Vitamin Department

Killing Us Softly…

What substance do you think the following paragraph describes?
It removes rust spots from chrome car bumpers; cleans corrosion from car battery terminals; removes grease from clothes (just put some in your washer and run through a cycle).  It’s great to clean a stained toilet: put some in and let it sit for one hour, then flush clean.  It has a pH of 3.4, which is very acidic.  (Car battery acid is around 2.0.  The pH of human blood is normally 7.4 and if the pH of our blood drops below 7.2, you die.)  It will dissolve a tooth or human bone: put a tooth in this stuff and in ten days it will be gone! It will also dissolve a common metal nail and loosen a rusted bolt in minutes, because it is extremely corrosive.

Did you guess a household cleaner, disinfectant or maybe even an industrial chemical? Sorry.  The substance I’m referring to is the all-American cold drink.  That’s right.  Soda pop.

The average consumption of soft drinks per person per year in 1942 was just sixty 12-oz. cans.  Now, children drink over 900 cans a year.  The biggest consumers are 12-19 year old males.

One reason for the increase in consumption, aside from the ubiquitous advertising, is that the size of the bottles and cans have grown in size from 6-1/2 ounces to 12 ounces to the present 20 ounce bottle today.

Many soft drinks now contain artificial sweeteners to cut down on calories from sugar.  Two of the main ones used are saccharin and aspartame. Both have been linked to urinary bladder cancer.  Acesulfame-K, another artificial sweetener approved in 1998 is considered suspect by some cancer experts.  Now Splenda, an artificial sweetener used in many sodas has been linked to liver and kidney problems, thymus gland shrinkage and reduced growth rates.

Soft drinks now account for over 25% of sugar consumption and sugar is an empty calorie food. All you get when you drink a can of soda is calories (and caffeine, artificial flavoring and acid), which can be used for energy or stored as fat. Caffeine has a diuretic action which robs the body of minerals.

Several additives used in soft drinks can cause occasional allergic reactions. Yellow  No. 5 dye causes runny noses, hives and asthma, as well as lymphoma, thyroid tumors and chromosomal damage. Cochineal, a red coloring agent, can cause life-threatening allergic reactions and other dyes can cause hyperactivity in sensitive children.

Soft drinks are now connected to a host of health problems such as diabetes, obesity and other blood sugar disorders; heart disease; osteoporosis and bone fractures; nutritional deficiencies; eating disorders and food addictions; neurotransmitter dysfunction and neurological and adrenal disorders.


Source: Excerpts from “Everlasting Health” by Robert Bernardini, M.S.