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BPA and Your Blood Pressure

Here's another reason to avoid cans or bottles lined with Bisphenol A (BPA): this chemical can raise your blood pressure. We've long known that BPA from plastic lined containers can leach into food and drink, and now researchers in South Korea have reported that drinking beverages from these containers can bump up your blood pressure by five millimeters (mm) of mercury, enough to cause "clinically significant" problems if you already have high blood pressure or heart disease. The researchers recruited 60 adults, mostly women, and randomized them to drink soymilk from either glass bottles or cans. Two hours later, they checked the women's blood pressure and heart rate and a short while after that checked their urinary concentration of BPA, which they report had increased by up to 1,600 percent among the participants who drank the canned soymilk. The investigators noted that soymilk was the "ideal beverage" for the test because it contains no known ingredient that raises blood pressure. Study author Yun-Chul Hong, M.D., Ph.D., suggested that consumers opt for fresh foods or those that come in glass bottles or jars rather than food and drink that comes in cans. They also noted that a 20 mm of mercury increase in blood pressure doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Does BPA Cause Food Intolerance?

A new study performed in France suggests that exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a known endocrine disruptor, around the time of birth may lead to food intolerances later in life, at least in rats. The researchers tested the effects of BPA exposure on a group of rats from birth until the animals were weaned at 21 days old. A control group of rats didn’t receive any BPA. When the animals reached adulthood, (which in rats is when they're 45 days old), the researchers fed them ovalbumin, an egg white protein which hadn’t been introduced into their diet previously. The investigators reported that the rats exposed to BPA earlier in life developed an immune reaction to the milk protein. This didn’t occur in the rats that hadn’t been exposed to BPA. Subsequent, repeated feeding of ovalbumin in the rats exposed to BPA led to colonic inflammation, which the researchers noted is a sign of food intolerance. They said their findings testify to the harmful effects of BPA on the immune system at low levels of exposure, and at a particularly vulnerable stage of fetal and newborn life. They added that the results support a French government decision in 2013 to ban the use of BPA in containers of baby food. The French BPA ban will extend to all food-packaging materials in 2015.

Sandrine Menard and Eric Houdeau et al “Food intolerance at adulthood after perinatal exposure to the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A.” The FASEB Journal, 2014; DOI: 10.1096/fj.14-255380

BPA and Kids’ Teeth

The latest health problem linked to BPA is damage to the enamel of kids’ teeth, particularly the first molars and permanent incisorsBisphenol (BPA) has been used since the 1950s and is commonly found in the plastic linings of food and beverage containers, water bottles, baby bottles and many other consumer products. Research in animals has shown associations between BPA, diabetes and liver damage in adults, as well as possible effects on brain and prostate development in young children and fetuses. The latest health problem linked to this ubiquitous chemical is damage to the enamel of kids’ teeth, particularly the first molars and permanent incisors, that makes these teeth hypersensitive to pain and susceptible to cavities. A French research team has noted that the early years of life, when these teeth are being formed, correspond to the period during which humans are most sensitive to BPA. The investigators said that the dental disorder called MIH (Molar Incisor Hypomineralisation) occurs in roughly 18 percent of children between the ages of six and eight. They reported that in studies with rats, low daily doses of BPA cause the same type of tooth enamel damage being observed in kids. When the researchers compared the damage to rats’ incisors to the teeth of affected children, they found similar indicators as well as fragile and brittle enamel in both. The study was published online on June 12, 2013 in the American Journal of Pathology.

Jedeon, Katia, Muriel De la Dure-Molla, Steven J. Brookes, Sophia Loiodice, Clémence Marciano, Jennifer Kirkham, Marie-Chantal Canivenc-Lavier et al. "Enamel Defects Reflect Perinatal Exposure to Bisphenol A." The American Journal of Pathology (2013).