An Ounce of Prevention

4 minutes reading time (832 words)



Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it.  
Thomas Jefferson

The consumption of soft drinks has become embedded into the lifestyle of most modern societies. Drinking soft drinks may seem an innocent and pleasant habit. The cold liquid, the sweetness, the artificial flavor, the tang of phosphoric acid and the tickle of the carbon dioxide bubbles can all be quite seductive.

According to research done in Sweden and soon to be published in the prestigious American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, men who drank a lot of soft drinks or other drinks with added sugar, had a 40 percent increased risk of prostate cancer.

The study further found that men who drink just one normal-sized soft drink (12fluid ounce) per day increased their risk of getting more dangerous forms of prostate cancer. A research team member Isabel Drake, of Lund University noted that though further research was needed, there are already plenty of reasons for people to cut back on soft-drink consumption.

Hundred of studies on soft drinks have been published that suggest that they are not healthy. If you drink sodas, especially if you drink a lot it may be time to put the bottle or can down and take a hard look at what you're drinking.

Men seem to be at special risk: According to the US National Soft Drink Association (NSDA), soft drink consumption is now over 600 servings (12 oz.) per person per year. Young males age 12-29 are the biggest consumers at over 160 gallons per year - almost 2 quarts per day. Thus 10 percent of the total daily intake of calories for a growing boy or young man will come from soft drinks.


The ingredients in soft drinks look like a witches brew of chemicals:

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HTCS) is now the preferred sweetener (instead of sugar) in soft drinks as it is cheaper and sweeter. The liver must metabolize HTCS fructose and researchers found that animals on high-fructose diets develop liver and metabolic disorders. Many experts believe it to be a major promoter of diabetes. HTCS is associated with poor development of collagen, an important structural protein, in all tissues especially the circulation, the muscles and skeleton.

Aspartame, the main artificial sweetener used in diet sodas, is a potent neurotoxin (nerve poison) and hormonal disrupter. I think it should not be in the human food supply.

Caffeine has the ability to stimulate mental alertness and overcome fatigue but in soft drinks it stimulates the adrenal gland without providing any nourishment to that organ. In large amounts, caffeine can lead to adrenal exhaustion, especially in children. The HFCS and caffeine is soft drinks may well be the major cause of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder in our children.

Phosphoric acid is added to give soft drinks to provide tang and bite. This acid may disturb the delicate calcium/phosphorus balance in the body and is associated with excess calcium loss from the urine and weakening of the bones. In the last three decades much research has been published linking soft drink consumption to a rise in osteoporosis and bone fractures.

With increased soft drink consumption, dentists are noticing a problem in teenagers that used to occur only in the elderly - a total loss of tooth enamel, resulting in yellow teeth. Phosphoric acid in soft drinks is the likely culprit.

Artificial Flavors like Citric acid, another acidifier added to soft drinks may contain traces of the flavor enhancer, MSG, another well-known neurotoxin.

Caramel, a common artificial coloring agent in soft drinks has been linked to causing negative genetic defects and cancer.

Carbon dioxide is a gas added to soft drinks to make them bubbly. This gas is waste product of our metabolism that the body naturally expels each time we breath out. Why should we be taking in something that the body is always trying to get rid of?

Water, potentially the healthiest part of the soft drink may contain high amounts of fluoride, (dissolved from aluminum from the can) and other harmful contaminants.


Researchers found that people who increased their sugary drink consumption by just one 12-ounce serving per day gained more weight over time than people who did not. There is a significant link between sugary drink consumption and weight gain in children.  One research found that for each additional 12-ounce soda children consumed each day, the risk of becoming obese increased by 60%.

People who consume sugary drinks regularly—1 to 2 cans a day or more—have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who rarely have such drinks.  Risks are even greater in young adults.

Another study that found that people who averaged one can of sugary beverage per day had a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack than those who rarely consumed sugary drinks.

Soft drinks can indeed deliver a hard knock!

SUGAR – A Sweet Poison

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