosexuality, lesbianism and transgender characteristics can partly be attributed to these modern environmental contaminants (introduced by mankind). Research needs to be done to establish this suspicion.
Keywords: Polychlorinated Biphenyls; Bisphenol A; Phthalates; Soy; Homosexuality; Lesbianism; Transgender
Background
Though the literature is replete with research and scholarly works regarding the behavioral, social sciences and politics of homosexuality (including same sex attraction of both male and female sexes i.e. both ‘homosexuality’ and ‘lesbianism’ in everyday language) and transgender sexuality, there is hardly any on causation. The common understanding is that homosexuality and transgender characteristics are genetic in origin. For instance, reference [1] is one with ‘health’ in its title, but the work deals mostly with the more obvious health issues of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. The current paper investigates probable causes from the nutritional and environmental perspective.
Reference [2] is a publication regarding the effect of soy on the sexual responses of female rats. This 2004 work showed the negative effect of soy on the sexual behavior of said rats. This modern research confirms knowledge which has been used by Buddhist monks for ages. Soy contains substances that imitate the female hormone estrogen, and lower the intensity of the male hormone, testosterone [3,4]. The elder monks used to feed the teenage monks with soy to control their ‘rowdy’ behavior. In other words, the elder monks were aware of the ability of soy to help suppress the raging hormones of teenage boys going through puberty. In general, Buddhist monks used tofu, a food product from whole soy beans, to help with sexual abstinence since each one of them had vowed to lead a chaste life. The facts presented is evidence that mankind knew for quite a long time that human sexuality can be influenced by nutritional intake. The advent of male enhancement drugs, etc. are the modern products growing out of this knowledge and targeted research and development.
Biologists know that homosexuality is common in the animal kingdom. The author witnessed a homosexual act between two male sealions on one Galapagos island, which was pointed out by the official guide of the tour group. The fact is that homosexuality is a natural result of variability in gene expression in the animal kingdom. That certain fishes become male and female at different times of their lifecycles are evidences of bisexuality.
Xenoestrogens are a kind of xenohormone that mimics estrogen. They are either man-made or natural chemical compounds. Manmade xenoestrogens are extensively used industrial compounds, such as phthalates, Bisphenol A (BPA) and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) which have estrogenic effects on a living organism. They are not identical to the estrogenic substances produced internally by the endocrine system of any creature. Xenoestrogens are relevant to the discussion at hand since they imitate the functions of internally and naturally produced estrogen. They are responsible for precocious puberty, for instance, and other disorders of the reproductive system.
Literature Review
In [5], a review was done about BPA, a component of plastics. It was found that this compound, which is found widely in the environment, caused gene changes in multiple generations of rats, and also altered their behaviors. BPA affects the brain and reproductive tissues [5]. It is clear from [6] that BPA is the major estrogenic substance leaching into our water and food supplies. It is also the finding of [7] that BPA was found in the urine samples of 95% of the population. The 2014 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported “some concern about the potential effects of Bisphenol A on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children.” [8]; this administration report is based on various research works, amongst them is [9]. It has been shown in [9] that BPA has heritable adverse effects on sperm function and fertility.
Reference [10] is a research work by Rubin., et al. which showed that BPA affected the estrous cycles of female rats, among other effects. Reference [11] is a work on the inhibition of testicular function of male rats by BPA. In other words, their work demonstrated that BPA caused problems with the masculine status of the rats.
In [12], endocrine disrupting activity was investigated in bottled mineral and flavored water. One or more classes of hormonal activity was detected in about seventy-eight percent of the test samples, a high number. It was concluded that the intensity found in each type of endocrine disruptor is not something to worry about with respect to health. However, it was stated that extended exposure and mixture effects need to be researched.
Reference [13] confirms that there is a lot of plastics and plastic wastes in the environment. It was a 2010 research project sponsored by the United States National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Reference [14] was one of the works which contributed to the findings of the expert panel [6], that included “The wide range of adverse effects of low doses of BPA in laboratory animals exposed both during development and in adulthood is a great cause for concern with regard to the potential for similar adverse effects in humans. Recent trends in human diseases relate to adverse effects observed in experimental animals exposed to low doses of BPA. Specific examples include: the increase in prostate and breast cancer, uro-genital abnormalities in male babies, a decline in semen quality in men, early onset of puberty in girls, metabolic disorders including insulin resistant (type 2) diabetes and obesity, and neurobehavioral problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).” A verbatim quote is given to provide an exact version to the reader, and not lose anything with the paraphrasing.
Reference [15] is the work of a panel in 1996 regarding the research needs on the subject of endocrine disruptors. Main findings was that research should be focused on the effect on reproductive ability by these endocrine disruptors, and the combinatorial result of mixtures and the calculation of exposure. Reference [16] is research work that showed endocrine disruptors introduced into female rats had transgenerational adverse effects on male fertility of the off-springs born from said females. In reference [17], it was stated that capability of an endocrine disruptor (environmental contaminant) to stimulate an epigenetic transgenerational phenotype has implications about the possible dangers of environmental contaminants, disease etiology and evolutionary natural science. These sentiments are echoed by the review paper [18] and the book [19].
Routes of human exposure to plastic additives
From [20], it is clear that there are many pathways of plastic additives into the human body. The quotation listing these pathways is as follows:
• “Microwaving foods (esp. acidic and fatty entrees) in plastic containers TV dinners in plastic trays or with plastic film.
