Canned food rais­ing your blood pres­sure

Lesotho Times - - Scrutator -

IF your food or drink comes out of a can, chances are it’s not the health­i­est choice for your blood pres­sure, thanks to all that salt pre­serv­ing your beans, for ex­am­ple. But the lat­est re­search sug­gests there may be another rea­son to avoid canned goods. In a study pub­lished in Hyper­ten­sion, re­searchers from South Korea found that drink­ing from cans, many of which have lin­ings that con­tain the chem­i­cal bisphe­nol A (BPA), can raise blood pres­sure by 16 times com­pared to drink­ing from glass bot­tles.

The data isn’t the first to im­pli­cate BPA as a po­ten­tial health haz­ard. Pre­vi­ous stud­ies have con­nected the chem­i­cal, which can be found in plas­tics, the lin­ings of cans and coat­ing some cash reg­is­ter re­ceipts, to dis­rup­tions in re­pro­duc­tive hor­mones such as oe­stro­gen, as well as a higher risk of asthma, obe­sity and dis­rup­tions in brain de­vel­op­ment in chil­dren. Ex­po­sure is almost un­avoid­able. Most stud­ies show that peo­ple liv­ing in the US have high ex­po­sures to BPA, and the chem­i­cal has been found in the urine of more than 95 per­cent of adults. One study found that eat­ing canned soup for five days in a row can boost BPA lev­els in the urine by more than 1 000 per­cent com­pared to those eat­ing soup pre­pared with fresh in­gre­di­ents.

But those stud­ies have com­pared dif­fer­ent pop­u­la­tions of peo­ple at dif­fer­ent times. The Korean scien- tists de­cided to study the same group of 60 older peo­ple who drank the same bev­er­ages from both cans and glass bot­tles. Be­cause the same peo­ple were be­ing stud­ied, it was un­likely that other fac­tors that can af­fect BPA con­cen­tra­tions were in­flu­enc­ing the re­sults.

Se­nior au­thor Yun-Chul Hong from the depart­ment of pre­ven­tive medicine and the en­vi­ron­men­tal health cen­tre at Seoul Na­tional Univer­sity and his col­league found that the con­tain­ers the drinkers used made a big dif­fer­ence in their BPA lev­els. Each was given two serv­ings of soy milk dur­ing each of three vis­its.

The milk was served in ei­ther two cans, two glass bot­tles, or one can and one glass bot­tle. The vol­un­teers’ urine BPA lev­els were low­est after drink­ing from the two glass bot­tles, and high­est after con­sum­ing milk from the two cans.

This dif­fer­ence trans­lated to a change in five mmHg in blood pres­sure. Hong notes that an in­crease of 20 mmHg dou­bles the risk of heart dis­ease, so the rise from BPA ex­po­sure is con­cern­ing.

“Be­cause hyper­ten­sion is a well­known risk fac­tor for heart dis­ease, our study show­ing the link of BPA ex­po­sure to el­e­va­tion in blood pres­sure strongly sug­gests that BPA ex­po­sure may in­crease the risk of heart dis­ease,” Hong writes in an email dis­cussing the re­sults.

When doc­tors eval­u­ate pa­tients for high blood pres­sure, ask­ing them how many canned prod­ucts they con­sume may be worth­while, since the ex­po­sure to BPA from those con­tain­ers could be push­ing their blood pres­sure higher.

“Clin­i­cians and pa­tients, par­tic­u­larly hyper­ten­sion or heart dis­ease pa­tients, should be aware of the po­ten­tial clin­i­cal prob­lems for blood pres­sure el­e­va­tion when con­sum­ing canned foods or us­ing plas­tics con­tain­ing BPA,” Hong says. And if you have a choice of get­ting your vegetables from the pre­served aisle or the pro­duce aisle, it might be bet­ter for your heart to kick the can.

— Time

The re­search raises new con­cerns about the chem­i­cal bisphe­nol A which is widely found in the lin­ings of food and bev­er­age cans.

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