Soda – a Witches’ Brew
Let’s see what generic carbonated soda is made of. The most common brands of soda include these ingredients:
- Carbonated water
- Sugar (high-fructose corn syrup)
- Aspartame (in diet soda)
- Phosphoric acid
- Potassium citrate
- Natural or artificial flavours
- Citric acid
A 355ml can of pop contains 39g of sugar – 8 teaspoons (!!!). The over-consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks is associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, dental caries, cardiovascular risk factors, elevated blood pressure, low nutrient levels, hypokalemia (low potassium levels), and according to the American Heart Association, sugar-sweetened beverages may be responsible for 180,000 deaths every year worldwide.
Then, what types of sugar it has. The sweetener may be sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice, sugar substitutes (in the case of diet drinks), or some combination of these.
High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) that may be hidden under different names such as glucose-fructose, isoglucose and glucose-fructose syrup in the ingredient list on a can. It is made from corn starch that has been processed by glucose isomerase to convert some of its glucose into fructose. HFCS is less expensive and easier to handle. But there is always a “but”.
Genetically modified maize (corn) strains are now in wide use in multiple countries. GM maize has not passed the test of time and raised great concern with respect to health effects, impact on other insects and impact on other plants via gene flow. Although it’s not completely clear how it affects human health, but it’s a proven fact that when in the late 1970s HFCS became a sucrose replacement for honey bees in the United States, bees started dying. Since then HFCS has been investigated as a possible source of bee colony collapse disorder.
It has been known for years that cancer seems to have a sweet tooth. Back in 1931, the Nobel laureate in medicine, German Otto Warburg, first discovered that tumors and cancers both use sugars to “feed” themselves and/or to increase in size. In order to proliferate, cancer cells seem to prefer feeding on fructose-rich sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS); the reason is that HFCS is being metabolized by cancer cells most quickly and easily. Obviously, high-fructose corn syrup is considered the main culprit.
Aspartame, an artificial sweetener used in diet sodas. Although some health authorities from different countries concluded that aspartame and its breakdown products are safe for human consumption at current levels of exposure, there are lots of rumors and semi-scientific studies suggesting that aspartame can cause cancer and is probably the key ingredient associated with addiction.
Phosphoric acid, added to give soft drinks “bite”, flavour and maintain freshness, is associated with calcium loss. The recommended daily intake of phosphorus needed for normal bodily function is 700mg. You can easily get it from natural food sources such as meat, beans, eggs, chicken, and fish. Your body needs phosphorus, but additional phosphoric acid from soda is much more than necessary and it can completely destroy phosphorus-calcium balance increasing risk of osteoporosis and heart disease.
Caffeine stimulates the adrenal gland without providing nourishment. In large amounts, caffeine can lead to adrenal exhaustion, especially in children.
Citric acid: Over ingestion may cause abdominal pain and sore throat. Long-term or repeated consumption may cause erosion of tooth enamel.
Although sodas are not a direct cause of ulcers, they are known to irritate and make those with ulcers have more pain. Sodas also contain artificial colorants and food chemicals like derivative 4-methylimidazole (4-MI); no wonder soda pop has been shown to cause many health problems.
Bottom line, ingredients of carbonated soda create a witches’ brew – a toxic cocktail of chemicals that cause changes in basic metabolism, brain chemistry, and cellular communication.