Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Study: BPA Linked to Higher Testosterone Levels

Small Increase in Testosterone Levels in Men's Blood After Exposure to Plastic Chemical
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Aug. 26, 2010 -- Men who are exposed to high levels of the controversial plastic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) may show a small, but significant increase in blood levels of the male sex hormone testosterone, a study shows. These testosterone levels still remained within the normal range.

The study is published in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Some preliminary research has linked elevated testosterone to an increased risk for heart disease and certain cancers, but whether BPA significantly affects testosterone and whether this has any effect on health remains unproven.

BPA is an ingredient found in the liners of some food cans, feeding cups, and baby bottles. Growing numbers of companies now offer BPA-free bottles. Citing "potential health concerns," the FDA has called for more study on BPA.

In the CHIANTI Adult population study, researchers measured BPA levels in the urine of 715 Italian men and women aged 20 to 74 over a 24-hour period. There were detectable levels of BPA in more than 95% of the men.

The average daily exposure was more than 5 micrograms of BPA per day, which is slightly higher than levels seen in U.S studies. Men who had the highest levels of BPA in their urine showed an increase in the amount of testosterone in their blood, the study showed.

"BPA is what's known as an anti-androgen. That means that it blocks the normal action of testosterone in the body and what we might be seeing is the body making more testosterone to overcome this," says study researcher Tamara Galloway, PhD.

Galloway is a professor of ecotoxicology at the University of Exeter, U.K. "The levels we saw in our study group were still within the normal range for healthy men, so we can't say for sure what the effects might be," she says in an email.

Second Opinion

"Small fluctuations in endocrine function could have a lot of consequences, some which may not have been characterized yet," says John Meeker, ScD, an assistant professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, who has conducted studies on BPA and testosterone.

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing