What are BPA's And Why Should We Care?

Elizabeth Roberts Health Guide

    If you have Inflammatory Bowel Disease then you know that the more you can do to keep your body healthy the better off your disease control can be. In the past years a new acronym - BPA - has come into wide use and I thought it would be a good idea to discuss just what this is.


    BPA stands for bisphenol A. Bisphenol A is a chemical that has been used since the 1960s to make particular types of plastics and resin. In past years, news has gotten out that we should be careful of consuming certain foods and water stored in plastic containers, especially those containing BPA, often marked with #7 on the bottom.

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    While many of us are aware of the plastic/BPA concern, the concern about cans and BPA is newer. And a study conducted by Harvard University researchers published in the November 23, 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that ingesting canned foods can also raise human BPA levels. How? Because most cans are lined with BPA as well.


    According to a news article at www.canada.com, the Harvard study used seventy-five participants who were broken into two groups. One group ate a 12-ounce serving of fresh soup for five days in a row, while the other group ate canned soup for five straight days. Participants were advised not to alter any of their regular eating habits during the study. Participants were given a 2-day break, then the groups switched which type of soup they ate. After urinalysis, the canned soup eaters showed a 1,221 percent higher level of BPA in their system than those who ate the fresh soup.


    The American Chemistry Council maintains that BPA poses no risk to human health. But the National Toxicology Program at the Department of Health and Human Services says it has "some concern about the possible health effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland, as well as fetuses, infants, and children."


    So, what can you do?

    1. Eat fresh foods as much as possible. Consider that frozen foods are the second best option since flash-freezing helps to retain much of a vegetable or fruits nutrients.
    2. Do not microwave food in plastic containers.
    3. Do not allow water in plastic bottles to sit in the sun.
    4. Look for reusable water bottles that are stainless-steel - these are the only ones you can be sure do not have a BPA lining.
    5. Know that most aluminum cans are lined with BPA.
    6. Polycarbonate plastic, which is typically hard, lightweight, and clear and possibly labeled with "PC" or #7 contains BPA.
    7. Use glass, stainless steel, and porcelain or ceramic to store food.
    8. Safer plastics are labeled with #1, #2, or #4 - but limit your consumption of foods in any kind of plastic.
Published On: November 30, 2011