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The average American drinks more than 600 sodas a year – the most in the world.
Soft drinks have subversive and destructive physiological consequences that contribute to early aging. In the 1500’s, the Spanish colonists noted how the Indians of South America were able to allay fatigue by chewing the leaves of the coca shrub. However, that observation lay dormant for three centuries, as the science of organic chemistry developed. By 1860, in Germany, the first pure crystals of cocaine were extracted from coca. In small quantities, it was then used as a stimulant in beverages. By the 1880’s, in Paris, a druggist named Angelo Mariani created an immensely popular cocaine-laced wine (vin Mariani). It contained about 30 mg. of cocaine in five ounces.
Pope Leo XIII gave a gold metal to Mariani for being a benefactor of humanity. Thomas Edison praised the beverage. In the late 1880’s, in Atlanta, a new non-alcoholic drink was born to quench thirsts and provide pep during steamy summers. Coca Cola contained cocaine from the coca plant and lots of caffeine from the kola bean. Other ingredients were lots of sugar, caramel coloring, lime juice, citric acid, phosphoric acid, nutmeg, coriander, neroli (orange flavoring), and cinnamon. The new beverage was sold as a syrup that would be mixed with cold soda water at local drugstores (with a scoop of vanilla ice creamafter refrigerators came on the scene in the 1930’s)it became a coke float.
In 1906, the Pure Food and Drug Act was passed, and the official in charge of its enforcement set out to prove that the ‘Coca Cola habit’ was harmful to health. By 1922, that official claimed in Good Housekeeping magazine that a child who drank three or four cokes (6 oz.) a day would probably ruin his health for life. Today, we know why that’s true:
1. In many states (in the USA) the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the truck to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.
2. You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of coke and it will be gone in two days.
3. To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl and .......Let the "real thing" sit for one hour, then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.
4. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a crumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.
5. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion.
6. To loosen a rusted bolt: Applying a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.
7. To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan, wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake. 30 minutes before the ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for a sumptuous brown gravy.
8. To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, And run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your windshield.
9. The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in about 4 days.
10. To carry Coca-Cola syrup (the concentrate) the commercial truck must use the Hazardous material place cards reserved for Highly corrosive materials.
11. The distributors of coke have been using it to clean the engines of their trucks for about 20 years!
The soft drink usually contains the following components: phosphoric acid, caffeine, sugar or aspartame or saccharin, caramel coloring, carbon dioxide, and aluminum. Ingesting a soft drink does not cause any immediate warning such as stomach cramps, vomiting, or diarrhea that would normally occur when a poison enters the body. Instead, there is the energizing feeling of caffeine, the sweet taste of sugar combined with the sour taste of phosphoric acid, and the playful feeling of the carbon dioxide bubbles. Those ingredients cause imbalances in the body systems that result in debilitating diseases that show up after many, many years of abuse. Those diseases have now become commonly thought of as normal aging with no directly attributable causes.
This is used because phosphoric acid creates an acid medium that enhances the absorption of carbon dioxide (which is also forms carbonic acid in water), thus reducing the pressure required and allowing the mixture to be bottled with a metal cap. The carbon dioxide bubbles are released more slowly, particularly if the mixture is chilled. The sour taste of the phosphoric acid is complemented by adding lots of sugar.
The body maintains a concentration of phosphorus (P) times calcium (Ca) to equal potassium (P x Ca = K) in the bloodstream to provide the right combination for building new bones and remodeling old ones. The shock of incoming phosphorus with zero calcium in a soft drink causes ionized Ca in the blood to decline, along with an excretion of Ca in the urine. The drop in blood Ca causes another body system to dissolve Ca from the bones (taken from the teeth, spine and pelvic bones) to make up the imbalance caused by the Ca lost in the blood. This process, continued over time, results in the weakened bone structure (osteoporosis) associated with old people. The body dissolves more Ca from the bones than is needed in anticipation of more phosphoric acid shocks. The excess of Ca is eliminated in life-sustaining order by (1) excretion in the urine, (2) deposition in joints (oteoarthritis, bursitis, gout, bone spurs, and bunions), (3) accretion into stones (kidney stones, etc.), and (4) deposition in arteries (calcified plaque).
