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Dec 15, 2014

BPA in Bottled and Canned Beverages Increases Blood Pressure

Chemical found in plastics and cans causes a temporary spike in blood pressure, finds study.

Exposure to a chemical found in plastics and cans causes a temporary spike in blood pressure, according to a study published in the American Heart Association journal, Hypertension

BPA (bisphenol A) is used in a wide range of products, including plastic bottles, food containers, dental fillings and the inner lining of cans. Recent studies suggest that BPA may have serious negative health effects, which is especially concerning as more than 95% of the U.S. population have ongoing exposure to this chemical. 

To assess the impact of BPA on blood pressure, researchers asked 60 older adults to drink soy milk from three different combinations of containers: two glass bottles, two cans, or one can and one glass bottle. During three separate visits, participants drank the beverage from the assigned containers and had their blood pressure, heart rate and urinary BPA concentrations tested two hours later. 

After analysis, investigators found that consuming canned beverages caused a significant spike in both blood pressure and urinary BPA concentration compared to consumption from glass bottled beverages. Heart rate, however, was not significantly impacted by consumption of beverages in canned, plastic or glass containers. 

Findings confirm the negative impact of BPA exposure on cardiovascular disorders detected in previous studies. However, this is the first study to show the association between canned beverages and an increase in blood pressure. Many studies have linked BPA exposure from plastics to negative health effects, but few strictly focused on the effects of BPA exposure from canned beverages. And the problem is that canned products are still lined with a BPA-containing resin, while many plastics are now BPA free based on health concerns. 

The FDA is continuing its review of BPA and if consumers are concerned about the health effects of BPA exposure, experts recommend seeking out BPA-free products and cutting back on canned beverages and foods.

Questions for You to Consider

  • What is hypertension?
  • Hypertension, often referred to as high blood pressure, occurs when the force of blood against the artery walls is too high. High blood pressure is often referred to as the “silent killer,” because it often causes no symptoms and if left uncontrolled, increases risk for heart attack and stroke.
  • Who is at risk for high blood pressure?
  • Risk for hypertension increases with age, and most adults will eventually be affected by this condition at some time in their lives. However, diabetes, obesity, stress, high sodium intake, tobacco use and excessive alcohol use can greatly increase risk for high blood pressure.

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