The not so mysterious "mystery" of BPA exposure
"The next step was to figure out how people are getting exposed to BPA."
That laughable line comes from a recent press release from the Harvard School of Public Health. And, frankly, if I chewed gum I would have choked on it when I read it.
HOW people are getting exposed? Really Harvard?
Gee...do you think next time you're faced with such a "mystery" you might want to...oh, I don't know...perhaps try a Google search first?
The fact is my colleagues in natural medicine and I have been screaming from the rooftops about the dangers of BPA in canned foods and other consumer products (remember it's not just cans that are a problem, plastic food containers and cash register receipts pose a significant BPA threat as well) for literally years now.
And although we've thankfully had some impact with consumers demanding more BPA-free products, the mainstream—and its friends over at the FDA and EPA—has remained decidedly reserved on the entire subject.
The canned soup culprit
Now, to be fair, the Harvard researchers did readily admit in their press release that previous research had linked elevated BPA levels with adverse health effects. And, also to their credit, the study that they were reporting on is an important one.
The chief finding of the Harvard study is a rather shocking one. After eating canned soups daily for five days volunteers in the study had a more than 1,000 percent spike in concentrations of BPA compared with five days of eating fresh soup.
And no, in case you're wondering that's (sadly) NOT a typo. Volunteer's BPA levels literally skyrocketed 1,221 percent in less than a week.
So, what this new research provides is yet one more, hefty piece of solid evidence in an already strong case against this dangerous chemical. Plus the findings serve to reinforce the fact that canned foods are indeed a significant vehicle for BPA exposure.
And, frankly I must admit that I couldn't be more pleased that the gang over at Harvard has finally clambered on board this soapbox...joining the rest of us who have long been concerned about the effects that exposure to BPA in our food supply is having on our health. (In fact, Harvard, why don't you tell all of your mainstream medicine buddies that we've got plenty of room up here on the box for them also.)
Sidestepping serious side-effects
I've been telling you for years about the dangers of BPA found in the linings of many canned foods, a large number of plastic containers, and even store receipts. Exposure to this nasty endocrine-disrupting chemical has been shown to interfere with reproductive development in animals, has been connected to sexual dysfunction in men, and has been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurological problems, and cancer.
Heck, the estrogen mimic has even been implicated in breast growth in men. Talk about an unwanted side effect!
My advice in the face of this new research remains the same.
Toss out your plastic food containers and replace them with glass or ceramic ones if you can. Or, at the very least, throw away any that are stamped with the #7 because that's a sure sign that its got BPA in it.
In addition, avoid using canned foods as much as possible. Instead choose fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. Just switching to fresh foods can drop your BPA exposure by 60%. (Besides, they taste better anyway and aren't full of icky preservatives.)
Plus there are some companies that have switched to BPA-free cans so if you do have to resort to using a canned food just make sure it's one that's clearly labeled BPA free.
Oh, and if you're a soda drinker it's well past time to give them up. An often-overlooked source of BPA is soda cans. And it doesn't look like Big Soda is going to be giving up the practice of lining their cans with BPA-containing epoxy any time soon.
In fact, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun, when a spokesperson for Coca-Cola was interviewed on the subject he, "...emphasized the beverage giant isn't in the packaging business and takes its direction from regulatory agencies."
Hm Coca-Cola, would that be the same regulatory agencies that announced just a couple of years ago that BPA poses no threat to human health?
So, in other words, you're asking us to leave our health in the hands of the corrupt FDA and the ineffective EPA? Umm...I say thanks, but no thanks.
Instead it looks like this time I'll be joining my colleagues at Harvard and urging you to cut canned foods out of your life.
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About the author
Nationally acclaimed as America’s “Nutrition Physician,” Dr. Spreen has been helping people stay healthy and disease-free as a private doctor, published author, and noted researcher.
In addition to his role as a Senior Member of the prestigious Health Sciences Institute Advisory Panel in Baltimore, MD, Dr. Spreen also coaches diving at the international and Olympic levels. NorthStar Nutritionals is proud to have Dr. Spreen as our Chief Research Advisor.
Dr. Spreen also writes the Guide to Good Health.