Are Canned Foods Harmful?

It’s NOT sodium or sugar —BPA might be the real canned food villain

Bisephonol A (BPA) is a chemical that has been used to harden plastic for over 40 years. BPA is a carbon-based synthetic chemical, which is commonly used in the production of many plastic and aluminum-based consumer products such as CDs, sports equipment, cash register bills, food cans and more. Previous studies suggest that BPA exposure can lead to respiratory problems such as asthma, developmental problems in children and heart problems. It is also found in medical devices, dental sealants, and compact disks etc. Humans can also acquire the chemical from abiotic components such as air or water.

BPA is also used for coating the linings of cans and plastic bottles storing food products, A new study reveals that it can significantly pose perils for the consumers. Bisephonol A (BPA) is the chemical, that is suspected to cause danger by substantially escalating blood pressure. The research published in the journal Hypertension, has pointed association between BPA and Hypertension and related cardiovascular disorders. In food cans, BPA can migrate from the can lining to the food product. (

Studies have shown that it behaves like a hormone in the human body, and at high exposures can potentially lead to or exacerbate a range of health impacts, including damage to the liver and kidneys, and possible impacts to the reproductive, nervous, immune, metabolic and cardiovascular systems.  When low, long-term exposures occur though, the science is less clear. Regulators around the world agree with this assessment and have established what they consider to be acceptably safe levels.  (

Senior author Yun-Chul Hong from the department of preventive medicine and the environmental health center at Seoul National University and his colleague found that the containers the drinkers used made a big difference in their BPA levels. In this study the authors used a soy drink popular in Korea and available in cans or glass bottles, to test whether BPA affected blood pressure.

 “The reason we used the soy milk was that it has no known ingredients that elevate blood pressure,” says Hong. “Actually soy milk is known to reduce blood pressure,” he adds.

As expected, the participants’ blood pressure was lower after the soy drinks, presumably because of their blood pressure-lowering effect.

The fall in blood pressure was 7.9 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg) after having the soy drink bought in glass bottles, but there was only a 2.9 mm Hg fall when the drink from two cans was consumed.

Bae and Hong concluded that the BPA from the cans had caused a rise in blood pressure of about 5 mm Hg, partially counteracting the effect of the soy drink.

“A 5 mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure by drinking two canned beverages may cause clinically significant problems, particularly in patients with heart disease or hypertension”, says study author Dr. Yun-Chul Hong . “A 20mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease”, he added.

The participant’s urinary BPA concentration rose by up to 1,600% following the consumption of canned soy milk, compared with consumption of soy milk from glass bottles.

“Because hypertension is a well-known 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.

“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. Dr. Hong suggests that ill effects of BPA are already known in the medical industry. He suggests that the latest study re-affirms the negative effects of BPA. Dr. Hong suggests that people who have heart disease and high blood pressure should be aware of the possible medical risks associated with consuming canned drinks and food items.

Dr. Hong recommends avoiding exposure to BPA where possible. “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,” he concludes. Dr. Hong recommends that it is always safe to eat and drink fresh food items in comparison to canned food.

Medical News Today reported on a study suggesting there is an association between prenatal exposure to BPA and diminished lung functioning in children. (

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