Study links BPA to heart disease
Packagingnews.co.uk - Feb 27th 2012, 09:39
Chemicals found in some food packaging can increase the risk of developing heart disease, according to new research from the UK.
Scientists from the UK have found that people found to have high levels of Bisphenol A (BPA) in their urine were more likely to later develop heart disease.
The controversial material was banned from use in infant feeding bottles in EU in June last year after months of talks between manufacturers, national governments and experts.
The study was carried out by researchers at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, the University of Exeter and the European Centre for the Environment and Human Health, in association with the University of Cambridge.
The British Heart Foundation, which part-funded the research, said any risk to health from BPA was “very small”.
Professor David Melzer, who led the study, said “we can’t be certain that BPA itself is responsible” for heart disease.
“It is now important that government agencies organise drug-style safety trials of BPA in humans, as much basic information about how BPA behaves in the human body is still unknown,” he said.
‘An endocrine disrupter’
BPA, an endocrine disrupter, is used in many clear hard plastics. It was banned from use in baby bottles amid growing evidence it can interfere with infant development and can be passed to babies when they drink from bottles made using the chemical.
The research team from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, the University of Exeter and the European Centre for the Environment and Human Health had previously found a link between BPA and heart disease by analysing data taken at a single time in the United States.
But the study of 1,619 people, using data compiled by the University of Cambridge, looked at samples from people over ten years to see if a pattern emerged. The research, published online in the American Heart Association’s Circulation journal, found those who went on to develop heart disease were more likely to have had higher levels of BPA in their urine at the start of the test.
Professor Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “We don’t believe there is any cause for the public or heart patients to be concerned by BPA. While this study suggests a possible link between BPA and heart disease, it’s clear that even if there is a link, the risk is very small indeed. The saturated fat, salt and sugar in pre-packaged foods are far more harmful than anything you’ll find in the packaging.”
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