A new study published in Hypertension journal from American Heart Association shows that canned food and drink might be linked to high blood pressure and even an increased risk of coronary disease. These risks are generated by Bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic molecule insoluble in water, that is heavily used to coat food and beverage cans’ inner layer.
The researchers from Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea found out that this chemical agent temporarily increases blood pressure after being ingested and may represent a serious threat for heart patients.
Previous studies has also find that BPA can leach into food and drinks and pose a high health risk for infants, children and people having various conditions such as diabetes, infertility, migraines, obesity or cancer.
In the past, scientific community has warned several times that BPA ingestion, even in minor amounts, could lead to high blood sugar, insulin resistance, weight gain, proliferation of fat cells, type 1 diabetes in mice, and glucose intolerance. Also, BPA is believed to increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity.
So, several environmental agencies urged Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban it from human food packaging for several years now. FDA did some research and concluded that BPA was potentially harmful for infants, but safe for the rest of the population. Thus, in the US BPA is banned only from infant bottles and food containers. The new study led by the Korean team may give FDA second thoughts.
The researchers found out that people drinking from cans had 1.600 percent increased concentration of BPA in urine. Also, respondents who drank two cans a day noticed their blood pressure increased by 4.5 mmHg – a very risky deal for patients with high blood pressure or heart disease that might require urgent medical care.
“While a 4.5 mmHg difference sounds small, and this study does not tell us how long that elevation might last, when you translate that difference to a large population it could have real meaning in terms of heart attacks, strokes and heart failure for people who drink such beverages frequently,”
Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, cardiovascular disease epidemiologist at Northwestern University in Chicago, said.
Dr Lloyd-Jones also said that a 20 mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure doubled the risk of cardiovascular disease. So, cans increase risk of heart disease by 100 percent.
BPA has been used to harden plastic containers since 1957. It is also commonly used to produce water bottles, CDs, medical devices, dental sealants, thermal paper used in receipts and many more. More than 90 percent of world population has it in their bodies because BPA is about everywhere – air, water and dust.