Newly published research from Baylor University shows that people who frequently eat instant noodle products may increase their risk for cardiometabolic syndrome.
Because ramen consumption is higher among Asian populations, the research focused primarily on South Korea, which has the highest per-capita numbers of instant noodle consumers, according to Newswise, a news site of the Baylor Research Institute. South Koreans have recently experienced a rapid increase in health problems, specifically heart disease, which could lead to increased mortality and increased health care costs. The research was published in the Journal of Nutrition.
The Baylor researchers investigated the association between instant noodle consumption and metabolic syndrome, according to Dr. Hyun Joon Shin, who led the study. He is a clinical cardiology fellow at Baylor University Medical Center and a doctoral student in nutrition epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. The study found that eating instant noodles two or more times a week was associated with cardiometabolic syndrome, which raises the likelihood of developing heart disease and conditions such as diabetes and stroke. The risk was more prevalent in women, Newswise reports.
Dr. Shin said the greater risk for women is likely due to biological differences between men and women, including sex hormones and metabolism. Another possible factor is a component of the noodle packaging. The chemical bisphenol A (BPA), used in some noodle containers, has been shown to interfere with the way hormones, specifically estrogen, work in the body, Newswise reports.
Dr. Shin said he hopes “this study can lay a foundation for future research about the health effects of instant noodle consumption,” according to Newswise.