Are you drinking Coca Cola right now?
If so, you are one of 9 billion people doing the same today. And that just Coke. We’re not including other soft drinks, like the massive Pepsico products and a myriad other smaller ones.
The word is certainly spreading about soft drinks and their health issues, but soft drinks like Coke, Pepsi, and other sodas have retained millions of people. The only conclusion – given the totally damning health evidence, has to be that they (and you!) are addicted to them.
Around one in two Americans still drink soda on a daily basis.
Not just one glass, or can. They consume an average of 2.6 glasses per day.
But the Americans don’t hold the crown as soda squaffers.
Mexicans drink more than any other country in the world at roughly 163 litres (or 36 gallons) per person, every year.
So I wonder.. is there a connection between the 70,000 Mexicans who die every year and soda consumption?
(The number is probably much higher, since many people are not diagnosed, or may die of heart disease, strokes or cancer—all diseases that often stem from diabetes and soft drink consumption).
We already know from a vast number of studies that soda consumption in the Western world definitively relates to the steep increase in newly diagnosed diabetes patients as well. The difference, however, is that in western countries, the offending beverages are mostly sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, a seriously nasty and sneaky form of sweetener, (yes, more dangerous than regular sucrose, the commonly used sweetener in other countries). Any large amount of sugar is extremely hazardous to the body, but high fructose corn syrup is even worse than regular sucrose. It is particularly bad for the liver and for our blood sugar levels.
No matter what we choose, bad things happen within minutes of drinking a sugary soft drink:
- In just a few minutes, 10-12 teaspoons of sugar body-slam your system.
In a weird way, its formulation protects you from your body vomiting up this potent and toxic mix of sugar. Drink designers realised the problem and added phosphoric acid, carbonation, and other artificial flavours to mute its unacceptable vomit-prone sugary taste.
- Within 20 minutes, sugar in your blood surges to phenomenal levels, with an accompanying insulin response. Sensinga survival threat, your liver responds like a hero. To save you from all that sugar in your bloodstream it attempts to convert the sugar to fat cells. In the case of corn syrup, this is liver response is bordering on a death threat response. Naturally, our body has to suddenly store all that fat, so with no ability to do so immediately, it puts in the ‘wait lane’ AKA your blood stream. (Most people, told they have high triglycerides are never told what ‘triglycerides’ are? Imagine if your doctor cut the jargon and simply said, you have lumps of fat in your veins!) Eventually this fat gets stored on the body, or in the liver, and suddenly you are a target for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. It’s also, naturally enough, a primary causative factor in obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even many cancers.
- In a half hour, your body starts absorbing all the caffeine in the soda.
Your pupils dilate, your heart rate increases, you feel temporarily energized as your blood pressure rises, and your liver, in response to the caffeine, dumps even more sugar into the bloodstream. Insulin goes back up, you get hungry and that sugar gets stored as more fat.
- In ¾ of an hour, dopamine (a ‘feel-good’ hormone) is released, stimulating the pleasure centre of the brain.
Yes, just like heroin. And equally addictive. Imagine for a minute again, your doctor looking hard at you and telling you that you are a junkie. And you knowing it is true. This is right where the cognitive dissonance happens. A comfortable belief ( A few sodas can’t hurt me) clashes head on with science (You are an addict.) Why do so many people still drink the stuff?
It’s not logical. Neither is addiction. Can you see your cognitive dissonance at work?
- Within In an hour…
of squaffing that soda, the phosphoric acid in the soda binds onto usable calcium, magnesium and zinc in your digestive system. Here’s the in-body reason a soda drinker needs alkaline minerals. Every glass or can of soda grabs our available alkalis. Now you can’t put those essential minerals to use as they were intended. They attach to the phosphoric acid and pass from the body in the form of pee. About now you’ll probably want to visit the little room. Not because you have an excess of healthy water to your body’s needs. It’s caused by the caffeine. So if you decided on drinking a soda to quench your thirst, you’ll pee more than that away. You end up even thirstier and more dehydrated.. just how the drink designers wanted you to be.
- An hour later, caffeine and sugar hit has worn off,
and your mood and addiction starts showing up again in your familiar up and down mood swings. You are hungrier, tired, irritable, and sluggish.
- Even just one soda a day has massive consequences to your health. Not unlike the free hit of heroin the dealer offers our kids. He knows what we know. One is enough.
Let’s look now beyond the addiction process. Let’s look at what everyday users can expect.
Obesity and Diabetes ‘One a day?’
The Nurse’s Health Study monitored 90,000 women for 8 years. This huge study discovered that one soda a day added about 10 pounds of fat in 4 years.
One a day also doubles your chances of type 2 diabetes. Given that your odds of becoming a diabetic are now one out of three, I’m guessing that there’s a possibility that if you really love yourself and your family, there’s a choice to be made!
Excessive sugar intake actually dumbs you down. A 2002 UCLA study discovered how. A brain chemical called “brain derived neurotrophic factor” or BDNF, makes it harder for you to remember, and even harder to learn. A supporting study from University of Copenhagen linked low BDNF levels to depression and dementia.
BDNF levels are also connected to insulin resistance, which kickstarts not only diabetes, but also puts you into the high risk zone for Alzheimer’s disease.
This last problem seems like some sort of Frankensteinian creation. Imagine the glee from shareholders in soda companies when they learned that continual sugar consumption dulls the brain’s mechanism for knowing when to stop, making you definitely more susceptible to weight gain and obesity.
