Study Reveals Dogs That Eat Canned Food at Risk for Higher BPA Exposure
Products containing Bisphenol A (BPA) can disrupt endocrine functions. New research out of Missouri now shows that dogs are at risk of exposure, specifically from commercial canned food.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a common chemical found in many household items like water bottles and plastic containers, and often included in the resin that is used to line food cans. BPA alternatives are being created, and it’s not uncommon to see ‘BPA-Free’ on labels, as BPA disrupts endocrine function in humans.
Associate professor of biomedical sciences at Missouri University’s College of Veterinary Medicine Cheryl Rosenfeld though it stood to reason that canine exposure to BPA could also pose a risk, including a possible impact on human health since dogs and humans share environments and exposure to canned dog foods that have BPA levels.
To investigate whether or not commercial canned foods could be potentially problematic to both humans and dogs alike, Rosenfeld and her team investigated BPA levels in a group of dogs volunteered for the study. The goal was to determine if short-term feeding of canned commercial foods could alter the BPA levels in a dog’s blood, and in turn, have possible implications for their humans as well.
The dogs involved were given commonly used commercial canned food diets for two weeks, with one diet presumed to be BPA-free. Prior to the two weeks, blood and fecal samples of the dogs were taken and it was found that the dogs started at baseline with minimal BPA in their blood already.
At the end of the two weeks, the dogs were found to have BPA levels that were nearly three times as much as they were at the beginning of the study, regardless of which canned food they consumed. Researchers also found that there was a correlation between the increased BPA serum levels and the dogs’ gut microbiomes. This increased BPA level may reduce one of the bacterium in a dog’s gut that allows it to metabolize BPA and other related chemicals, and the conclusion was that these increased levels were due to the cans of food themselves, not necessarily the food.
What this means to humans isn’t entirely clear, but seeing as we share our lives (and homes, and beds, and so on…) with our dogs, we need to be aware of the fact that we are coming in contact with these chemicals, and that our pets may be the best indicators of the effects of BPA and other related chemicals on our health. Most importantly, for our dogs, we can watch the labels of foods we give them to ensure we are looking out for their health as well!