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Frequent Soup Eaters Have 1,000% Increase of BPA

Frequent Soup Eaters Have 1,000% Increase of BPA

"...unexpected and may be of concern..."

So you've ditched your BPA laden Nalgene bottle for a BPA-free version and thought you were all set. Not so. A new report is saying that if you're among the many who bring a can of soup to work for a convenient, quick lunch -- and perhaps really any canned food item that is -- you could be significantly upping the levels of bisphenol-A in your system.

In the first study to evaluate BPA levels in humans after ingesting canned food items, the Harvard School of Public Health found a more than 1,000 percent increase in urinary BPA levels among those who ate canned soup regularly.

The study included 75 people, half of whom consumed a 12-ounce serving of vegetarian canned soup each day for five days, while the other half consumed 12 ounces of vegetarian fresh soup (prepared without canned ingredients). After a two-day "washout" period, the groups reversed their assignments.

The researchers say that elevation of BPA levels may be temporary and reversible, but more research is needed to confirm this.

"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, in a news release.

NPR reports that concern over BPA is the potential for it to act like estrogen, affecting the sexual development of animals in several studies. But the levels we are usually exposed to, NPR notes, is considered acceptable by agencies like the FDA and EPA:

Michels says she can't comment on the health implications of the finding because that wasn't part of the study. Even so, she says, food makers might want to consider eliminating BPA from can linings.

But industry groups say it's not easy to find a safe, affordable and effective substitute for BPA in can linings. An analysis by the North American Metal Packaging Alliance (NAMPA) found that epoxy resins had significant advantages over the alternatives.

Previous research has been conducted to evaluate BPA levels in actual products. Recently, the Breast Cancer Fund conducted research on several canned food items marked to children and found that all had BPA in the lining of the cans. Here's more info from Jeanne Rizzo, president and CEO of the Breast Cancer Fund, on this report and how it relates to children as an endocrine-distrupting hormone:

The research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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