Toxic cans and dog food

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According to US research published in this month’s issue of Science of The Total Environment, short-term feeding of canned dog food resulted in a significant increase of Bisphenol A (BPA) in dogs.

BPA is a widely used industrial chemical found in many household items including resins, used to line metal storage containers such as food cans.

“Bisphenol A is a prevalent endocrine-disrupting chemical found in canned foods and beverages,” said one of the paper’s authors, Cheryl Rosenfeld, an associate professor of biomedical sciences in the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine.

“We wanted to determine if short-term feeding of widely available commercial canned food could alter BPA concentrations in dogs.”

Dog owners volunteered their healthy pets for the study. Blood and fecal samples were collected prior to the dogs being placed on one of two commonly used, commercial canned food diets for two weeks; one diet was presumed to be BPA-free.

The research team then analysed the cans and the food contained in the cans for BPA levels and performed gut microbiome assessments.

“The dogs in the study did have minimal circulating BPA in their blood when it was drawn for the baseline,” Rosenfeld said. “However, BPA increased nearly three-fold after being on either of the two canned diets for two weeks. We also found that increased serum BPA concentrations were correlated with gut microbiome and metabolic changes in the dogs analysed. Increased BPA may also reduce one bacterium that has the ability to metabolise BPA and related environmental chemicals.”

Rosen and her colleagues believe that because of the shared environments, dog exposure to BPA through canned foods could also have human health implications.

“We share our homes with our dogs,” she said. “Thus, these findings could have implications and relevance to humans. Indeed, our canine companions may be the best bio-sentinels for human health concerns.”

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