Drinking two cans of fizzy pop can trigger a dangerous rise in blood pressure due to a chemical used in packaging.
New research shows bisphenol A (BPA) – used as a lining to prevent rust in food and drink cans – can have a rapid effect on the heart.
Most UK adults have a blood pressure reading of between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg. In tests, volunteers who had two drinks from cans saw blood pressure rise by 5mmHG, enough to raise the risk of a heart attack or stroke. A 20mmHg rise doubles the chances of potentially fatal illness.
The study at Seoul University in South Korea, also found levels of BPA in the urine soared by 1,000 per cent.
Researcher Dr Yun-Chul Hong urged consumers to choose fresh or bottled food and drinks, adding: “Hopefully, manufacturers will develop healthy alternatives to BPA.
BPA, also used in plastic packaging, has long been linked to health problems. The EU banned its use in baby bottles. The UK Food Standards Agency said: “At current levels there is no appreciable health risk.”