Sure you want that Soda?

Besides a number of environmental problems we must be concerned with everyday, pollutants and harmful chemicals are closer to us than we think. Our laundry detergents, eye makeup, shampoos are more dangerous for our health than we think. But, how about the things we directly ingest, like soda?

In addition to causing sugar rushes, obesity, diabetes, and heart attacks, Coca Cola has been reported to contain carcinogens, which is why the FDA has recently decided to take action. The carcinogens were found in the caramel coloring, 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole. This coloring is also only has cosmetic value.

What else is there to worry about? When you taste the tangy flavor in coke, be aware. This taste is created by the phosphates or phosphoric acid, which in large amounts, cause heart and kidney problems, muscle loss and osteoporosis and even accelerated aging. Test animals have been reported to die five weeks earlier than normal rats as a result of excess phosphate levels.

If Mountain Dew is your favorite drink, don’t expect to be off the hook either. Scientists found brominated vegetable oil in the drink which prevents flavoring from separating from the soda. BVO is used as a flame retardant in plastics. It can cause cavities, an increase in  body fat, leads, infertility, heart muscle lesions, and mental problems.

The problems are not only associated with the sodas, but with the cans. Aluminum can lining contains substances which are linked to hormone changes, obesity, and infertility. For example, bisphenol A (BPA) prevents the soda acid from reacting with the can metal. Currently, it is said that Coca Cola and Pepsi are battling it out to see which company can create the first BPA-free can, however, neither company has made any initiative to actually switch to BPA-free cans.

Don’t try to escape these chemicals by drinking diet sodas. They have their issues too. Consuming too much aspartarme, an artifical sweetner found in diet sodas, Splenda, and select chewing gums, is like buying poison. When aspartarme reaches 86 degress, its wood alcohol becomes formaldehyde, and then formic acid. This leads to metabolic acidosis, which causes blindness, spasms, numbness, vertigo, fatigue, cramps, joint pain, slurred speech, depression, memory loss, headaches, and dizziness. Metabolic acidosis could be compared to symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

So perhaps next time you decide to order a drink at a restaurant, order the water or the juice, not the soda.

By Halina Rachelson

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