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Consuming Canned Soup Linked to Higher BPA Levels

Jenny Carwile, MPH, Karin Michels, Sc.D., Ph.D.
Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School
NIEHS Grant T32ES0070609


Researchers funded by NIEHS found that a group of volunteers who consumed a serving of canned soup every day for five days had more than a 1,000 percent increase in urinary bisphenol A (BPA) concentrations than when the same individuals consumed fresh soup daily for five days. The endocrine disruptor BPA is used in the lining of metal food and beverage cans and has been shown to have adverse health effects.


The researchers recruited 75 volunteers and asked a group of them to consume a 12-ounce serving of vegetarian canned soup each day for five days, while the rest consumed 12 ounces of vegetarian fresh soup, prepared without canned ingredients, daily for five days. After a two-day break, the groups reversed their assignments.


The researchers detected BPA in 77 percent of the urine samples taken after fresh soup consumption and in all of the samples after canned soup consumption. Eating a serving of canned soup daily was associated with a 1,221 percent increase in BPA concentration compared to levels in urine collected after consumption of fresh soup. Even though the elevation in urinary BPA concentrations might be temporary, the researchers comment that their findings could be important, especially as more and improved alternatives to epoxy linings are developed.

Citation: Citation: Carwile JL, Ye X, Zhou X, Calafat AM, Michels KB. 2011. Canned soup consumption and urinary bisphenol A: a randomized crossover trial. JAMA 306(20):2218-2220.

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