BPA (Bisphenol A) May Be a Major Cause of Food Intolerances

Thermal ReceiptWe are seeing more and more children and adults suffering from food intolerances.  It seems that when I tested for food sensitivities, or if you questioned people about intolerances to foods twenty years ago, they were relatively rare.  Today, many if not most of us have multiple food intolerances (most of us are not aware of them). Food intolerances seem to be a result of intestinal (gut) inflammation that results in foods interacting with our immune systems such that we mount an immune response against these foods. Some physicians use the term “leaky gut” to refer to this disruption of the gut barrier that normally keeps food and toxins from interacting with our immune system (GALT = Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue).

The symptoms of food intolerances range from brain-related disorders (brain-fog, depression, anxiety, depersonalization, ADHD, ADD, Autism, ASD, etc.) to allergies (eczema, asthma, congested, stuffy-runny noses, itchy eyes and skin) to intestinal issues (pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation) and auto-immune triggered disorders (diabetes, thyroiditis, fibromyalgia, MS, etc.)  I’m not trying to imply that food sensitivities are single-handedly responsible for all of these disorders, but there is often a link.

So how does BPA fit in?

The study “Food intolerance at adulthood after perinatal exposure to endocrine disruptor bisphenol A,” which you can read here,  intentionally exposed pregnant rats and their pups until they were weaned, to 0.5, 5 and 50 micrograms/Kg/day of BPA, then tested the antibody responses (anti-OVA- albumin antibodies) to the antigen ovalbumin (OVA). They found that BPA-treated rats when later challenged with OVA developed colonic inflammation with neutrophil infiltration.

Here is a clear explanation of how BPA (to which we all are exposed to some degree) is triggering gut inflammation and hence food intolerances and sensitivities.

So where are we getting this PBA exposure?

Most of us are aware it is in plastics, (baby bottles, drink containers, water bottles, plastic storage containers, food containers).  The huge source many may not think of is the lining of all food cans.  The longer the food sits in those cans and the higher the temperature, the greater the leaching of BPA into the food you then eat.  Canned soup is one of the worst for high BPA exposure. Some dental sealants and composite fillings have BPA. Perhaps the largest source not on our radar is the thermal paper used in store receipts. If you touch these receipts, you are transferring high doses of BPA to your hands, made worse by skin care products and hand sanitizer.

Here are some articles that support this realization:

Food intolerance at adulthood after perinatal exposure to the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A

Widespread Occurrence of Bisphenol A in Paper and Paper Products: Implications for Human Exposure

Handling of Thermal Receipts as a Source of Exposure to Bisphenol A

The article “Handling of thermal receipts as a source of exposure to bisphenol A,” found that absorption from handling papers was between 17.5 and 1300 ng/day for the general population and thermal receipts papers contributed to over 98% of the exposures. The Science Friday podcast on BPA was very informative, interviewing one of the authors of a key study on BPA in thermal receipts. You can read the summary and listen to the podcast here…

Clearly we need to refuse to handle paper receipts and if you work in a job where you must handle these, wear gloves.


Dr. Paul





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