• Boil-in bag foods.
• Migration into cheeses/meats, etc, from stretch wrap.
• Hospitalization or medical procedures (stents, catheters, IVs, respiratory devices). IV Bags with fatty substances like food or blood contain up to 50% DEHP
• Pacifiers, baby bottles and children’s toys.
• Cooking with Teflon cookware.
• Canned foods lined with plastic lacquer.
• Eating fish/meats/dairy products (phthalates in food chain).
• Baby foods and infant formulae.
• House dust (e.g. PVC dust from common household vinyl’s such as flooring).
• Air (e.g. phthalates released from plastic car interiors i.e. that “new car” smell, vinyl flooring)” [20].
These common paths or entry methods into a human’s body simply explains why there is ubiquitous presence of phthalates in human bodily fluids, which include blood. It is quite clear that it is almost impossible to avoid phthalates completely in one’s everyday life since it is there in house dust and in the air, we breathe. The use of this list comes from helping us avoid unnecessary additional exposure to BPA and phthalates.
Discussion and Conclusion
The work of [2] is one of many works that confirmed that soy can have an effect on sex hormones and thus sexual behavior, like BPA and phthalates in general. In [12], it was concluded that the long-term endocrine disruptive effects of bottled (in plastic) mineral and flavored water has not been studied, nor the various combinatorial effects. However, the links that were established point to the suspicion that BPA and phthalates have long term adverse effects on reproductive capability [12,14]. Work can be done to research whether BPA and phthalates in the human body may be long-term risk factors in the causation of homosexuality and transgender characteristics in the fetus. Research should be done to establish these connections. It is the public’s duty to keep these contaminants out of the environment. If this clean-up is too difficult and demand too much resources, then society should at least face up to the responsibility of accepting homosexual and transgender people as possible results of the environmental conditions. Governments should also not look upon the LGBT community as deserving of marginalization or punishment.
It is common sense and therefore obvious that entry into this world via the birth canal, under natural conditions, should not be marginalized or illegal in any land under any enlightened government.
Bibliography
  1. Harcourt J. “Current issues in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) health: Introduction”. Journal of Homosexuality 51.1 (2006): 1-11.
  2. Patisaul HB., et al. “A soy supplement and tamoxifen inhibit sexual behavior in female rats”. Hormones and Behavior 45.4 (2004): 270-277.
  3. American Nutrition Association. “The Whole Soy Story”. Nutrition Digest 38.2.
  4. Daniel KT. “The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food”. New Trends Publishing, Inc., Washington, DC (2005).
  5. Wolstenholme JT., et al. “Gestational exposure to bisphenol A produces transgenerational changes in behaviors and gene expression”. Endocrinology 153.8 (2012): 3828-3838.
  6. Vom Saal FS., et al. “Chapel Hill bisphenol A expert panel consensus statement: integration of mechanisms, effects in animals and potential to impact human health at current levels of exposure”. Reproductive Toxicology 24.2 (2007): 131-138.
  7. Calafat AM., et al. “Urinary concentrations of bisphenol A and 4-nonylphenol in a human reference population”. Environmental Health Perspectives 113.4 (2005): 391-395.
  8. “Bisphenol A: Use in Food Contact Applications”. U. S. Food and Drug Administration (2014).
  9. Wolstenholme JT., et al. “The role of Bisphenol A in shaping the brain, epigenome and behavior”. Hormones and Behavior 59.3 (2011): 296-305.
  10. Rubin BS., et al. “Perinatal exposure to low doses of bisphenol A affects body weight, patterns of estrous cyclicity, and plasma LH levels." Environmental Health Perspectives109.7 (2001): 675-680.
  11. Akingbemi BT., et al. “Inhibition of testicular steroidogenesis by the xenoestrogen bisphenol A is associated with reduced pituitary luteinizing hormone secretion and decreased steroidogenic enzyme gene expression in rat Leydig cells”. Endocrinology 145.2 (2004): 592-603.
  12. Plotan M., et al. “Endocrine disruptor activity in bottled mineral and flavoured water”. Food Chemistry 136.3-4 (2013): 1590-1596.
  13. Halden RU. “Plastics and health risks”. Annual Review of Public Health 31 (2010): 179-194.
  14. Wetherill YB., et al.In vitro molecular mechanisms of bisphenol A action”. Reproductive Toxicology 24.2 (2007): 178-198.
  15. Kavlock RJ., et al. “Research needs for the risk assessment of health and environmental effects of endocrine disruptors: a report of the US EPA-sponsored workshop”. Environmental Health Perspectives 104.4 (1996): 715-740.
  16. Anway MD., et al. “Epigenetic transgenerational actions of endocrine disruptors and male fertility”. Science 308.5727 (2005): 1466-1469.
  17. Anway MD and Skinner MK. “Epigenetic transgenerational actions of endocrine disruptors”. Endocrinology147.6 (2006): S43-S49.
  18. Crews D and McLachlan JA. “Epigenetics, evolution, endocrine disruption, health, and disease”. Endocrinology 147.6 (2006): S4-S10.
  19. Scott F Gilbert and D Epel. “Ecological Developmental Biology: Integrating Epigenetics, Medicine, and Evolution”. Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine82.4 (2009): 231-232.
  20. Johnston S. “Human Exposure to Phthalates” Earth Resource Foundation(2004).
Copyright: © 2016 Kaufui Vincent Wong. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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