Latest study suggests that the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) lining in soda cans and other food cans can increase the risk of high blood pressure.

BPA is a carbon-based synthetic chemical, which is commonly used in the production of many plastic and aluminum-based consumer products such as CDs, plastic bottles, sports equipment, cash register bills, food cans and more. Previous studies suggest that BPA exposure can lead to respiratory problems such as asthma, developmental problems in children and heart problems.

Researchers suggest that in food cans, BPA can migrate from the can lining to the food product.

Dr. Yun-Chul Hong, the director of the Environmental Health Center at Seoul National University, College of Medicine in Korea, and also the lead researcher of the study, suggests that drinking just two cans of drinks can increase systolic blood pressure by 5 mm Hg. He also suggests that 20 mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure can also double the risk of heart disease.

"Because these results confirm findings from other studies, doctors and patients, particularly those with high blood pressure or heart disease, should be aware of the possible risks from increased blood pressure when consuming canned foods or beverages," says Dr. Hong.

The study included 60 women and men over the age of 60 years. These people were given soy milk to drink from glass bottles or from a can on three different occasions. The study examined the blood pressure of all the participants after two hours of drinking soy milk. The researchers also took a urine sample of the participants to establish BPA levels.

The urine test indicated a 1,600 percent BPA increase in participants who drank the soy milk from a can when compared to participants who consumed the milk from a glass bottle. The researchers suggest that they used soy milk as it does not have any ingredient that increases blood pressure.

Dr. Hong suggests that ill effects of BPA are already known in the medical industry. He suggests that the latest study re-affirms the negative effects of BPA. Dr. Hong suggests that people who have heart disease and high blood pressure should be aware of the possible medical risks associated with consuming canned drinks and food items. Dr. Hong recommends that it is always safe to eat and drink fresh food items in comparison to canned food.

The latest study also calls for food manufacturers to use alternate materials as lining in food cans.

The study has been published in the journal Hypertension.

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