Compound in Plastics May Exacerbate Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Animal Study Suggests

A recent study in a preclinical model of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) shows that dietary exposure to bisphenol-A, or BPA, found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, can increase mortality and worsen its symptoms. Dr. Clint Allred, a Texas A&M AgriLife researcher in the Nutrition and Food Science Department at Texas A&M University in College Station, led a study published online on June 6, 2018 in the Experimental Biology and Medicine journal. The article is titled “Bisphenol-A Alters Microbiota Metabolites Derived From Aromatic Amino Acids And Worsens Disease Activity During Colitis.” The full text can be viewed online at "This is the first study to show that BPA can negatively impact gut microbial amino acid metabolism in a way that has been associated with irritable bowel disease," said Jennifer DeLuca, a graduate student in the Nutrition and Food Science Department and first author for the study. Also participating on the study were Dr. Kimberly Allred, also with the Nutrition and Food Science Department, and Rami Menon, a chemical engineer in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M. IBD is a complex collection of diseases that include ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. There is chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, and symptoms related to IBD can include severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, and weight loss. More serious instances can require lifelong treatment or possibly surgery. "While the causes of IBD have not yet been determined, environmental exposures such as diet, smoking, infections, altered gut microbiome, and toxins or pollutants are risk-factors for development and relapse," Dr. Clint Allred said. "In this study, we wanted to focus on what effect BPA may have on IBD."
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