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BMJ Open. 2018 Feb 3;8(2):e018742. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018742.

An engaged research study to assess the effect of a 'real-world' dietary intervention on urinary bisphenol A (BPA) levels in teenagers.

Author information

1
College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.
2
Research Projects, St Lukes campus, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.
3
RNA-Mediated Disease Mechanisms Group, Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK.
4
National Institute for Health Research Exeter Clinical Research Facility, Royal Devon and Exeter National Health Service Foundation Trust, Exeter, UK.
5
Medical School Building 03.11, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Bisphenol A (BPA) has been associated with adverse human health outcomes and exposure to this compound is near-ubiquitous in the Western world. We aimed to examine whether self-moderation of BPA exposure is possible by altering diet in a real-world setting.

DESIGN:

An Engaged Research dietary intervention study designed, implemented and analysed by healthy teenagers from six schools and undertaken in their own homes.

PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 94 students aged between 17 and 19 years from schools in the South West of the UK provided diet diaries and urine samples for analysis.

INTERVENTION:

Researcher participants designed a set of literature-informed guidelines for the reduction of dietary BPA to be followed for 7 days.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Creatinine-adjusted urinary BPA levels were taken before and after the intervention. Information on packaging and food/drink ingested was used to calculate a BPA risk score for anticipated exposure. A qualitative analysis was carried out to identify themes addressing long-term sustainability of the diet.

RESULTS:

BPA was detected in urine of 86% of participants at baseline at a median value of 1.22 ng/mL (IQR 1.99). No effect of the intervention diet on BPA levels was identified overall (P=0.25), but there was a positive association in those participants who showed a drop in urinary BPA concentration postintervention and their initial BPA level (P=0.003). Qualitative analysis identified themes around feelings of lifestyle restriction and the inadequacy of current labelling practices.

CONCLUSIONS:

We found no evidence in this self-administered intervention study that it was possible to moderate BPA exposure by diet in a real-world setting. Furthermore, our study participants indicated that they would be unlikely to sustain such a diet long term, due to the difficulty in identifying BPA-free foods.

KEYWORDS:

bisphenol A; community; dietary intervention; endocrine disrupting chemical; engaged research; plastic packaging; polycarbonate; public health

PMID:
29431133
PMCID:
PMC5829847
DOI:
10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018742
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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