Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that a group of volunteers who consumed a serving of canned soup each day for five consecutive days had a more than 1,000 % increase in urinary bisphenol A (BPA) concentrations compared with the same individuals who then consumed fresh soup daily for five days.
This study is one of the first to quantify BPA levels in humans after ingestion of canned foods. The findings were published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
“Previous studies have linked elevated BPA levels with adverse health effects,” said Jenny Carwile, lead author of the study. “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.”
Exposure to the endocrine-disrupting chemical BPA, used in the lining of metal food and beverage cans, has been shown to interfere with reproductive development in animals and has been linked with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity in humans. In addition to the lining of food and beverage cans, BPA is also found in polycarbonate bottles.
Researchers set out to quantify whether canned-soup consumption would increase urinary BPA concentrations relative to eating fresh soup.
One group of volunteers consumed a 12-ounce serving of vegetarian canned soup each day for five days; another group consumed 12 ounces of vegetarian fresh soup, prepared without canned ingredients, daily for five days. After a two-day period, the groups reversed their assignments.
Urine samples of the 75 volunteers taken during the testing showed that consumption of a serving of canned soup daily was associated with a 1,221 % increase in BPA compared with levels in urine collected after consumption of fresh soup.
The researchers note that the elevation in urinary BPA concentrations may be temporary and that further research is needed to quantify its duration.
“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,” said Michels, senior author of the study.
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that a group of volunteers who consumed a serving of canned soup each day for five consecutive days had a more than 1000 % increase in urinary bisphenol A (BPA) concentrations compared with the same individuals who then consumed fresh soup daily for five days, stated in a press release from Harvard University.