Drinking or eating from cans lined with the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA) may increase blood pressure (BP), new research published in Hypertension suggests.
“A 5-mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure by drinking two canned beverages may cause clinically significant problems, particularly in patients with heart disease or hypertension,” study author Yun-Chul Hong, MD, of the Health Center at Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea, said in a press release.
“A 20-mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease.”
BPA is widely used in the production of polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins, which are used in food containers, plastic bottles, dental fillings and more, with data showing that more than 95% of the U.S. population has been exposed to BPA.
In addition to other health risks, previous studies have linked BPA to high BP and heart rate variability.
For this study, Hong and colleagues conducted a randomized, crossover trial of 60 adults aged at least 60 years from a local community center. The majority of participants were Korean women.
Participants visited the study site three times. Each time, the researchers provided participants with soy milk in three different combinations: two cans, two glass bottles or one can and one glass bottle. The sequence of the combinations was randomized.
The researchers then assessed participants’ urine for BPA concentration, BP and heart rate variability 2 hours after consumption of each beverage.
After consuming canned beverages vs. glass-bottled beverages, urinary BPA concentration increased by more than 1,600%. When adjusted for daily variance, systolic BP also increased by about 4.5 mm Hg after consuming two canned beverages vs. glass-bottled beverages — an association that reached statistical significance.
Because soy milk contains no known ingredient that elevates BP, it was the optimal beverage to use in the study, according to the researchers.
Hopefully, these results may offer information for decision-makers, clinicians and the public on the cardiovascular (CV) risks associated with BPA, they added.
“Thanks to the crossover intervention trial design, we could control most of the potential confounders, such as population characteristics or past medical history. Time variables, such as daily temperatures, however, could still affect the results,” Dr. Hong said.
“I suggest 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,” Dr. Hong said.
In a separate press release, the American Chemistry Council criticized the findings.
“This study’s claim that BPA, which is safely used in can linings to protect food and beverages from contamination, ‘may pose a substantial health risk’ is a gross overstatement of the findings, an incredible disservice to public health, and runs contrary to years of research by government scientists, as well as newly-released scientific documentation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,” the statement reads.
“The authors’ conclusions from this small-scale study significantly over-interpret the data measured in the study. As reported by the authors, there were no statistically significant differences in the primary blood pressure measurements of the three treatment groups, whether participants drank soy milk from glass bottles or cans.’
- Bae S and Hong YC. Hypertension. 2014;doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.04261.
- American Chemistry Council. Study Published in American Heart Association Journal “Hypertension” Will Inappropriately Concern and Confuse Consumers About BPA and Increased Blood Pressure. http://www.americanchemistry.com/Media/PressReleasesTranscripts/ACC-news-releases/Hypertension-Study-Confuses-Consumers-About-BPA-and-Increased-Blood-Pressure.html. Accessed December 9, 2014.