Soft Drinks

Soft Drinks, Hard Facts

This poison goes by many brand names. Generically, this poison is on the market in formulations known as soda, pop, and soft drinks. It includes all carbonated beverages--even carbonated plain water. The various substances in sodas compound the problem, especially the typical formulations with their carbonic acid or phosphoric acid.
It's tragic that the "beverage" industry shoves this toxic brew at human beings. Let's take a closer look at what it does.
  1. The carbonation in all soft drinks causes calcium loss in the bones through a three-stage process:
    The carbonation irritates the stomach.
  2. The stomach "cures" the irritation the only way it knows how. It adds the only antacid at its disposal: calcium. It gets this from the blood.
  3. The blood, now low on calcium, replenishes its supply from the bones. If it did not do this, muscular and brain function would be severely impaired.
But, the story doesn't end there. Another problem with most soft drinks is they also contain phosphoric acid (not the same as the carbonation, which is carbon dioxide mixed with the water). This substance also causes a drawdown on the store of calcium.
So, soft drinks soften your bones (actually, they make them weak and brittle) in three ways:
  1. Carbonation reduces the calcium in the bones.
  2. Phosphoric acid reduces the calcium in the bones.
  3. The beverage replaces a calcium-containing alternative, such as milk or water. Milk and water are not excellent calcium sources, but they are sources.

Bone Weakening
Recent human studies suggest that girls who drink more soda are more prone to broken bones. The industry denies that soda plays a role in bone weakening.
Phosphorus -- which occurs naturally in some foods and is used as an additive in many others -- appears to weaken bones by promoting the loss of calcium. With less calcium available, the bones become more porous and prone to fracture.
There's growing concern that even a few cans of soda today can be damaging when they are consumed during the peak bone-building years of childhood and adolescence.
Besides, to many researchers, the combination of rising obesity and bone weakening has the potential to synergistically undermine future health. Adolescents and kids don't think long-term. But what happens when these soft-drinking people become young or middle-aged adults and they have osteoporosis, sedentary living and obesity?

One very recent, independent, peer-reviewed study demonstrates a strong link between soda consumption and childhood obesity. One previous industry-supported, unpublished study showed no link. Explanations of the mechanism by which soda may lead to obesity have not yet been proved, though the evidence for them is strong.
Many people have long assumed that soda-- high in calories and sugar, low in nutrients -- can make kids fat.

Tooth Decay
Though the soft drink industry admits that soda contributes to tooth decay, most data suggest it is just one of several contributors, and a less important one in developed countries than elsewhere in the world. In the United States, cavities have decreased while soda consumption has increased.

In fact, a lot of sugary foods, from fruit juices to candy and even raisins and other dried fruit, have what dentists refer to as "cariogenic properties," which is to say they can cause tooth decay.

Caffeine Dependence
The stimulant properties and dependence potential of caffeine in soda are well documented, as are their effects on children. While health advocates argue that childhood use of caffeine can lead to dependence later in life -- and that regular doses of caffeine can have negative effects on brain development -- there is no conclusive science to demonstrate this.

Research on caffeine's effects in children is more limited, but it suggests that kids also experience caffeine dependence and withdrawal. At the University of Minnesota, child psychiatrist Gail Bernstein and her colleagues gave 8- to 12-year-old children the equivalent of two to three cans of Diet Coke daily for 13 days. Then they substituted caffeine-free soft drinks without telling the children and measured withdrawal symptoms.

Diabetes in a can
The picture gets worse when you add sugar to the soft drink. The sugar, dissolved in liquid, is quickly carried to the bloodstream, where its presence in overload quantities signals the pancreas to go into overdrive. The pancreas has no way of knowing if this sugar inrush is a single dose or the front-end of a sustained dose. The assumption in the body's chemical controls is the worst-case scenario. To prevent nerve damage from oxidation, the pancreas pumps out as much insulin as it can. Even so, it may not prevent nerve damage.
But, this heroic effort of the pancreas has a hefty downside. The jolt of insulin causes the body to reduce the testosterone in the bloodstream, and to depress further production of it. In both men and women, testosterone is the hormone that controls the depositing of calcium in the bones. You can raise testosterone through weight-bearing exercise, but if you are chemically depressing it via massive sugar intake (it takes very small quantities of sugar to constitute a massive intake, because refined sugar is not something the human body is equipped to handle), then your body won't add calcium to the bones.

Cancer in a can

  1. You drink soda.
  2. It makes you burp (acid reflux, actually).
  3. The burping carries acid into the esophagus, causing lesions.
  4. The lesions become cancerous.
So, maybe it's not so bad if you sip sodas instead of guzzle them. By the time this issue settles out through double blind studies (rather than statistical analysis only), that is probably what researchers will conclude. It's common sense.
Of course, the soft drink companies have conducted their own flawed studies using flawed methods to obtain the flawed results they want. This way, they can deny that their toxic products also cause esophageal cancer in addition to other diseases their beverages cause. I wonder if these folks have flawed sleep at night, or if they are just psychopathic?
Do a Yahoo or Google search on soft drinks + esophageal cancer, and you'll get several thousand pages of results. Most of the articles say soft drinks "may" cause esophageal cancer. And that's true--in the sense that lying down on a railroad track "may" get you run over by a train or holding a revolver with one bullet in it and pulling the trigger "may" blow your brains out. It's a game of chance. How many chances do you want to take?

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