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By - Papiya Mahanti
Mom’s-to-be, if you think you are mindful of your diet and water intake ….you will be shocked … read on to know more.
The fetal nervous system is one of the very first systems to develop. In fact, in the first five years of life, a child’s brain develops more than it does at any other stage of his life. Yes, most of us know these facts, but what if someone told you that drinking bottled water during pregnancy can hamper your child’s brain development?
That is true. According to a recent study, drinking water from plastic bottles during pregnancy may impact your child’s brain development.
Research indicates that exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) during pregnancy, even at levels lower than the ‘safe’ human exposure level, may lead to altered brain development and behavior later in life. (Endocrine News)
Also, according to a recent study conducted by The Endocrine Society based in Washington DC, pregnant women drinking from plastic water bottles have greater chances of having overweight or obese babies. When exposed to BPA, children become less sensitive to the hormone leptin - responsible for controlling appetite.
Researchers conducted a study on mice, during which they found that the offspring born to mothers exposed to BPA were less responsive to the hormone leptin, which is sometimes called the satiety hormone. Leptin helps in reducing appetite by reducing hunger pangs when the body does not need energy. The hormone leptin sends signals to the hypothalamus to suppress appetite.
Dr. Alfonso Abizaid of the Department of Neuroscience at Carleton University (Ottawa; Canada) said, "Our findings show that bisphenol A can promote obesity in mice by altering the hypothalamic circuits in the brain; that regulate feeding behavior and energy balance."
"Low level of prenatal exposure to BPA delays a surge of leptin after birth that allows mice to develop a proper response to the hormone. BPA exposure permanently alters the neurobiology in the affected mice, making them prone to obesity as adults."
To examine how BPA can cause obesity, the researchers fed pregnant mice BPA in their food. The mice were exposed to BPA doses lower than levels deemed safe by the US Food and Drug Administration and Health, Canada. Once the mice gave birth, the researchers gave their offspring injections of leptin at various intervals and then examined their brain tissue and analyzed their blood to gauge the response to the hormone. (NDTV FOOD)
Bisphenol A is a known hormone disruptor, and it can interfere with the endocrine system by mimicking estrogen, which is one of the main sex hormones found in women. Research shows that more than ninety percent of people have detectable levels of BPA in their blood.
According to a Stanford University study, high levels of BPA can increase the risk of miscarriage in women who are already prone to miscarriages or otherwise have had trouble getting pregnant. Most miscarriages are due to egg or chromosome issues but, BPA might indirectly influence that risk.
Pregnant women must avoid cooking or heating food in plastic containers because chemicals leach much faster at higher temperatures. Do not drink from plastic bottles that have been in the sun for long. Studies show that levels of BPA increase by about 1000-fold in the water of a bottle that has been kept in the sun for long.
So moms-to-be need to be very mindful of, not only what they eat and but also the water they are drinking. Not only this - they also need to be careful of the bottle or other containers their food or water is stored in.
Yes, something so basic as the water you are drinking may have an impact on your baby. You must give deeper thought to the water you are drinking. You will be shocked to know that studies also indicate that exposure to BPA before birth increased the risk of wheezing and asthma, especially if it occurred during the second trimester. There is a lot of awareness about BPA in baby bottles and most people have switched to healthier alternatives. Then why not avoid BPA-exposure while you're pregnant? It is better to be safe than sorry.
“BPA is just one chemical used to make plastic baby bottles and in the lining of food, beverage, and infant formula containers. Research shows that children are exposed to BPA by drinking from polycarbonate bottles and consuming food from containers made using BPA.”
– Suzy Shuster
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