The health effects of drinking soda - quotes from the experts
This is a compilation of quotes about the destructive health effects of soft drinks from some of the leading authors on health, nutrition and junk food. This full list, and much more information, is included in The Five Soft Drink Monsters downloadable ebook.
"The allergenicity of penicillin in the general population is thought to be at least ten percent. Nearly 25 percent of these individuals will display hives, angioedema, or anaphylaxis upon ingestion of penicillin…. hives and anaphylactic symptoms have been traced to penicillin in milk, soft drinks, and frozen dinners."
"Many general dietary factors have been suggested as a cause of osteoporosis, including: low calcium-high phosphorus intake, high-protein diet, high-acid-ash diet, high salt intake, and trace mineral deficiencies. It appears that increased soft drink consumption is a major factor that contributes to osteoporosis. A deficiency of vitamin K leads to impaired mineralization of bone. Boron deficiency may contribute greatly to osteoporosis as well as to menopausal symptoms."
"Soft drinks have long been suspected of leading to lower calcium levels and higher phosphate levels in the blood. When phosphate levels are high and calcium levels are low, calcium is pulled out of the bones. The phosphate content of soft drinks like Coca -Cola and Pepsi is very high, and they contain virtually no calcium."
"The United States ranks first among countries in soft drink consumption. The per-capita consumption of soft drinks is in excess of 150 quarts per year, or about three quarts per week."
"Soft drink consumption in children poses a significant risk factor for impaired calcification of growing bones."
"Of the fifty-seven children who had low blood calcium levels, thirty-eight (66.7 percent) drank more than four bottles (12 to 16 ounces per bottle) of soft drinks per week, but only forty-eight (28 percent) of the 171 children with normal serum calcium levels consumed as much soft drink … These results more than support the contention that soft drink consumption leads to lower calcium levels in children. This situation that ultimately leads to poor bone mineralization, which explains the greater risk of broken bones in children who consume soft drinks."
"Soft drink consumption may be a major factor for osteoporosis as they are high in phosphates but contain virtually no calcium. This leads to lower calcium levels and higher phosphate levels in the blood. The United States ranks first among countries for soft drink consumption with a per capita consumption of approximately 15 ounces a day."
James A Howenstine M.D.
"Soft drinks also contain large quantities of phosphorus, which when excreted pulls calcium out of the bones. Heavy users of soft drinks will have osteoporosis along with their damaged arteries."
James Duke PhD
"And watch out for cola soft drinks, which are very high in bone-dissolving phosphorus."
"Soft drinks are the single greatest source of caffeine in children's diets; 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."
"Soft drinks have replaced milk in the diets of many American children as well as adults. School purchases reflect such trends. From 1985 to 1997, school districts decreased the amounts of milk they bought by nearly 30% and increased their purchases of carbonated sodas."
"Adolescents who consume soft drinks display a risk of bone fractures three to four-fold higher than those who do not."
"Sugar and acid in soft drinks so easily dissolve tooth enamel."
"Americans drink 13.15 billion gallons of carbonated drinks every year."
"I was amazed to learn," he testified, "that the beverage contained substantial amounts of phosphoric acid. . . . At the Naval Medical Research Institute, we put human teeth in a cola beverage and found they softened and started to dissolve within a short period… The acidity of cola beverages... is about the same as vinegar. The sugar content masks the acidity, and children little realize they are drinking this strange mixture of phosphoric acid, sugar, caffeine, coloring, and flavoring matter."
"One liter of an aspartame-sweetened beverage can produce about fifty-six milligrams of methanol. When several of these beverages are consumed in a short period of time (one day, perhaps), as much as two hundred fifty milligrams of methanol are dumped into the bloodstream, or thirty-two times the EPA limit."
"What may happen, in the face of day-to-day, continuously high levels of sodium in the diet and the bloodstream, is that we experience a type of acute hypernatremia—not enough to kill us or cause the myelin sheath to lose its integrity, but enough to keep our sodium potassium pump slightly dysregulated and throw off the electrical system of the brain…. Americans drink soft drinks that are often loaded with more sodium and which further unbalance the mineral stores."
"A joint study by Harvard University and Boston Children's Hospital researchers in February 2001 concluded that such excess liquid calories inhibited the ability of older children to compensate at mealtime, leading to caloric imbalance and, in time, obesity."
"One extra soft drink a day gave a child a 60 percent greater chance of becoming obese. One could even link specific amounts of soda to specific amounts of weight gain. Each daily drink added .18 points to a child's body mass index (BMI). This, the researchers noted, was regardless of what else they ate or how much they exercised. "Consumption of sugar [high fructose corn syrup]-sweetened drinks," they concluded, "is associated with obesity in children."
Samuel S. Epstein MD
"Saccharin is a 100-year-old non-nutritive, non-caloric sweetening agent… its use has exploded over the last twenty years as a staple of the diet food and drink craze. Its major current consumption is in diet pop by teenagers, and not by diabetics and the obese. The public now firmly believes that foods containing saccharin are effective in weight control, and has been persuaded by the soft drink industry (through the Calorie Control Council) that these benefits outweigh any possible health risks."
"More than a dozen animal tests over the last thirty years have demonstrated the carcinogenic effects of saccharin in the bladder and other sites, particularly female reproductive organs, and in some instances at doses as low as the equivalent of one to two bottles of diet pop daily."
"The public board of inquiry concluded that experimental data "’…do not rule out an oncogenic effect of aspartame, and that, to the contrary, they appear to suggest the possibility that aspartame, at least when administered in the 'huge' quantities employed in the studies, may contribute to the development of brain tumors.’" Until these controversial findings on brain cancer in experimental animals have been resolved, use this product sparingly, if at all."
