For years, we’ve heard that eating or drinking anything that is canned or comes in plastic is bad for your health. But do you really understand why? The quick answer is bisphenol-A (BPA).
BPA is one of 800 different endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), compounds that interfere with the action of hormones in the body. Two of the most prolific EDCs in our environment—and often in our daily activities of life—are phthalates and BPA.
The reason comes down to our reliance on plastic. While phthalates are used to soften plastic and make it more flexible, BPA is used to harden plastic.
When it comes to BPA specifically, it is a known cancer-causing xenoestrogen, meaning it is an estrogen-mimicking chemical. Sadly, this carcinogen (which has been declared “toxic” in Canada) is used daily here in the U.S. to harden plastic bottles and as an inner liner for many canned goods.
In addition to increasing your risk for cancer, BPA has also been linked to reproductive issues and even elevated glucose level. And now, according to a study published in Hypertension in February 2015, you can add increasing blood pressure levels to the list of BPA side effects.
In this randomized, crossover study, researchers asked 60 adults age 60 and older to visit their study site on three separate days. On one visit, the participants drank a beverage from two glass bottles. The second visit, they drank the same beverage from two cans, and on the third visit, they drank the beverage from one glass bottle and one can.
On all three occasions, researchers tested urinary BPA concentration, blood pressure, and heart rate variability two hours after the beverages were consumed. They found that BPA levels increased after drinking the canned beverages by more than 1,600 percent versus the glass containers.
While heart rate variability was not significantly different with any of the container options, researchers found that when participants drank the two canned beverages, their systolic blood pressure increased by an average of 4.5 mmHg (as compared to the glass containers). Researchers concluded, “The present study demonstrated that consuming canned beverage and consequent increase of BPA exposure increase blood pressure acutely.”
This one is a no-brainer. If you are consuming beverages or food from plastic containers or cans, be sure they are BPA-free. If they are not, do not use them. Period.
Next, do a mild detox to rid your body of the likely BPA stored in your cells. This means using a daily greens powder supplement along with a good liver-cleansing supplement that contains milk thistle (200-400 mg), turmeric (50-100 mg), and dandelion (150-300 mg).
Finally, if blood pressure is a concern for you, try using a few targeted nutrients to keep your blood pressure healthy in the normal range. This includes nattokinase (80-160 mg), cranberry concentrate (60-120 mg), and/or acetyl-L-carnitine (250-500 mg).