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As the basis of many disease states is increasingly thought to be genetic, the idea that in utero injuries can give rise to adult-onset illnesses is not implausible. Bisphenol A(BPA), a chemical used in copious magnitude to create polycarbonate plastics, has been linked to metabolic syndrome, reproductive disorders, and reproductive organ cancers in animal models. Plastics, are composed of monomers(single units) linked together to form a long chain(polymer). Although the polymerization process links the monomers together tightly. There has been shown to be some breakdown of that bond with resultant leakage of the chemical constituents into the surrounding environment. In fact, BPA has been shown to be present in 95% of human urine samples.
In animal models, in utero exposure to bisphenol A has shown mutations(hypomethylation) in the DNA of the developing offspring. This leads to altered gene expression. Which genes will be affected can not be predicted. However, studies have shown that genes affecting physical characteristics(coat color) and those affecting the onset of disease have been affected by fetal exposure to BPA.
Dietary supplementation with folic acid and genistein (a major phytoestrogen in soy) has been shown to counteract the biochemical aberrations caused by Bisphenol A. Thus protecting the developing fetus from altered gene expression and potential disease states. Folate is recommended by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology for prenatal supplementation to prevent neural tube defects. Beyond which, it has the additional benefit of protecting the developing fetus from environmental toxins. It’s importance can not be unduly emphasized. Genistein,however, has not been recommended for regular prenatal supplementation. Dear friends, whether you are expecting or planning to get pregnant, please, please be sure to take adequate folic acid supplementation before and during your pregnancy. Although there are natural sources of folic acid, such as papayas, the amount they contain does not meet daily requirements. A prenatal vitamin or folic acid supplement is recommended.