Objective: Bisphenol A (BPA) has been associated with adverse human health outcomes and exposure to this compound is near-ubiquitous in the Western world. We aimed to examine whether self-moderation of BPA exposure is possible by altering diet in a real-world setting.
Design: An Engaged Research dietary intervention study designed, implemented and analysed by healthy teenagers from six schools and undertaken in their own homes.
Participants: A total of 94 students aged between 17 and 19 years from schools in the South West of the UK provided diet diaries and urine samples for analysis.
Intervention: Researcher participants designed a set of literature-informed guidelines for the reduction of dietary BPA to be followed for 7 days.
Main outcome measures: Creatinine-adjusted urinary BPA levels were taken before and after the intervention. Information on packaging and food/drink ingested was used to calculate a BPA risk score for anticipated exposure. A qualitative analysis was carried out to identify themes addressing long-term sustainability of the diet.
Results: BPA was detected in urine of 86% of participants at baseline at a median value of 1.22 ng/mL (IQR 1.99). No effect of the intervention diet on BPA levels was identified overall (P=0.25), but there was a positive association in those participants who showed a drop in urinary BPA concentration postintervention and their initial BPA level (P=0.003). Qualitative analysis identified themes around feelings of lifestyle restriction and the inadequacy of current labelling practices.
Conclusions: We found no evidence in this self-administered intervention study that it was possible to moderate BPA exposure by diet in a real-world setting. Furthermore, our study participants indicated that they would be unlikely to sustain such a diet long term, due to the difficulty in identifying BPA-free foods.
Keywords: bisphenol A; community; dietary intervention; endocrine disrupting chemical; engaged research; plastic packaging; polycarbonate; public health.
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