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New research on bisphenol-A (BPA), released this week, shows that BPA may be linked to a higher risk of future heart and kidney disease. The research, which consists of an analysis of national survey data of children and adolescents by NYU School of Medicine researchers, published in Kidney International, does not definitively prove that BPA will cause heart or kidney disease. However, what the study does show is that even low levels of  BPA increase oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, which in turn can equal protein leakage into the urine. This protein leakage is considered a biomarker for early renal impairment and future risk of developing coronary heart disease. Health information about 710 children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 was analyzed for this study. The researchers noticed that kids with the highest BPA levels in their bodies had noticeably higher levels of albumin in their urine. This is not good news. Albumin is not normally found in urine unless there is kidney membrane damage, thus allowing albumin to leak through into the urine. In extreme cases, very high levels of albumin in urine not only impairs kidney function, but this is a potential early marker of renal impairment and future risk of developing coronary heart disease, according to study researchers.

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Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP, associate professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine, and population health, and co-lead author of the study tells Science Daily, “While we excluded children with pre-existing kidney disease from our analysis, I am concerned that BPA exposure may have even greater effects on children with kidney disease, because their kidneys are already working harder to compensate and have limited functional reserve, they may be more susceptible to the adverse effects of environmental toxins.” Obviously this is a clear call to action. There needs to be further study about BPA exposure and its effects on children, both for healthy kids and kids who already have pre-existing kidney disease. This new research adds to a growing list of BPA health concerns. BPA exposure has already been linked to autism and other learning disabilities, abnormal egg development in fetuses, emotional problems, low IVF success rates, childhood obesity, diabetes, breast cancer,  lower birth weights, hyperactivity, DNA damagebreastfeeding problems and many other issues. It’s a little nuts that there’s so much research showing that BPA is a health risk for kids, yet the government refuses to address it. Still, as a concerned parent, there are steps you can take to help your kids avoid BPA exposure and help protect their hearts and kidneys for years to come.

+ Bisphenol A exposure is associated with low-grade urinary albumin excretion in children of the United States

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