Home > March 2013 > Soda Pop May Be Doing More Than Just Adding Calories

Soda Pop May Be Doing More Than Just Adding Calories
By Dr. Charles McGowen

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical building block that is used in the manufacturing of polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastic is a lightweight, high-performance plastic that possesses an exceptional balance of toughness, optical precision, high heat resistance, and tremendous electrical resistance. Because of these laudable attributes, polycarbonate is used in soft drink containers, and many other products. Epoxy resins have many uses including a variety of protective coatings. Cured epoxy resins have long been used as linings 

to protect and maintain the quality of canned foods and beverages (since 1963), and until recently were thought to be entirely harmless, and supposedly inert, materials.

The issue of soft drink safety is not new. In 1942 the American Medical Association mentioned soft drinks specifically in a strong recommendation to limit intake of added sugar; citing obesity as the main concern. At that time, annual US production of carbonated soft drinks was 90 eight ounce servings (5.6 gallons) per person, but by 2000 this number had risen to more than 600 servings (37.5 gallons) and by 2002 to 57 gallons per person. According to a 2012 market report from Beverage Digest, the average U.S. consumer drank 714 eight ounce servings (44.6 gallons) of carbonated soft drinks the previous year, down from 45.5 gallons in 2010. Total consumption in 2011 was down 1% from 2010 and fortunately the seventh consecutive year of decline. If a 50 year use of BPA in the lining of aluminum cans is the cause of the suspected intra-arterial damage to the linings of our vascular system, we can expect a precipitous rise in the incidence of coronary artery and other cardiovascular diseases in the coming years; especially given the pandemic rise of obesity currently seen in our nation and the precarious nature of the delivery of healthcare in the not too distant future.

However, recent findings from a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey suggest that BPA may have particularly adverse effects on the endothelial lining of the arteries that supply our brains, hearts and other vital organs such as liver and kidneys. Dr Leonardo Transande of the NYU school of medicine has completed research on the output of albumin in the urine of 710 children between the years 2009 and 2012, the results of which have led him to recommend that manufacturers of aluminum cans should seek other alternatives in lining their product so as to decrease the exposure, of especially youngsters, to this chemical. Damage to the endothelium of renal (kidney) vessels first manifests in the leakage of albumin into the urine. This has long been recognized by clinicians as an indication particularly in diabetics that their disease has finally begun to damage their kidneys.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 07:26 AM

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