Okay, parents, we’ve all done it…….sipping a fizzy soft drink can have such satisfying appeal. The kids see us having a soda and they want one too. The more we drink them, the more we want to drink them. Seems harmless enough….but such an innocent little drink is, in fact, dangerous. Read on for some sobering facts about carbonated beverages.
First of all, there is absolutely zero food value in carbonated drinks. Even though that is not good, it’s only beginning. While carbonated beverage companies continually try to make their product appealing to us, the truth is they are a source for tooth decay, metabolic syndrome/diabetes, osteoporosis, gastric irritation/acid reflux, cancer, and premature aging.
Soda pop, with its combination of sugar and high acidity causes tooth decay. But don’t be fooled into thinking diet sodas are okay. They are just as bad, or worse. Diet pops are still very acidic, and the sugar substitutes (aspartame, saccharine, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, etc.) are linked to many maladies of the body, including neurological disorders, decreased immunity, blood sugar dysregulations, liver inflammation, and cancer.
Researchers have found a link between drinking diet soda and metabolic syndrome, which is a collection of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes (which include abdominal obesity, high glucose and cholesterol levels, and increased blood pressure). It also heightens our cravings for carbs, and gives us that constant hungry edge.
The high concentration of phosphoric acid without the presence of calcium or magnesium depletes the calcium supply in our bones. Further studies suggest that these high levels of phosphates may accelerate the aging process and ultimiately shorten our life span.
In 2005, research showed a strong correlation between esophageal cancer and drinking carbonated beverages. Once we swallow the soda, it causes us to burp (reflux). Burping this acid into the esophagus causes soreness and lesions, which can become cancerous. This is in addition to the other cancer-causing agents found in diet soda.
And while we’re on the subject of cancer, in addition to lowering our immune system (which helps keep cancers away), there is yet another villain to our health: Benzene. Most sodas contain sodium benzoate, a preservative. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is also added. When sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid react with one another, they form the highly toxic chemical benzene which is an aggressive carcinogen, even in tiny amounts. Research now shows that even sodium benzoate by itself can cause DNA damage, a precursor to cancer.
Research from the Sheffield University in Brittain showed that benzoate has the ability to shut off the mitochondria in our DNA. Mitochondria are the power stations inside of our cells. These chemicals have the ability to cause DNA damage in the mitochondria to the point where they can totally inactivate it. When the mitochondria are damaged, the cell begins to malfunction. Conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, liver cirrhosis, and accelerated aging can be linked to this type of cellular damage.
And the final nail in the coffin is that these seemingly harmless fizzy drinks are addictive. The caffeine, sugar, and bubbles make you crave more and more. Advertisers have big bucks, and these big bucks pay for glorious ads about how great your life can be if you consume their beverage. All of this money is appealing to businesses who want advertising sponsors. Two words: “Buyer beware.”
I’ve always been of the mindset that as long as we do everything in “moderation” we’ll be okay. But we really have to rethink that when in comes to carbonated drinks. It’s like saying moderate cigarette smoking is okay. Once a product has an addictive quality combined with serious health risks to us and our families, its time to do our best to greatly limit our consumtion or eliminate it altogether.
New York Times/Fitness and Nutrition, Symptoms: Metabolic Syndrome is Tied to Diet Soda
Mind Connection/Soft Drinks: Unsafe Beverages
Susan Draves/Feel Good Now, Ask Me How: Zany Tips and News from the Health and Wellness Universe
Healthbeat News: The Deadly Poison in Soda Pop
MedIndia/Network for Health