BPA spikes 1,200 percent after eating canned soup: study

by Kerry Sheridan

People who ate canned soup for five days straight saw their urinary levels of the chemical bisphenol A spike 1,200 percent compared to those who ate fresh soup, US researchers said on Tuesday.

The randomized study, described as "one of the first to quantify BPA levels in humans after ingestion of canned foods," was done by Harvard University researchers and appears in the 's November 23 issue.

"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," said lead author Jenny Carwile, a doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.

"This study suggests that canned foods may be an even greater concern, especially given their wide use."

The chemical BPA is an that has been shown to interfere with in animal studies at levels of 50 per kilogram of body weight and higher, though it remains uncertain if the same effects cross over to humans, according to the .

This study did not measure BPA levels by micrograms per kilogram of body weight, but rather by micrograms per liter of urine, so a direct comparison to the EPA-cited danger level in animals was not possible.

However, previous studies have linked BPA at lower levels than those found in the Harvard study to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity in humans, Carwile told AFP in an email.

BPA is found in the lining of canned foods, cash register receipts, , some plastics and marked with the number 7.

Seventy-five people took part in the study, eating a 12-ounce serving of either fresh or canned soup for five days in a row. They were advised not to otherwise alter their regular eating habits.

After a two-day break, the groups switched and ate the opposite type of canned soup.

A urine analysis showed the canned soup eaters had 1,221 percent higher levels of BPA than those who ate the fresh soup.

BPA is typically eliminated in the urine and so any spike is usually considered temporary. The researchers did not measure how long elevated BPA stayed in the body, saying more study would be needed to examine that question.

The US government's health and environmental agencies are considering whether "further action is needed to address human health risks resulting from non-food-packaging uses of BPA," according to the EPA.

France's Agency for Food Health Safety (Anses) in September called for tougher preventive measures, warning that even "low doses" of the chemical had had a "confirmed" effect on lab animals and a "suspected" effect on humans.

Preventing exposure to BPA among infants, pregnant or nursing women was a "priority goal," Anses said.

Meanwhile, the Harvard study authors said their findings should encourage people who eat a lot of canned foods to opt for fresh instead, and should serve as a red flag to manufacturers who use BPA to make cans.

"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," said senior author Karin Michels.

"It may be advisable for manufacturers to consider eliminating BPA from can linings."

More information: "Canned Soup Consumption and Urinary Bishphenol A: A Randomized Crossover Trial," Jenny L. Carwile, Xiaoyun Ye, Xiaoliu Zhou, Anotonia M. Calafat, Karin B. Michels, JAMA, online Nov. 22, 2011; in Nov. 23/30 print issue.

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User comments

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Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (6) Nov 22, 2011
Come On. BPA is good for you.

It is plant food just like Melamine.

Nerdyguy
1 / 5 (5) Nov 22, 2011
Yikes! This is not good. BPA is everywhere, of course, but why should my favorite lunch (can of soup) have to include such high levels of it? Fortunately, a lot of manufacturers are weaning off it.
rwinners
not rated yet Nov 23, 2011
And in cans of Similac? Geez.
kevinrtrs
1.7 / 5 (7) Nov 23, 2011
So will they now CAN the use of BPA? Sorry, couldn't resist.
tpb
3.5 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2011
This is a crappy study and means nothing.
12 times what level, the level in the urine when someone hasn't consumed any BPA?
Why didn't they measure levels in the blood?
High urine levels mean the body efficiently removes BPA.
Notice they mentioned the level of the spike in the urine, but didn't report the level say 12 hours or a day later.
This is just another scare story.
Nerdyguy
2.5 / 5 (8) Nov 23, 2011
This is a crappy study and means nothing.
12 times what level, the level in the urine when someone hasn't consumed any BPA?
Why didn't they measure levels in the blood?
High urine levels mean the body efficiently removes BPA.
Notice they mentioned the level of the spike in the urine, but didn't report the level say 12 hours or a day later.
This is just another scare story.


I can only guess this was some kind of "canned" response (couldn't help it) that you use for any story advocating consumer safety.

In any case, you clearly didn't read the article or are unable to understand what you read. Consider this:

1) JAMA is a very well-respected journal and should not be considered in the same category as the National Enquirer.

2) The analysis showed that those eating from cans manufactured with BPA showed 1,221 percent higher levels of BPA than those who ate the fresh soup. BPA is a known carcinogen. ANY amount is not good.
tpb
not rated yet Nov 25, 2011
To Nerdyguy, it wasn't a canned response and I did read the article and did understand it, you apparently didn't read my comment or understand it.

Well, you better not eat any spices or vegetables since most all of them contain known carcinogens. Pepper, celery etc.
Nerdyguy
1 / 5 (6) Nov 27, 2011
To Nerdyguy, it wasn't a canned response and I did read the article and did understand it, you apparently didn't read my comment or understand it.

Well, you better not eat any spices or vegetables since most all of them contain known carcinogens. Pepper, celery etc.


What was to understand? You summed up as a "scare story" a paper by one of the world's most well-respected universities being published in one of the world's most well-respected medical journals. Both university and journal are infamous for their excruciatingly high standards. So, pardon us all if we discount your purely emotional reaction. I'm quite certain that Harvard and JAMA aren't worried that you think this is "crappy science". LMAO, where do they find people like you? In any case, please crawl back under your rock now.
Callippo
not rated yet Nov 27, 2011
This study suggests that canned foods may be an even greater concern, especially given their wide use
It's not the canned food as such, but the plastic used as a protective layer inside of cheap cans. If we would replace it with another one without bisphenol A content, we would solve the whole problem.

A 2008 review has concluded that obesity may be increased as a function of BPA exposure. It makes females from boys, because it acts as an estrogen disruptor. http://www.pubmed...=2566897 http://www.pubmed...=2682588
FrankHerbert
3 / 5 (14) Nov 27, 2011
@Nerdyguy

BPA is a known carcinogen.


Really? Source? Not defending BPA but you wouldn't let someone else get away with such a statement if you thought you could correct it.
Nerdyguy
1 / 5 (6) Nov 28, 2011
@Nerdyguy

BPA is a known carcinogen.


Really? Source? Not defending BPA but you wouldn't let someone else get away with such a statement if you thought you could correct it.


lol troll-boy.

Nice non-argument/non-discussion. Thanks for playing, now try again!