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Bisphenol A Exposure during Pregnancy Disrupts Glucose Homeostasis in Mothers and Adult Male Offspring

 

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a widespread endocrine-disrupting chemical used as the base compound in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics. Epidemiological evidence has suggested an association between exposure to BPA in human adults and a high risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Alonso-Magdalena et al. (p. 1243) studied the effect of environmentally relevant doses of BPA on glucose metabolism in mice during pregnancy and the subsequent impact of BPA exposure on these females later in life. The authors also investigated the consequences of in utero exposure to BPA on metabolic parameters and pancreatic function in offspring. Four months postpartum, BPA-exposed females weighed more and had higher plasma insulin, leptin, triglyceride, and glycerol concentration and greater insulin resistance than did controls. At 6 months of age, male offspring exposed to BPA in utero had reduced glucose tolerance, increased insulin resistance, and altered blood parameters. The authors conclude that BPA may contribute to metabolic disorders relevant to glucose homeostasis and may be a risk factor for diabetes.

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