Study under review: Exposure to bisphenol A from drinking canned beverages increases blood pressure: randomized crossover trial
Modern consumers are constantly flooded with warnings of harmful chemicals in everyday products. It’s so common for these warnings to be falsified or overblown that finding danger in harmless chemicals has almost become cliche. Unfortunately, these warnings distract from reports on chemicals that could actually cause harm. One of these ubiquitous harmful chemicals is bisphenol A (BPA).
BPA is a critical component of plastic and epoxy manufacturing, which means it’s in a variety of products, even those that you wouldn’t expect to find any plastic in, like dental fillings and aluminum cans. These cans are lined with a variety of materials, including plastics and epoxies, that prevent the liquid contents from degrading or oxidizing the aluminum of the can.
The BPA in can linings is an estrogen analogue, which means it can interfere with hormonal signaling. Most people normally think of estrogen as a hormone related to secondary sex characteristics and fertility, but it is also involved in many other processes, such as liver function and insulin response. Consequently, researchers have begun to study the effects of BPA on various health parameters. As might be expected, the primary focus of initial research was on the effects of BPA on fertility, especially in light of the fact that environmental BPA contamination generally impairs animal reproduction and development.
As the field matures, however, researchers are starting to assess a variety of other health parameters that could be affected by BPA (as seen in Figure 1), including blood pressure. Some previous studies have shown a correlation between canned beverage consumption or BPA exposure and hypertension, but there are very few studies to assess whether BPA exposure directly causes changes in blood pressure. This study was a follow-up on previous work conducted by the authors. It specifically sought to determine whether the BPA exposure from drinking canned beverages could affect blood pressure.
Sources: Vandenburg et al., Rev Environ Health. 2013.
vom Saal & Hughes, Environ Health Perspect. 2005.
BPA, a component of plastic and epoxy manufacturing, is found in the lining of beverage cans and many other products. It is an estrogen analogue and may cause a variety of health problems. The authors of this study examined whether BPA can affect blood pressure.
Other Articles in Issue #06 (April 2015)
Blueberries every day keeps high blood pressure at bay
Blueberries may be a simple way to lower this important cardiovascular disease risk factor.
Driving a car blindfolded: the neurobiology of appetite
One of the most important contributers to weight gain may be modern hyperpalatable food. By Margaret Leitch
Can the paleo diet make metabolic syndrome ancient history?
Can a paleo diet improve risk factors for those who already have metabolic syndrome?
The gut microbiome’s role in type I diabetes
Development of type 1 diabetes in infants isn’t fully understood. This study explores the role of the infant microbiome.
Curry… brain food?
The widely-used Indian spice turmeric contains curcumin, which may help with DHA synthesis.
Can fiber change your emotions?
Due to the “gut-brain axis”, feeding gut bacteria might affect your emotions.
One pro of probiotic drinks: mitigating harm from overeating
Yakult is a widely-available probiotic drink. Might it have benefits for blood sugar control?
- Interview: Mike Ormsbee, Ph.D.
- Interview: Duane Mellor, Ph.D.
Another benefit of dark berries: blood sugar control
Using berries to better control blood sugar? Believe it.