They are good indicator of how exposure to the widespread industrial chemical may affect people, researchers say
FRIDAY, Dec. 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of the chemical Bisphenol A rise sharply in dogs soon after they start eating canned food, and their exposure to BPA could have implications for human health, a new study suggests.
"Bisphenol A is a prevalent endocrine-disrupting chemical found in canned foods and beverages," said Dr. Cheryl Rosenfeld, associate professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine in Columbia.
Researchers took blood and fecal samples from healthy dogs before and after they were fed either of two widely sold canned dog foods, including one presumed to be BPA-free.
"The dogs in the study did have minimal circulating BPA in their blood when it was drawn for the baseline. However, BPA increased nearly three-fold after being on the either of the two canned diets for two weeks," Rosenfeld said in a university news release.
Higher blood levels of BPA were also linked to changes in the dogs' gut bacteria and metabolism. "Increased BPA may also reduce one bacterium that has the ability to metabolize BPA and related environmental chemicals," Rosenfeld said.
Because dogs and their owners tend to use the same indoor and outdoor spaces, dogs probably offer a good indication of the effects of BPA and other industrial chemicals on human health, according to the researchers.
"Our canine companions may be the best bio-sentinels for human health concerns," Rosenfeld said.
The study was published recently in the journal Science of the Total Environment.
The U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has more on BPA.