BPA, a chemical used as an epoxy lining for cans and plastic bottles, is everywhere, and its consumption has been associated with high blood pressure and heart rate variability.
Study author Dr. Yun-Chul Hong at Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea, said that a 5 mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure by drinking two canned beverages may cause clinically significant problems, particularly in patients with heart disease or hypertension. A 20 mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The researchers conducted a randomized crossover trial recruiting 60 adults, mostly Korean women, over the age of 60 from a local community center. Each trial member visited the study site three times and was randomly provided with soy milk in either glass bottles or cans. Later urine was collected and tested for BPA concentration, blood pressure and heart rate variability two hours after consumption of each beverage.
Urinary BPA concentration increased by up to 1,600 percent after consuming canned beverages compared to after consuming the glass-bottled beverages.
Soy milk was the ideal beverage for the test because it has no known ingredient that elevates blood pressure, researchers said.
Hong suggests consumers to try to eat fresh foods or glass bottle-contained foods rather than canned foods in the hope that manufacturers would develop and use healthy alternatives to BPA for the inner lining of can containers.
The findings are reported in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.