Do You Need a Bisphenol-a (BPA) Detox?
According to a Google search, many people today are looking to rid their bodies of any number of substances they define as toxins. In that regard, a recent Men's Health article titled "Do Detox Diets Work? We Tried the Most Popular Ones So You Don't Have To" has some interesting observations. Though it debunks four popular detox diets and supplements, its most important statement is right at the beginning:
"While many companies claim their detox products offer the latest and greatest ways to flush out your system, you're about to learn the secret of an all-powerful tool that does it best. It's called (wait for it) your liver.
"'Evolutionarily we're lucky, because the liver has millions of enzymes and processes to help us detoxify,' says Christopher Hoyte, M.D., medical director of the toxicology clinic at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, 'and it works overtime, all the time, to keep us healthy.'"
BPA (Bisphenol-A) is one substance from which some claim we need detoxing. While it's true we're exposed to trace levels of BPA, primarily through our diet, do we need any kind of treatment to eliminate it from our body?
The simple answer is no, we don't, largely for the reason that Dr. Hoyte provided above. It's well known from many studies on laboratory animals, and several studies on human volunteers, that BPA is efficiently converted to a biologically inactive metabolite (i.e., detoxified) after exposure, which is then quickly eliminated from the body in urine.
Metabolism occurs initially by enzymes present in the intestinal wall as BPA is absorbed from the gut. Any BPA that survives metabolism during absorption passes to the liver, where the same enzymes are present. The process is so efficient that no BPA was found in the blood of human volunteers treated with BPA at levels typically found in the diet.
Based on the way BPA is processed in the body, it's not likely that BPA could be harmful at the very low levels present in our diet. Do you need to be concerned at all? No -- not according to regulatory bodies around the world that have reviewed BPA science, including the many studies on BPA metabolism. Getting right to the point, U.S. Food and Drug Administration experts state: "Is BPA safe? Yes."
Still not convinced? In the near future, FDA scientists will release results from the largest study on BPA ever conducted. The results aren't available yet, but you can read about the study now and come back later for the results.
UPDATE: A draft report of the study mentioned above, known as CLARITY-BPA, was released in February 2018, and is discussed in more-recent articles on this website.