By Madlen Davies .
Fizzy drinks have been much maligned due to their high sugar content.
Now doctors warn the cans that they come in could also be bad for a person’s health.
A new study has found a common coating used in soft drink cans could cause high blood pressure and put heart patients at risk.
The chemical Bisphenol A – known as BPA – is widely used as a lining for cans and plastic bottles, but previous studies found it can leach into food and drink.
The chemical Bisphenol A- known as BPA – found in the lining of fizzy drink cans could cause high blood pressure and put heart patients at risk, experts warn Korean researchers found drinking from cans increased the concentration of BPA in urine by 1,600 per cent when compared to glass bottles.
Drinking two cans a day increased blood pressure by 5 mmg Hg, a rise which would cause ‘significant problems’ for patients with high blood pressure or heart disease, doctors warned.
Such patients would also need to seek medical if such a rise was seen, they added.
Bisphenol A has already been linked to a host of medical problems, including migraines, obesity, diabetes, infertility, heart attacks and even cancer.
The chemical has already been banned in baby bottles in Europe because of safety fears.
However, the EFSA – the European Food Safety Authority – last year found that BPA posed no appreciable health risk to anyone apart from very young children.
It is currently reviewing its findings, with a new report due before Christmas.
The new study, carried out by the Korean researchers, found ingesting BPA was associated with high blood pressure and changes in heart rate.
Dr Yun-Chul Hong, of the Seoul National University College of Medicine, said: ‘A 5 mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure by drinking two canned beverages may cause clinically significant problems, particularly in patients with heart disease or hypertension.
‘A 20 mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease.’
A person is normally said to have high blood pressure if the have a pressure of 140/90 mm Hg or above.
The study involved 60 adults over the age of 60 who were given soy milk from glass bottles or cans three times over the course of the study.
Researchers then measured the level of BPA in their urine, as well as their blood pressure and heart rate two hours after drinking each beverage.
Soy was chosen as it doesn’t contain any ingredients that are known to elevate blood pressure.
They found that the concentration of BPA increased by up to 1,600 per cent after consuming canned drinks compared to after consuming the glass-bottled beverages.
Researchers controlled factors such as population characteristics or past medical history.
Time variables, such as daily temperatures, however, could still affect the results, they said.
Dr Hong concluded: ‘I suggest consumers try to eat fresh foods or glass bottle-contained foods rather than canned foods.
‘Hopefully, manufacturers will develop and use healthy alternatives to BPA for the inner lining of can containers.’
Gavin Partington, British Soft Drinks Association director general, said BPA is used in ‘virtually all cans used for food and beverage products’.
He said: ‘BPA has been approved safe by the UK Food Standards Agency and this view is shared by authorities worldwide.
‘The scientific consensus repeatedly stated among regulatory agencies in Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, New Zealand and the United States is that current levels of exposure to BPA through food and beverage packaging do not pose a health risk to the general population.
‘The overwhelming majority of soft drinks bottles are made from plastics which do not contain bisphenol A.’
The study was published in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.
Bisphenol A has already been linked to a host of medical problems such as migraines, obesity, diabetes, infertility, heart attacks and even cancer. Pictured is a molecule of BPA