Teflon Coating and the Heart: Sticks to Your Blood Vessels

We live in a chemical soup made up of fragrances, flame retardants, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, particulate matter and Teflon coating.

98% of us have even detectable levels of a compound called perfluorooctanoic acid in our blood. Just the name sounds pretty serious. (I’m guessing that the 2% without perfluorooctanoic acid in their systems are living in the deep woods regions of the Saskatchewan province and wouldn’t even now Teflon coating if you hit them upside the head with the pan…)

Environmental chemicals to which we are exposed to have a clear, negative impact on multiple aspects of our health. Effects on fertility, the thyroid, obesity and cancer risk are clear. Damage to the cardiovascular system is also on the list.

Perfluorooctanoic acid is a chemical most commonly associated with non-stick cooking surfaces like Teflon coating.  Many do not give a second thought to the cookware they use and consider the convenience of non-stick cookware an advantage. That is, of course, until they drop dead of a heart attack or have to have a leg amputated because the arteries going into the leg are so clogged up.  Not so convenient then…

This particular study looked at the relationship between the perfluorooctanoic acid found in Teflon coating and heart disease. Normally, I wouldn’t have thought that a study like this was important enough to share with Ranting’s readers, but the results were much stronger that I would have thought.

Researchers first made sure they accounted for all traditional cardiovascular risk factors (age, sex, race/ethnicity, smoking status, body mass index, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and serum cholesterol level).  Even after taking the risk due to these issues were into account, the contribution of perfluorooctanoic acid to heart disease, stroke and peripheral artery disease were significant:

  1. Those with the highest levels in their blood had DOUBLE the risk of heart disease and stroke
  2. They also had a 178% greater risk for peripheral artery disease

These aren’t small numbers.  And consider that this risk is on TOP of existing risk factors.

The nice thing is that you can easily avoid non-stick cookware, at least at home. Personally, I’ve used stainless steel cookware for years and never really have had any problems with getting it clean. Sometimes requires a little extra elbow grease, but then I get some exercise on top of it all.

So what have YOU done to reduce your exposure to environmental chemicals that damage your health?

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.