Eating canned soup exposes people to elevated level of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) that has been linked with heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
New research conducted by scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health in the US found volunteers who ate canned soup each day for five days experienced an increase of over 1,000 per cent in BPA levels.
Previous research has linked elevated levels of BPA, which is used in the lining of food and drink cans, with health problems.
In animals, the chemical has been associated with reproductive problems, while in humans it has been linked with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.
Jenny Carwile, lead author of the study, said: ‘We’ve known for a while that drinking beverages that have been stored in certain hard plastics can increase the amount of BPA in your body.
‘This study suggests that canned foods may be an even greater concern, especially given their wide use.’
The team used urine samples to detect the level of BPA and said the increase seen after the volunteers had eaten just one can of soup ‘may be of concern among individuals who regularly consume foods from cans or drink several canned beverages daily’.
Last year, the European Food Safety Authority reaffirmed the safety of BPA for use in packaging that contains foods, providing people do not exceed the tolerable daily intake.
The panel highlighted animal studies showing exposure to BPA enhanced susceptibility to breast cancer, but said currently ‘the relevance of these findings on human health cannot be assessed’.