Diabetes Risk: The risk of diabetes is hidden in plastic bottles

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Using plastic bottles for water has become almost common, but did you know that it can be dangerous for your health? A study recently presented at the 2024 Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association has raised concerns that BPA, an industrial chemical used in plastic bottles and food containers, may increase the risk of diabetes.

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BPA, which stands for bisphenol A, is widely used in food and drink packaging. Earlier studies have also highlighted its ability to block human hormones. This new study provides direct evidence linking BPA to reduced insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance (which can cause blood sugar levels to remain high for a prolonged period of time) is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

What do experts say?

Todd Hagobian, senior author of the study and a professor at California Polytechnic State University, said in a press release that these results suggest that perhaps the safe dose set by the US Environmental Protection Agency should be reconsidered and healthcare providers can suggest these changes to patients. Currently, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) considers BPA levels up to 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight in food containers to be safe. This amount is 100 times more than the value found to be dangerous in the new study. This has led some researchers to advocate a ban on BPA in products that come into contact with food or drinks by the end of 2024.

The concern about dangerous BPA in everyday items

is part of a broader warning about exposure to potentially harmful substances in everyday items. Understanding the long-term health effects of such substances can help make better choices to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Given that diabetes is a leading cause of death in the U.S., it's important to understand even the smallest factors that contribute to disease, Hagobian said in the press release.