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article imageStudy: Why canned soup may not be healthy

By Kathleen Blanchard     Nov 23, 2011 in Health
Canned soup is popular and convenient, but what lines those cans might be damaging to health. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) discovered BPA in soup cans elevates levels of the chemical in the body.
In their study, researchers tested volunteers who ate one can of soup a day for 5 days, finding BPA excretion in the urine was elevated 1000 percent.
Jenny Carwile, a doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology at HSPH and lead author of the study said, "Previous studies have linked elevated BPA levels with adverse health effects.”
The concern is that BPA might contribute to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity in humans.
In animals the chemical, which is also used to line beverage cans, is shown to interfere with reproductive development in animals.
A study published October, 2011, conducted at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, showed mice exposed to BPA in the womb and during breast feeding had increased numbers of breast milk ducts which could lead to future breast cancer.
In November, 2006, a panel of independent researchers concluded low levels of exposure to BPA is “…a great cause for concern with regard to the potential for similar adverse effects in humans” as in animals.
A CDC study showed more than 95 percent of Americans have detectable amounts of BPA in their bodies.
BPA is an estrogenic compound that is related to DES (diethylstilbestrol). DES was banned by the FDA because it was shown to cause rare vaginal cancers in offspring of mothers given the drug during pregnancy to prevent miscarriage.
Co-author of the current study, Karin Michels, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology, says, "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.”
Increased urinary excretion of BPA after consuming canned soup was compared to people who ate fresh soup. One serving of canned soup a day was associated with a 1,221% increase in BPA. Michels says the researchers were surprised. “We would have never expected a thousand-percent increase in their levels of BPA.”
More about canned soup, Bpa, HSPH, Jenny Carwile
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