September 18, 2008

Health Fear in Food Packaging

A chemical found in plastic food packaging may be increasing rates of heart disease and diabetes, researchers in Exeter claim.

People exposed to higher levels of the compound, bisphenol A (BPA), were more likely to suffer type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and angina, the study found.

The chemical was also associated with abnormal concentrations of three liver enzymes, a possible sign of liver damage.

Scientists do not yet know if there is a causal connection but the possibility remains that BPA, one of the most mass produced chemicals in the world, may be a serious health hazard.

Dr David Melzer and his team from the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter found higher average BPA concentrations in people who had suffered from cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Those in the top 25 per cent of the BPA range were nearly three times more likely to have had heart problems than those in the bottom 25 per cent.

Similarly, participants in the top 25 per cent had 2.4 times more risk of diabetes.

In addition, higher BPA concentrations were associated with clinically abnormal levels of three liver enzymes.

The authors concluded: "These findings add to the evidence suggesting adverse effects of low-dose BPA in animals.

"Independent replication and follow-up studies are needed to confirm these findings and to provide evidence on whether the associations are causal.

"Given the substantial negative effects on adult health that may be associated with increased BPA concentrations and also given the potential for reducing human exposure, our findings deserve scientific follow-up."

(c) 2008 Express & Echo (Exeter UK). Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.