Phosphoric acid is the same stuff that cleans deposited materials in your showerit is a strong chemicala tooth will dissolve in it. Phosphoric acid, like coffee, causes the body to use its alkaline minerals (sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium) to neutralize the acid. The body loses valuable minerals because the neutral compounds (salts) are excreted in the urine. Sodium depletion causes bile to become acidic and form mucoid plaque on the intestines, which causes colitis and other serious bowel diseases. Potassium and magnesium depletion can contribute to the development of heart disease. Phosphoric acid is physiologically a strong acid that causes the body to reduce secretion of hydrochloric acid (HCl) that is used for digestion of protein and fats and the absorption of minerals. Inadequate digestion results in bloating and flatulence. Poor absorption of dietary iron can result in anemia, and poor calcium absorption, accelerating the trend of osteoporosis. Another not-so-obvious harmful effect of low stomach acidity is the overgrowth of harmful bacteria, yeasts and parasites in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that had been held in check by adequate HCl. These creatures can break down the protective mucosal lining, penetrate into the bloodstream, lodge in organs and cause the formation of carcinogens that provoke cancer.
This chemical is an addictive drug that has the ability to stimulate mental alertness, overcome fatigue, and enhance endurance. But, at a price. Caffeine acts by blocking adenosine (neurotransmitter) receptor sites in the central nervous system. Adenosine has a generally depressant action in the brain, heart, and kidneys. The resultant stimulation is a accompanied by constriction of the cerebral arteries, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, and excessive excretion of urine. Caffeine causes the release of adrenaline and an accompanying upshot in blood sugar to meet the need for emergency energy. The pancreas also reacts by secreting insulin to keep the blood sugar level stable. Insulin drives blood sugar levels down by forcing it into cells for oxidation and energy production. Excess sugar is stored as fat. This unbalanced cycling process puts undue stress on the adrenal glands and the pancreas, which are weakened after so much use. Adrenal exhaustion and the accompanying deficiency of cortisol allow arachidonic acid to be released to form prostaglandin-2 and leukotrienes which mediate arthritis. Regular users who are deprived of daily caffeine are subject to mental sluggishness, inability to think clearly, depression, and a dull, generalized headache. All these symptoms are promptly eliminated by caffeine. Even moderate users must have their daily fix and cannot give up their harmful habit.
Caffeine addiction is difficult to break because the penalty to health is not immediately recognized, and, therefore, it is easy to deny. At excessive doses, caffeine will cause aggression, recklessness, shouting, and swearing (road rage). Caffeine given to rats in large dosages will cause them to physically attack one another and fight until death. If given to a lone rat, it will die of frenetic self-mutilation. The addiction of caffeine and sugar and powerful advertising make the soft drink a superior method for the delivery of ingredients that taste great, but are unsuspectingly destructive to health.
A 12-ounce can of soda contains about 33 grams (11 teaspoons) of sugar. An 8-ounce can of Pepsi has over 10 teaspoons of sugar. It is difficult to think that something so common, and that tastes so good, can be so harmful to health. The ingestion of sugar (or a high simple carbohydrate diet) actually increases urinary excretion of calcium, magnesium, chromium, copper, zinc, and sodium by impairing reabsorption in the kidneys. The loss of calcium in the blood activates the parathyroid hormone (PTH), which causes the release of calcium from the bonesmore sugar starts the cycling that is at the root of osteoporosis, arthritis, bursitis, and gout. Sugar causes blood sugar levels to soarinsulin, secreted from the pancreas, shoots up to drive the sugar downand rapid, unbalanced cycling ensues that eventually wears out the pancreas and makes the cells resistant to insulinresulting in a disease called diabetes. It’s no accident that it occurs in the declining years, after having inflicted so much continual damage. Sugar causes the clumping of red blood cells (as seen in live blood analyses). This impedes the flow and effectiveness of delivering oxygen to the cells and removing carbon dioxide from the cells. The result is a detrimental buildup of wastes in the body that accelerates aging.
