BPA linked to high blood pressure
First, it was sugar-free, then sodium-free and, eventually, gluten-free. Now, consumers are being advised to shop for foods and beverages that are BPA-free. This latest trend may prove to be the most beneficial to heart health.
That’s the word from authors of a study in a recent edition of the journal, Hypertension. They say that consuming food or beverages from containers with BPA (bisphenol A), a chemical found in some plastic bottles and the inner coating of cans, is associated with increases in blood pressure and “poses a substantial public health risk ” according to a study published in a recent edition of the journal, Hypertension.
Although the researchers’ study sample was small – 60 elderly participants, primarily women with a mean age of 73, the results indicate that “we should avoid the chemical and purchase our food, water and other liquids in BPA-free containers,” says Dr. Marc Silver, a cardiologist specializing in heart failure and chair of the internal medicine department at Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn, Ill.
In testing participants before and two hours after drinking soy milk, study authors found that the urinary concentration of BPA among those who had consumed the milk from two BPA-containing cans was more than 1,600 percent greater than what was measured in participants who had drank from two glass bottles. Even more importantly, as the BPA concentration increased, so did a person’s systolic and diastolic blood pressures.
Systolic refers to the pressure within arteries during a heartbeat, and diastolic to the pressure in arteries in-between heartbeats when the heart is in resting phase. In fact, the systolic blood pressure averaged 5 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) higher in those who had consumed the milk from the BPA containers.
Researchers indicated that a 5 mmHg rise in systolic blood pressure can cause a “clinically significant increase in risk of cardiovascular disorders, such as heart diseases and peripheral arterial diseases.”
“Within the population as a whole, even small changes in people’s blood pressure can significantly increase the incidence of stroke and heart attacks,” Dr. Silver says.
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