New Research Links BPA Exposure to High Blood Pressure

While you may be tempted to reach for a frosty can of soda or a chilled bottle of water every time you’re thirsty, drinking from cans and plastic bottles may have unwanted effects on your health. Plastic and metal food and beverage containers often contain BPA (bisphenol A), a chemical associated with a range of health problems including diabetes, cancer, and obesity. The chemical can be found in a variety of common products, from cans and dental fillings to cash register receipts.

Health Effects of BPA

When it comes to your health, there are many toxins in our environment that can unseeingly contribute to chronic health conditions. According to a recent study, BPA may have a big impact on your blood pressure. In the study, volunteers drank soy milk of the same temperature and brand out of either a can or glass bottle. Afterwards, researchers measured how much BPA was in their urine, took their heart rate, and noted their blood pressure. [1]

The researchers chose soy milk specifically for this experiment, as the drink has no known blood pressure-elevating ingredients. Researchers discovered a 1,600% spike in the level of BPA in the urine of those who drank from a can. While their heart rate typically remained unchanged, there was a noteworthy increase in their blood pressure. Specifically, the systolic blood pressure of those who consumed canned soy milk rose by approximately 4.5 mmHg compared to those who drank from glass bottles.

A 20 mmHg rise in systolic pressure makes you twice as vulnerable to heart disease. This means by frequently eating and drinking from plastic bottles and cans, you may increase your risk of heart disease, among other concerns. If you already have high blood pressure, you are especially at risk.

Common Sources of BPA

To avoid increasing your risk for heart disease, hypertension, and other unwanted side effects, researchers suggest trying to limit your BPA consumption. Here are the most common products containing BPA:

Water Bottles

BPA can be found in both one-time use and reusable bottles. Do not drink from a one-time use bottle more than once (or at all), and make sure reusable bottles are clearly labeled BPA-free.

Canned Drinks and Foods

Most cans are lined with a resin containing BPA. To avoid BPA consumption, stick to fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables and go for glass-bottle beverages. When it comes to foods like soups, salsas, and tomato sauce, choose brands that come in glass jars and cardboard boxes.

Microwavable Foods

Microwavable food packaging often contains polycarbonate plastic, which can release BPA when broken down at high temperatures. Typically, containers with the number 7 recycling code are made with polycarbonate.

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

References:

  1. Sanghyuk Bae, Yun-Chul Hong. Exposure to Bisphenol A From Drinking Canned Beverage Increases Blood Pressure. Hypertension. December 8, 2014. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.04.261.

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