Researchers find no link between BPA exposure and type 2 diabetes

The plastic bisphenol A, or BPA as it is commonly known, is the number one chemical in the crosshairs of health advocates these days. The compound has been linked to an increased risk of metabolic disorders and birth defects. Some have even suggested that it may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.

However, a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that exposure to BPA may not be as bad as previously thought. Researchers found that greater quantities of the chemical in participants' urine were not associated with higher rates of type 2 diabetes.

BPA has been at the center of a great deal of controversy in recent years. Decades ago, companies used it to make plastics and for a number of other purposes. The majority of food tins are coated with BPA and it is used to make plastic more shatter resistant.

However, evidence has continued to emerge about the compound's possible health effects. In 2010, the FDA issued a warning stating that it may be responsible for an increased risk of birth defects. Further studies have shown that it can be linked to disruptions in the cardio-metabolic system. These preliminary findings have led some groups to call for the substance to be banned entirely.

Yet, the new study suggests these efforts may be somewhat premature. After analyzing BPA exposure in nearly 3,500 individuals, the researchers found no link between higher levels of the chemical in participants' systems and type 2 diabetes.

The researchers said their findings contradict previously published results suggesting a link between BPA exposure and type 2 diabetes. While this does not mean that the compound plays no role in the development of the metabolic condition, it does suggest that further research is needed to determine the extent of the association.