"PET bottling and packaging: Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is used extensively in soft drink containers. PET bottles can release small amounts of dimethyl terephthalate into foods and beverages. Although the National Cancer Institute claims that dimethyl terephthalate is noncarcinogenic, these results have been questioned. Some experts believe this compound to be carcinogenic."
Neal Barnard MD
"Another advantage of avoiding sodas is that you will avoid the caffeine that is in many of them. Caffeine is a weak diuretic that causes calcium loss via the kidneys."
Dr. Earl Mindell
"Recent research has linked soft drinks with childhood obesity— and an estimated 200 school districts nationwide have contracts with soft drink companies that give them exclusive rights to sell their products in schools."
"Saccharin is a noncaloric petroleum derivative estimated to be three hundred to five hundred times sweeter than sugar… It's used in diet soft drinks… Studies done in the 1970s linked saccharin ingestion to bladder cancer in laboratory animals"
"Children who drink large quantities of diet sodas containing aspartame are particularly vulnerable to its dangerous side effects."
"Aspartame contains methyl or wood alcohol, which can affect fetal brain development."
"Twenty-one percent of the sugar in the American diet comes from soft drinks! That's more than just an unhealthy consumption of empty calories. It is a dangerous overload of caffeine and potentially hazardous, nutrient-depleting additives."
"Soft drinks contain large amounts of phosphorus, which can throw off the body's calcium/phosphorus ratio (twice as much calcium as phosphorus), decreasing calcium as well as reducing your body's ability to use it."
"For anyone over age 40, soft drinks can be especially hazardous because the kidneys are less able to excrete excess phosphorus, causing depletion of vital calcium."
"Heavy soft drink consumption can interfere with your body's metabolization of iron and diminish nerve impulse transmission."
"Cola drinks can interact adversely with antacids, possibly causing constipation, calcium loss, hypertension, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and kidney damage."
"Soft drinks can decrease the antibacterial action of penicillin and ampicillin."
"Diet sodas that are low in calories are high in sodium. Too much salt in the diet may cause more calcium to be excreted in the urine and increase the risk of osteoporosis."
"Excessive consumption of soft drinks, which are high in phosphorus, can also deplete you of calcium and increase your chances of osteoporosis."
"Tests at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine by Roland R. Griffiths, MD, show caffeine withdrawal can strike people who drink a single cup of strongly brewed coffee or drink caffeinated soft drinks everyday. Further, Dr. Griffiths discovered that caffeine-withdrawal symptoms include not only headache, but also fatigue, mild depression, muscle pain and stiffness, flu-like feelings, nausea and vomiting."
"Those consuming at least one cup of a caffeine-containing beverage per day, such as coffee, tea or soft drinks, were more prone to PMS. And the more caffeine they consumed, the more severe their PMS symptoms."
Elson M Haas MD
"Phosphorus is found in most foods but soda pops, diet pops… contain especially high amounts. The ideal dietary phosphorus-calcium ratio is about 1:1. The ratio in the average American diet is often greater than 2:1 and sometimes even 4:1 or 5:1. At those levels, excess calcium is removed from bone and eliminated, blood levels are reduced, and there is bone demineralization. A diet high in phosphorus and low in calcium has been shown to cause bone loss and increase tissue calcification."
"Tooth loss, periodontal disease, and gingivitis can be problems, especially with a high phosphorus intake, particularly from soft drinks. All kinds of bone problems can occur with prolonged calcium deficiency, which causes a decrease in bone mass. Rickets in children, osteomalacia (decreased bone calcium) in adults, and osteoporosis (porous and fragile bones) can occur when calcium is withdrawn from bones faster than it is deposited. Fractures are more common with osteoporosis—almost eight million yearly in the United States are related to this prevalent nutritional deficiency disease"
"High dietary phosphorus, as is found in a diet with meats, soft drinks, and other convenience foods, can readily affect calcium metabolism. Potential calcium deficiency symptoms may be more likely when the phosphorus intake is very high. A low calcium-to-phosphorus ratio in the diet increases the incidence of hypertension and the risk of colon-rectal cancer."
Barnet Meltzer MD
"But soft drinks are far from soft. High in phosphorous and phosphoric acid, they infiltrate bodily fluids and corrode stomach linings, upset the alkaline-acid balance of the kidneys, and eat away at your liver like Hannibal Lecter. Soft drinks also contain hidden caffeine, refined sugar, and artificial chemicals."
Ralph T Golan ND
"Avoid processed foods and cola soft drinks; their phosphates can also cause calcium loss and excretion."
Dr. Gary Null
"A study on the relationship between caffeine and fertility found that… just one caffeinated soft drink per day was associated with a reduced monthly chance of conception of 50 percent."
"It should be noted here that soft drinks are the number one source of phosphorus in the American diet today… According to Dr. Steenblock, excess phosphorus is one of the major contributing factors to the development of osteoarthritis."
James A May
"Absorption in primates is hastened considerably if the methanol is ingested as free methanol as it occurs in soft drinks after the decomposition of aspartame during storage or in other foods after being heated. Regardless of whether the aspartame-derived methanol exists in food in its free form or still esterified to phenylalanine, 10 percent of the weight of aspartame intake of an individual will be absorbed by the bloodstream as methanol within hours after consumption."
Marcia Zimmerman CN
"Sodium benzoate Sodium benzoate is used as a preservative (microbial control) in foods, including soft drinks, fruit juices, margarine, confections, pickles, and jams. Sodium preservatives add sodium to the diet and reduce the availability of potassium. Some reported reactions to sodium benzoate include recurring urticaria (rash), asthma, and eczema."
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