BPS for BPA: What's in a letter?

Drs. Oz & Roizen's Tip of the Day:

January 16, 2014 

As marketing slogans like "BPA Free!" have started popping up on various products, the lyrics from The Who song "Substitute" keep coming to mind: "Substitute your lies for fact, I see right through your plastic mac."

That's because while plastic manufacturers are removing hormone-disrupting bisphenol A (BPA) from the linings of food cans and register receipts, they are replacing it with BPS (bisphenol S), a hormone-disrupting cousin of BPA. The only difference between BPA and BPS seems to be that BPS is a bit less likely to seep into food and is slightly less effective at mimicking estrogen. But because BPS is a heartier compound, it's slower to degrade than BPA and more persistent once it gets into your body or the environment.

Hormone disrupters can trigger developmental, reproductive, neurological and immune problems. So we suggest you reduce your exposure to BPA and BPS by:

• Cooking and microwaving food in glass, ceramic and stainless-steel containers.

• Refusing store receipts - they are the single greatest source of your exposure to BPA and BPS. And don't go from touching one to putting your hand on your face.

• Eating foods and taking supplements that "manage" the bisphenols. The bee product royal jelly, black tea extract and quercetin in onions lessen bisphenol A-induced cell toxicity. Folate and probiotics may reduce absorption of and degrade bisphenols.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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