The Health Hazards of Drinking Soda
chemicals in soda fall under the categories of artificial flavorings, artificial
color additives and dyes, acidifying agents, buffering agents,
viscosity-producing agents, foaming agents, and preservatives.
Drinking as little as one can of soda a day -- regular or
diet -- is associated with a 48% increased risk of metabolic syndrome, a key
heart disease and
Soft drink consumption may be a major factor for
acid, is added to many kinds of soda pop to help keep the carbonated bubbles
from going flat. Because good health depends upon our bodies being able to
maintain a one-to-one balance between
phosphorus in our systems, calcium is released from our teeth and bones into
our bloodstreams to help balance the phosphoric acid in the pop we drink.
Eventually the phosphoric acid is excreted, taking with it the released
calcium. Thus, a habit of soft drink consumption actually robs our bodies of
calcium, leading to a condition known as osteoporosis – soft teeth and weak
bones. The phosphate content of soft
drinks like Coca-Cola and Pepsi is very high, and they contain virtually no
calcium. Sugar and acid in soft drinks so easily dissolve tooth enamel.
Phosphoric acid is also known to neutralize the hydrochloric acid in our
stomach. This is unfortunate, for we need hydrochloric acid to help us digest
our food and utilize its nutrients. It is especially required for calcium
utilization. So, not only does phosphoric acid leach calcium from
our bones, it also prohibits hydrochloric acid from helping to restore it.
Bones and teeth just can't win with this stuff in our diet.
Sodas -- even diet ones -- may be linked with increased risk factors for
heart disease and diabetes. adults who drink one or more sodas a day had
about a 50 percent higher risk of metabolic syndrome -- a cluster of risk
factors such as excessive fat
around the waist, low levels of "good"
high blood pressure and other symptoms. "When you have metabolic
syndrome, your risk of developing heart disease or stroke doubles. You also have
a risk of developing diabetes," said Dr. Ramachandran Vasan of Boston University
School of Medicine, whose work appears in the journal Circulation.
Those who drink one or more soft drinks a day have a 31 percent greater risk
of becoming obese. The relationship between soft drink consumption and
body weight is so strong that researchers calculated that for each additional
soda consumed, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times. Consumers have a 30 percent increased risk of developing increased
circumference -- which has been shown to predict heart disease risk better than
In an interesting experiment the sugar from one soft drink was able to
damage the white blood cells' ability to ingest and kill gonococcal bacteria
for seven hours
New research links increased
artificially sweetened soda to
kidney disease. Researchers studied more
than 3,000 women and found those who drink at least two diet sodas daily double
their rate of kidney function decline.
Soft drinks are the single greatest source of caffeine, a 12-ounce can
of cola contains about 45 milligrams but the amounts
in more potent soft drinks can exceed 100 milligrams < a level approaching
that found in coffee. The jitters, insomnia, high blood pressure, irregular
heartbeat, elevated blood cholesterol levels, vitamin and mineral depletion,
breast lumps, birth
defects, perhaps some forms of
cancer – these and more are part of the package deal of health problems
and risks that come with choosing to consume caffeinated drinks. Taking size
into account, the impact of three cans of regular Coke a day on a
seven-year-old kid is the same as an adult drinking eight cups of coffee!
The sweetener in regular pop, of course, is sugar. We all know the health
hazards that sugar presents. It rots teeth, impairs the
immune system, and can lead to the onset of degenerative disease.
By choosing a diet soda to avoid sugar, you're consuming aspartame. Better
known as NutraSweet, it is the sugar substitute used these days in diet soft
drinks. Saccharin, previously used, was found to be carcinogenic, as were
cyclamates before that. Many health professionals now have serious doubts as
to the safety of aspartame, as well. Andrew Weil, M.D., author of a book
entitled Natural Health, Natural Medicine, states that "because I have seen a
number of patients, mostly women, who report headaches from this substance, I
don't regard it as free from toxicity. Women also find that aspartame
(premenstrual syndrome)." If it is stored in warm areas or kept on store
shelves for a prolonged period, aspartame will change to methanol, an alcohol
that ultimately converts to formaldehyde and formic acid – known carcinogens
Keep in mind: For every diet soda you sip daily, your risk of becoming
overweight can rise by 37 percent, according to researchers at the
University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.
It would seem that the bottom line here is to stay away from soda pop. At
least cut way back. Neither regular nor diet does your body any good. In fact, a
steady habit of soda consumption can do a great deal of harm. You ought to be
making every effort to wean yourself from it completely. Try making your own
soda pop. Mix club soda or sparkling mineral water with various combinations of
freshly squeezed fruit juice.