Add migraines to the long list of health issues connected with exposure to bisphenol-A, better known as BPA-the toxic chemical found in canned foods, plastic bottles and containers, and thermal register receipts.
According to recent research conducted by the University of Kansas and published in the journal Toxicological Sciences, rats given BPA showed migraine symptoms within thirty minutes of being exposed to the toxic chemical. Like people, rats are prone to migraines given certain triggers. Once subjected to BPA, the subjects became less active, avoided bright lights and loud noises. As well, they were more easily startled and displayed a stronger sensitivity to being touched on the head.
The study results implicate BPA as having the ability "to amplify symptoms that are used to diagnose the disorder in human patients, suggesting that exposure to BPA would increase both the incidence and prevalence of this disorder." According to the study's lead author, Lydia Vermeer, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Kansas Medical Center, a clinical trial to decrease BPA exposure and levels in migraine sufferers "may reduce the frequency and severity of headaches and may increase the quality of life for migraine sufferers."
According to Rodale.com, migraines affect 25 percent of women-a rate about three times as high as in men. "[S]cientists believe those women are more likely to suffer from severe headaches because migraines are influenced by estrogen levels," and BPA, which is an endocrine disruptor, affects estrogen levels.