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Can Water Bottles Cause Coronary Disease?

can plastic water bottles cause coronary disease?

Disposable plastic water bottles are everywhere. We bring them with us when we exercise, we drink them when we’re driving, and we consume them at conferences, sporting events, and concerts. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it provides an illustration of how pervasive these bottles are in our lives. Unfortunately, there is growing research that disposable plastic water bottles may increase your risk of heart disease.

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 58.4% of 257 patients who had surgery to remove plaque buildup related to heart disease had microplastics embedded in the plaque found in their carotid arteries (the main blood vessels supplying blood to the neck, brain and face). In addition, the study found that these individuals had a 4.5 times greater risk of major cardiac events, including heart attacks and strokes, over the following three years compared to individuals without microplastics embedded in the plaque found in their arteries.

While the results of this study need to be replicated with a larger group of patients, the findings are significant and create real concern about the health risks associated with the microplastics found in water bottles, the protective films used on the foods we eat, and many other products we consume on a daily basis. Based on this study, microplastics may be an additional risk factor for coronary disease, along with previously known risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and smoking.

What Are Microplastics and How Do They Affect the Body?

Microplastics are tiny plastic particles less than 5 millimeters in size that are formed when larger plastic items break down. Microplastics and nanoplastics (even smaller plastic particles) can enter the body through the consumption of food, water and other beverages in plastic containers or wrapped in plastic food packaging. They can also enter the body through the consumption of contaminated food, such as seafood, which ingests microplastics found in lakes, rivers and seas.

When your immune system detects these microplastics in your arteries, it will attack them as foreign bodies. This can result in chronic inflammation that can damage the blood vessel lining, contribute to plaque buildup and eventually trigger a blockage. In addition, the inflammation caused by microplastics can constrict your arteries and obstruct blood flow. Eventually, your arteries may become so constricted that it will cause a heart attack.

Animal studies have found evidence of additional heart health issues associated with microplastics, such as:

What Are Some Alternatives to Plastic Water Bottles?

heart healthy alternatives to plastic water bottlesSwitching to reusable water bottles is the easiest way to limit your consumption of the microplastics found in single-use plastic water bottles. If you’re unable to avoid the need for single-use containers in certain situations, you can seek out options that don’t contain microplastics.

The following options are great alternatives to plastic water bottles and will help you reduce your consumption of microplastics:

While it’s impossible to completely avoid exposure to microplastics, being mindful of your plastic use and seeking out opportunities to use the alternative containers listed above can help significantly reduce your exposure to microplastics. Taking these precautionary steps is especially critical if you have other risk factors for coronary disease.

South Denver Cardiology Associates Can Help You Maintain Optimal Heart Health

At South Denver Cardiology Associates, we’re committed to helping you maintain optimal heart health. We accomplish this in a variety of ways:

Contact us today to schedule an appointment. South Denver Cardiology Associates serves patients in Denver, Littleton and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

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As with any health concerns, your specific treatment program should be discussed thoroughly with your primary care physician as well as any specialists who may need to be consulted – like a cardiologist.

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