New research suggests chemical bisphenol A, also known as BPA, can potentially leak into beverages and cause a rapid rise in blood pressure among consumers. The chemical has been used since the 1960’s in a variety of products and is present in the urine of approximately 95 percent of Americans, according to the study. BPA has been previously associated with heart disease, cancer, and other health concerns. However, this new study indicates that even a single exposure to BPA via drinking a beverage from a can caused heightened levels of the chemical in the person’s urine within two hours as well as increased blood pressure. On the other hand, an individual who drank the same beverage but from a glass bottle experienced no significant change to their BPA levels of blood pressure.
The new study, published in Hypertension, suggests BPA can leak into food and drink from the lining of the containers. The chemical is found in plastic bottles, plastic packaging and the linings of food and beverage cans. As noted in Medical News Today an earlier study showed that eating canned soup for five days in a row increased urinary BPA concentration by over 1000 percent more than eat soup made by fresh ingredients for that same period of time.
Dr. Michels, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, says,
I think this is a very interesting and important study that adds to the concern about bisphenol A… It raises a lot of questions. We have such a high rate of hyptertension in this country, which has risen, and we haven’t really thought of bisphenol A and its use in cans as one of the causes of that.”
Doctors recommend consumers avoid BPA where possible. The chemical is an endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen. Many bottles and packaged food products claim to be “BPA free,” but past studies have shown low levels of the chemical still lurk, or the BPA has been replaced by other similar chemicals.
Dr Hong, as quoted in Medical News Today, recommends,
….consumers try to eat fresh foods or glass bottle-contained foods rather than canned foods and hopefully, manufacturers will develop and use healthy alternatives to BPA for the inner lining of can containers.”
Read more here- “BPA in Cans and Plastic Bottles Linked to Quick Rise in Blood Pressure,” (Anahad O’Connor, The New York Times)
Olivia is a graduate of Villanova University where she studied Economics and History, minoring in Gender and Women's Studies. She also has experience working with federal legislatures on health care policy, women's issues, and Internet safety.