A year ago we warned you that baby bottles are dangerous for boys. The trouble is, in the US, bottle feeding babies is big business. Now a new cancer study shows that early exposure to low doses of environmental estrogens?which means the type of plastic in baby bottles?during development of the prostate gland in the male fetus may result in a predisposition to prostate cancer later in life. Since prostate cancer is killing men in this country at a high rate?the way breast cancer used to kill women?this is a major finding.

Man-made compounds that can mimic the hormone action of female estrogens are widespread in the environment. One of these agents is bisphenol A (BPA), used in the manufacture of plastics. The United States alone produces over 1.6 million pounds of BPA annually. BPA, which can also leach from plastics when heated, turns up in human blood and in placental and fetal tissues in even higher concentrations.

Researcher Dr. Gail Prins exposed rats to low doses of BPA during the developmental period corresponding to the second and third trimester of human pregnancy and found that this early exposure predisposed male rats to precancerous lesions of the prostate in old age.

Bottle feeding not only sets men up for prostate cancer later in life, it also sets both sexes up for something called metabolic syndrome, since an exclusive diet of breast milk in the first six months of life is essential to later heath and avoiding Type II diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension. This is why, in the US, fat is a political hot potato.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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