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Soft Drinks: Poison In A Can

This poison goes by many brand names, such as Coca Cola and Pepsi. 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.

The carbonation in all soft drinks causes calcium loss in the bones through a three-stage process:

  1. 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.
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

In the spring of 2005, research showed a strong correlation between esophageal cancer and the drinking of carbonated beverages. Without providing extensive detail, the mechanism works as follows:

  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 likely what researchers will conclude.

Of course, the softdrink 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.

Esophageal cancer was very rare two generations ago--now, it's common. The basic mechanism works as follows:

  1. Mechanical damage to cells is a huge risk factor for cancer. It's why asbestos particles, for example, cause lung cancer.
     
  2. Soft drinks cause acid reflux (stomach acid rising up past the esophageal valve). This is more pronounced when the body is horizontal (as in sleeping), but the sheer volume of soft drinks consumed in the USA means the acid reflux is well past the danger point. Any time you ingest a gassy drink, you are going to get belching--and acid into the esophagus. How much is too much? The research doesn't say where the limit is--it only shows that most of us are far, far, far past it.
     
  3. Stomach acid dissolves tissue--that's its purpose. The stomach lining does not extend into the esophagus, so the lower esophagus gets damaged by acid far more frequently in soft drink users than in non soft drink users. This results in a radical increase in cell mutations, along with a far higher level of free radicals.


Reference Source 146
May 26, 2006

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