A new study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that daily consumption of canned soup was associated with a more than 1,200 percent increase in bisphenol A (BPA), compared to eating fresh soup. BPA has been associated with a number of harmful health effects.
"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. It may be advisable for manufacturers to consider eliminating BPA from can linings," senior author Karin Michels, an associate professor in the epidemiology department, said in a news release. (One grocery store chain, as we reported here, has already pledged to phase out BPA in their house brand of canned goods.)
BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical used in the lining of metal food and beverage cans, in polycarbonate bottles, and dentistry composites and sealants. It's been linked with diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease in humans and has been shown to interfere with reproductive development in animals.
The Harvard study included 75 volunteers in two groups. One group ate a 12-ounce serving of vegetarian canned soup each day for five days and the other group ate the same amount of fresh vegetarian soup daily for five days. The groups then switched the type of soup they ate for another five days.
The researchers noted that the elevation in urinary BPA levels may be temporary and said further research is needed to determine how long it lasts.
For more information about the dangers of BPA, read: The Low Down on Bisphenol-A (BPA): The Facts You Need To Know.
National Library of Medicine
Harvard School of Public Health