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Plastics & Your Health – Hypertension Risk?

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April 2, 2015

Many of us have heard about the chemical BPA (Bisphenol-A) which is a compound used in the manufacturing process of plastics, and is also found in the lining of cans (and some of you may know it because plastics now advertise “BPA free”). It has been in the news a lot lately because of its association with heart disease, cancer and an array of other long-term health problems. BPA is an endocrine disruptor, which mimics estrogen in our bodies. In a recent study scientists showed that a single exposure to BPA can increase blood pressure within a couple of hours.

In the study participants were asked to drink soy milk from either a can (which contains BPA in its lining), or from a glass bottle free of BPA. Drinking soy milk from a can caused participants’ urine levels of BPA to increase within two hours, and so did their blood pressure.

These findings are startling because this is the first study to show that a single exposure to BPA can quickly have negative effects on your health. Although a single instance of increased blood pressure may not be something to worry about, researchers say it could lead to hypertension in people who drink from cans and plastic bottles multiple times per day.

So how can you minimize exposure to BPA? Try and avoid food and drink stored in plastic or cans (BPA free is NOT a suitable alternative as these chemicals may actually be worse than BPA). Instead, choose fresh foods and purchase foods packaged in glass. An easy place to start is by replacing your plastic Tupperware at home with glass or stainless steel containers. This might be more expensive up front, but it is a small investment for your long-term health.

Please note research clearly indicates heated plastics transfer more of their endocrine disrupting effects. Therefore, the most important thing you can do for your health is to avoid placing or using foods and liquids with heated plastics (think water bottles in cars during summer for example).

If you have hypertension and want to explore a functional medicine natural approach, contact Dr. Autoimmune so that we can begin to let your health soar!

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