Toxins in Your Soup BPA
'Gender-bending' chemical found in tins of soup 'increases risk of heart disease and diabetes'
- Just five days of eating canned soup dramatically increases levels of hormone-mimicking bisphenol A
By Claire Bates
Last updated at 1:36 PM on 23rd November 2011
A hormone-mimicking chemical used in soup tins could increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes, scientists have warned.
Eating canned soup every day for just five days caused a 1,000 per cent increase in levels of bisphenol A in the body, they found.
Scientists blame this increase on manufacturers using BPA in the lining of soup tins to prevent them from rusting.
BPA is an organic compound that can mimic the body's own hormones and previous research has warned it can increase the risk of illnesses including heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
BPA is often used to line tin cans to stop them rusting and keep food fresh
It is known as the gender-bending chemical, after previous studies showed it can interfere with the way hormones are processed.
But scientists are split over its effects, with some maintaining it is perfectly safe and others linking it to cancer, obesity and diabetes.
BPA is also used to line other metal food containers polycarbonate bottles and some products used in dental surgeries. It has been banned from baby bottles in the EU.
The team, from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, USA, studied how eating tinned sound affected the BPA of a group of volunteers.
They split 75 staff and students into two groups, one of which was ate a 350ml tin of vegetable soup daily for five days, while the other ate an identical-sized portion of vegetable soup made only with fresh ingredients.
After leaving their system to cleanse itself for two days, both groups swapped places. Results, published in the Journal of the Medical Association, showed BPA levels in urine samples of volunteers who'd just finished the tinned soup trial were over 1,200 per cent higher than those collected after the fresh soup trial.
Study author Jenny Carwile, a doctoral student at Harvard, claimed the increase could be temporary and that more research is needed.
She said: 'Previous studies have linked elevated BPA levels with adverse health effects.
'The next step was to figure out how people are getting exposed to BPA. We've known for a while that drinking beverages that have been stored in certain hard plastics can increase the amount of BPA in your body.
'This study suggests that canned foods may be an even greater concern, especially given their wide use.'
Co-author Professor Karin Michels added: 'The magnitude of the rise in urinary BPA we observed after just one serving of soup was unexpected and may be of concern among individuals who regularly consume foods from cans or drink several canned beverages daily.
'It may be advisable for manufacturers to consider eliminating BPA from can linings.'
The UK's Food Standards Agency said: 'Our current advice is that BPA from food contact materials does not represent a risk to consumers but the agency will be looking at this study, as it would at any new pieces of work, to see if it has any implications for our advice to consumers.
'The FSA bases its advices on the body of scientific evidence and the opinion of independent scientists.'
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