Sugar impairs immune function by competing with Vitamin C for transport into white blood cells. In turn, that reduces the ability of white blood cells to engulf and destroy invading bacteria, which leads to chronic infections. Sugar supports the growth of harmful bacteria and yeast in the GI tract which lead to not only painful and itchy infections, but, also, to infestations in the blood and body organs. In the United States, about 50% of all carbohydrates eaten are sugar. The average adult eats 150 pounds of sugar each year. A teenager eats 300 lbs./yr.and the trend is rising rapidly. Food manufacturers are currently deceiving the public by taking fat out of foods and adding sugar to enhance taste. It is then deceptively advertised as “fat free” to attract people who want to lose weight, but do not know that the body will convert excess sugar to fat anyway (it is estimated that 50% of Americans are overweight).
Aspartame is a sweetener that has found its way into almost everything to replace sugar. When aspartame is digested it breaks down into three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. Aspartic acid is an excitotoxin that causes serious chronic neurological disordersit can overstimulate neurons to such an extent that sensitive neurons are slowly destroyed before any obvious behavior symptoms are noticed. Phenylalanine can decrease serotonin (a brain neurotransmitter related to emotion and sleep). Low serotonin can lead to emotional disorders, depression, and poor quality sleep. Methanol is a poison that is metabolized by the liver into formaldehyde (a deadly neurotoxin, carcinogen, mutagen, and teratogen [birth defects] and formic acid (the active chemical in bee and ant stings). Methanol is a cumulative poison whose symptoms include headaches, tinnitus, shooting pains, memory lapses, numbness, and nerve inflammation. The most prominent symptoms are blurred vision, retinal damage, and blindness. Saccharin is a sweetener that is also a carcinogen (causes cancer) in animals. In 1978, the National Academy of Sciences concluded that saccharin is a potential cancer-causing agent in humans, and that it promotes the carcinogenic effects of other agents. The Food and Drug Administration’s position is that saccharin should not be used in food, but it is used as a table sweetener! Caramel coloring is obtained by heating sugar until a brown color and characteristic flavor develops. Caramel coloring has negative genetic effects and is a cancer-causing agent.
Carbon dioxide is probably the least obnoxious thing in a soft drink. It is a waste product of metabolism that is exhaled. So, why should we ingest something that the body is trying to eliminate? When it was found that phosphoric acid eats-away enough aluminum from the container to be harmful, the problem was ‘solved’ by plastic-coating (Teflon) on the interior of the aluminum can. However, phosphoric acid still leaches toxic amounts of aluminum into the soft drink despite the plastic coating. Aluminum is deposited in the brain and bone tissue. Aluminum results in the formation of neurofibrillary tangles in brain tissuethe same type of lesion seen on the brains of individuals who suffer from alzheimer’s disease. Aluminum exposure increases the amount of bone break-down, while, at the same time, reducing new bone formation. Aluminum causes excessive loss of calcium in the urine. The resulting osteoporosis can be accompanied by severe bone pain. The most common source of aluminum ingestion is antacids and processed cheese.
Study in Journal of the American Dietetic Association looks at trends in what kids drink and why.
CHICAGO - Flavored, carbonated drinks have been around for about two hundred years. And their popularity continues to grow--overtaking more nutritious beverages among some age groups, especially children and adolescents.
Researchers from the University of Minnesota surveyed 560 children ages 8 to 13 years old on how often they drank soft drinks and the factors that influence soft drink consumption.
* Parental soft drink intake has a stronger influence than children's peers. Parents who consume soft drinks on a regular basis may relax soft drink consumption rules and restrictions for their kids.
* Approximately 30 percent of children reported drinking soft drinks daily and 85 percent reported they usually drink regular, not diet soft drinks. Soft drink consumption was higher among boys compared with girls and intake increased with age.
* Ninety-six percent of respondents said that they liked or strongly like the taste of soft drinks. Those children who reported that they "strongly liked" the taste of soft drinks were 4.5 times more likely to drink soft drinks five or more times per week.
* The odds of drinking soft drinks almost daily was twice as likely for those who watched television 3.5 hours or more a day than those who watched less television.
* The availability of soft drinks at home and the availability of soft drink vending machines in school were both strongly associated with children's soft drink consumption.
The researchers say additional research is needed to verify these findings in a larger representative sample of children.
"Research has shown that parents are primary role models for kids and that includes their eating habits, too," said registered dietitian and ADA Spokesperson Althea Zanecosky. "Parents need to be aware of what their kids are consuming and encourage foods and beverages that are packed with nutrients. As your best guideline, be sure soft drinks are not crowding out water and other nutritious beverages like unsweetened fruit juices."