Common Chemical Exposure Tied to Low Vitamin D

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals may alter active vitamin D in blood

(RxWiki News) Exposure to a type of chemical found in some plastics and other household items may lead to lower vitamin D levels in the blood stream, a new study found.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals may alter the active form of vitamin D, a vitamin that promotes bone and muscle health, so that patients have lower levels of it in their bodies.

One type of endocrine-disrupting chemical is bisphenol A (BPA), which is found in some beverage containers and plastic dinnerware.

“Nearly every person on the planet is exposed to BPA and another class of endocrine-disrupting chemicals called phthalates, so the possibility that these chemicals may even slightly reduce vitamin D levels has widespread implications for public health,” said study first author Lauren Johns, MPH, a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, in a press release.

Phthalates are common in personal care items, such as shampoo and soap, medical tubing and some children's toys, these researchers noted.

This study looked at more than 4,500 adults. Researchers analyzed the connection between patients' level of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and vitamin D levels. Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals was measured through urine samples, while vitamin D levels were measured through blood samples.

The link between exposure to phthalates and lower vitamin D levels was evident and the strongest in women, these researchers found. They also noted an association between BPA exposure and lower vitamin D levels in women. This link in men was found to be statistically insignificant.

The researchers behind this study called for additional studies.

Talk to your doctor about how to maintain healthy levels of vitamin D and reduce your exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals.

This study was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

The National Institutes of Health funded this research. The authors disclosed no conflicts of interest.

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Review Date: 
September 22, 2016