(According to a 2010 study from the University of Minnesota)
Bacon doesn’t cause heart attacks. Soda causes them. We now know a strong correlation between soda and heart disease is a real thing. One recent studies from Harvard (2012), concluded that just one can of soda a day increased heart disease by 20%. Yes, we have said that this risk can be associated with the increased risk of high blood sugar, and diabetes, but heart disease and stroke risk also increase significantly. Another study from the University of Miami showed that those who had a daily diet soda habit had a 61% increased risk of “cardiovascular event,” including heart attack and stroke, than those who drank no soda — even when factors such as smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption and diet were controlled.
Drink soda, or other sugary beverages, and you’ll certainly score high on the scorecard for cancer risk, especially gallbladder and bile ducts around the liver, according to a Swedish study. The study suggests that obesity, and elevated blood sugar levels also increase the risk of malignancies. We know already that many cancers feed on sugar, so.. once again, the answer to the problem stares us in the face.
One particularly nasty, fastmoving and painful form of cancer is cancer of the pancreas. It’s also tied in with drinking a soda or two a day. Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C studied and concluded that risk of pancreatic cancer increases by about 87%, according.
As we said earlier, sSoda drinking is also one of the biggest causes of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.
Researchers at the University of Adelaide recently concuded that soda consumption is also strongly related to COPD and increases risk of asthma attacks.
Soda Bones and Meth User’s Teeth
- A 2006 study published in the Academy of General Dentistry journal found that drinking soda is nearly as harmful for your teeth as drinking battery acid and the damage is comparable to what happens to a meth user’s teeth.We all know that sugar leads to tooth decay, but what about the phosphoric acid? It’s far worse! Look it up and you’ll discover it’s also used in cleaners for toilet bowls, grout, tile, automobile rims, and some general-purpose cleaners/degreasers.Look up how you should handle it and you’ll find this: Eye/face protection: wear tight-fitting government approved safety goggles (NIOSH or EN 166).
- Skin protection: Nitrile-rubber gloves are recommended for all handling conditions. Inspect gloves prior to usage for tears, holes, weak spots. Contaminated gloves should be disposed of according to all laws and regulations.
- Body protection: complete chemical-protective suit recommendation is dependent upon concentration and amount of phosphoric acid to be handled.
- Respiratory protection: use full-face air-purifying respirators with multi-purpose or type ABEK respirator cartridges as a backup to the engineering controls and when proper risk assessment recommends its usage.
To prevent exposure, the CDC recommends taking serious precautions to prevent the generation of mists, avoiding potentially hazardous exposure to eyes, skin, and nasal passageways. The CDC also recommends no eating, drinking, or smoking when handling phosphoric acid to avoid the possibility of ingestion.
..and we drink the stuff!
It’s a double whammy.
Citric acid and phosphoric acid added to offset the sweet taste of the large amounts of sugar, and they actually corrode tooth enamel, supporting the corrosion happening from the sugar. right alongside the sugar. The Colgate Oral and Dental Health Resource Center, says that soft drinks are among the most significant dietary sources of tooth decay.
“Acids and acidic sugar byproducts in soft drinks soften tooth enamel, contributing to the formation of cavities. In extreme cases, softer enamel combined with improper brushing, grinding of the teeth or other conditions can lead to tooth loss.”
As we discussed earlier, phosphoric acid binds to calcium, magnesium and zinc—all vital bone and teeth minerals. It co-opts them, removing them from the body, making them useless for bone and tooth material.
The acid doesn’t just erode the outer surfaces of tooth enamel. It eats away at the inherent structure of teeth and bone, causing massive tooth decay, and osteoporosis as well.
Are you still reading? It only gets worse so how about making a decision? I speak from deep experience.
In high school I decided to be some sort of hero who could quaff a whole bottle of Coke art morning recess, lunch and afternoon recess. My teeth became so bad that I had them all removed. My happy smile isn’t mine. Not only that, I discovered some 5 years ago that my other legacy of my brief heroism was advanced osteoporosis.
An change of diet or a change of mind?
Soda consumption, to me, is the ‘gatekeeper’ of a whole fortress of ideas about what we can ‘get away with’ in our diet.
I can suggest a simple change from soda to good healthy water, and I would be totally justified. But if our overall diet is still high in sugar – and carbs, which quickly convert to sugar in our body to give us that sugar hit when we stop drinking Coke) then you’re still an addict.
I read many ‘experts’ suggesting reducing sugar. All I can say is ‘Good Luck”.
And I also understand that an addict cannot think outside of his or her addiction and so I have concluded that most people won’t take this advice unless they are really in some form of pain. What a terrible idea! To actually consciously degrade your own health through an addictive habit, and to be able to read a page like this and continue degrading your health because you are ‘not too bad’.. yet.
So I’m telling you the ‘bad’/good news. The ‘bad’ news is that the only certainty of recovery from your degrading addiction is to go cold turkey. The good news is the same. So it’s your attitude and whether you trust what I say that will ultimately determine whether you have the courage to drop the sweeties.
I can say this only because that is what I did. And my life is so much better because of it. At age seventy I do not have the luxury of another decade in which to think about getting well.
Ian is the inventor of the UltraStream, the world’s first natural water ionizer and hydrogen infusing water system.