The Drink That Destroys Your Love Life

What do you drink at lunch, with dinner, to wash down snacks? There’s a type of drink that’s so popular, half of us have at least a glass or two every day of our lives:  soda (or soda pop, as it’s called in some places). While most of us probably know that these sweet beverages don’t do our waistlines much good, hardly anyone seems to realize that toxins in these drinks can potentially ruin your sex life.

Fact is, aside from making you more prone to being overweight from empty calories, soft drinks contain a chemical that can make men permanently impotent, leading to sexual dysfunction and interfering with their testosterone and other hormones.

The problem toxin that contaminates soft drinks is called bisphenol A (BPA). It frequently migrates into soft drinks from the lining of aluminum cans (as well as from plastic bottles).1

Sexual Disruption

BPA is one of a group of substances known as endocrine disruptors. Your endocrine system is a collection of glands that release hormones like testosterone into your bloodstream. Endocrine disruptors, which include pesticides like DDT, pollutants like dioxin and some pharmaceuticals, have been shown to impair fertility and increase the risk of cancer.2

Tests show that over 90 percent of us already have BPA circulating in our bodies.3 According to the National Institute of Health Sciences, aside from soft drinks laced with BPA, our main exposure to endocrine disruptors comes from any drink contained in a plastic bottle (except those that are BPA free). Other sources of BPA are canned food, detergents, flame retardants, plastic toys and pesticides.

BPA Effects

When researchers took a look at men in the workplace who were exposed to high levels of BPA, they made some disturbing discoveries. In a five-year study of more than 600 workers in China, scientists found that BPA exposure quadrupled the risk of erectile dysfunction and increased the incidence of ejaculation difficulties by seven fold.4

Although BPA levels in the Chinese men were about 50 times higher than those found in normal American men, researchers don’t think our levels of BPA are safe.

“Because the BPA levels in (our) study were very high, more research needs to be done to see how low a level of BPA exposure may have effects on our reproductive system,” says the study’s lead author De-Kun Li, MD, Ph.D., a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research in Oakland, Calif. “This study raises the question: Is there a safe level for BPA exposure, and what is that level? More studies like this, which examine the effect of BPA on humans, are critically needed to help establish prevention strategies and regulatory policies.”

Unknown Intake

We Americans are taking in a whole lot more BPA than experts thought, as shown by other researchers who have examined the issue.

Lab tests at the University of Missouri show that contaminated foods and soft drinks that contain BPA may be overwhelming our bodies with a steady dose of this toxin.5

“People are primarily and unknowingly exposed to BPA through the diet because of the various plastic and paper containers used to store our food that are formulated with BPA,” says researcher Cheryl Rosenfeld. “We know that the active form of BPA binds to our steroid receptors, meaning it can affect estrogen, thyroid and testosterone function. It might also cause genetic mutations. Thus, this chemical can hinder our ability to reproduce and possibly cause behavioral abnormalities that we are just beginning to understand.”

But while much about BPA remains murky, we do understand that drinks in aluminum cans and plastic bottles pose a potential danger to sexual function. So the next time a sexy commercial tries to lure you into sipping one of these concoctions, remember that the BPA in that drink may drown your sex life.