Soda – Why not?

It all depends on who is paying for the study.  Overall, studies financed entirely by industry were four to eight times more likely to be favorable to their sponsors.  Biases show up everywhere, including here.  Use your common sense (and your body) to tell you what you need to know.

Read the label!  You decide!


Carbonated water: shows greater tooth enamel dissolution potential and has been associated with increased bone fracture risk in observational studies

High fructose corn syrup: cheaper form of sweetener that doesn’t spike blood sugar nor does it signal the body that it’s been fed, so we tend to eat more and the body stores it as  fat; may cause gastrointestinal distress, elevated triglycerides; large amounts has caused tumors in mice

Caramel color: may be processed with caustic chemicals, sulfites or ammonia; on FDA list to be tested for teratogenic (biological deformities), mutagenic and reproductive effects; suspected carcinogen; may cause inflammation of the tongue, scalp lesions, dandruff, hair loss

Phosphoric acid: interferes with the body’s ability to absorb and maintain calcium levels, leading to a general softening of the teeth and bones.  A nail left in a glass of cola dissolves away; excess consumption can cause kidney damage and osteoporosis

Natural flavors: May be chemically extracted and processed and in combination with other food additives not required to be listed on the label; may contain free glutamates (may cause brain damage, especially in children, a mutagen; may cause headaches, itching, nausea, brain, nervous system, reproeductive disorders, high blood pressure, allergic reactions common, may be hidden in foods such as infant formula, baby food, low fat and no-fat milk, live virus vacines, paryed on growing fruits and vetgetables as a growth enhancer, proposed for use on organic crops)

Caffeine: psychoactive, addictive drug; may cause headaches, irritability, fertility problems, increases risk of miscarriage, birth defects, heart disease, depression, nervousness, behavior change, insomnia, can cause jitters, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and depletes vitamins and minerals.

From Food Additives: A Shopper’s Guide to What’s Safe and What’s Not by Christine Hoza Farlow, D.C.

Warning! Yet another reason not to drink sodas. The Food and Drug Adminstration has known since 1990-91 that sodium benzoate, a preservative used in sodas, may break down to form benzene in drinks also containing either ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or citric acid which is added to soda. It is considered completely separate from other outbreaks of benzene contamination due to faulty packaging in the 1990s.

America's soft drinks industry and food safety officials had known this for 15 years, internal memos show, although levels found were not considered a risk to consumers' health, even though it is at higher levels than Europe allows in its drinking waters. Glen Lawrence, one chemist who conducted benzene testing for the FDA back in 1990-1991 and co-author of the 1993 journal article, has also confirmed to that sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid do react to form benzene in soft drinks.

His study showed that ascorbic acid initially reacted with metals, such as iron or copper, found in the water to create 'free radical' particles known as hydroxyl radicals. Sodium benzoate, meanwhile, breaks down into benzoic acid when placed in acidic conditions, such as in a soft drink. The hydroxyl radical attacks the benzoic acid, removing the carbon dioxide from it and leaving benzene in its wake. Lawrence's study said this reaction could take place "under conditions prevalent in many foods and beverages".

Lawrence said: "There is no good reason to add ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to soft drinks, and those that may have ascorbic acid naturally in them (juices) should not use sodium benzoate as a preservative. So it is really very easy to avoid the problem."

Sodium benzoate, also known as E211, is used as a preservative by a range of food and drink producers. Its main advantage is its effectiveness at killing off bacteria under the acidic conditions of most beverages. Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, is found naturally in fruit and vegetables but is also added as an antioxidant in food and drink production to help prevent spoilage and extend shelf-life.

Would diet sodas be better?

The artificial sweetener aspartame is a chemical compound (phenylalanine and aspartic acid) created from PETROCHEMICALS.  NutraSweet, a brand name of aspartame, is unstable in the human body – it breaks down above 85oF into its constituent amino acids AND into methanol, which can break down into formaldehyde, a highly toxic and known carcinogen.

Complaints regarding aspartame make up 80 to 85% of food complaints registered with the FDA.  Aspartame intoxication symptoms can manifest as insomnia, nausea, headaches, blurred vision, seizures, rashes, anxiety attacks, and mood changes, loss of energy, muscle and joint pain, hearing loss, loss of limb control, menstrual cramps, and heart attack-like symptoms.  Artificial sweeteners have actually been found inside of brain tumors that have been removed and examined by scientists.


Did you know that between 80 and 90 percent of adults and children in North America consume caffeine daily? Coffee is the number one beverage choice for adults to get their caffeine fix and soft drinks are the largest source of caffeine for children. Caffeine intake is linked to anxiety as well as depression because of the significant alteration of brain chemistry. To negate the effects of caffeine, the body has to find 2-3 cups of water just to remove the caffeine, a dangerous proposition for a chronically dehydrated population. Read on to learn more about the startling effects of caffeine on the body and brain.

1. The caffeine in green tea (or coffee or any other caffeine-containing beverage), for instance, is theoretically poisonous. It could be fatal if you drank a dose of 50 liters (approximately 12 gallons) of green tea, which contains 10 grams of Caffeine. Green tea is considered nontoxic because it is impossible for anyone to drink 12 gallons of the beverage in a single sitting.

- Phyllis A. Balch, CNC, Prescription for Herbal Healing: An Easy-to-Use A-Z Reference to Hundreds of Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies

2. But some people are so sensitive to the effects of caffeine that they should stay away from coffee, tea, and caffeinated soft drinks at any time in the afternoon. And don't assume that decaffeinated coffee is the solution to your insomnia problems. If heartburn is contributing to your nighttime sleep woes, the culprit could be decaf coffee, which can trigger acid reflux that may wake you up.

- Joe Graedon, M.S. and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D., Best Choices From the People's Pharmacy

3. A study has revealed that among coffee drinkers, slow caffeine metabolizers seem to be at substantially higher risk of heart attack than fast metabolizers. The more coffee the slow metabolizers drank, the greater their danger. Since these variations have not been taken into account in prior studies, they may be the reason for the inconsistent findings about coffee and blood pressure. It is not possible to easily tell whether you are a rapid or slow caffeine metabolizer, so we encourage people with hypertension to err on the side of moderate caffeine consumption.

- Joe Graedon, M.S. and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D., Best Choices From the People's Pharmacy

4. It is important for alcoholics to avoid refined sugars and caffeine, as they stress blood sugar control mechanisms and may increase the craving for alcohol. In one study, excluding caffeine, junk food, dairy products, and peanut butter was compared to a control diet for six months. Eighty-one percent of the subjects on the treatment diet remained sober, compared to less than 40 percent on the control diet. B vitamins are extremely critical in the nutritional support for alcoholism. Alcoholics are almost always deficient in at least one of the B vitamins.

- Michael Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D., The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

5. The sensitivity to the stimulant effects of caffeine varies greatly from one person to the next. This is largely a reflection of how quickly the body can eliminate caffeine. In other words, some people are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than others, due to a slower elimination of these substances from the body. Even small amounts of caffeine such as those found in decaffeinated coffee or chocolate, may be enough to cause insomnia in some people.

- Michael T. Murray, N.D., Joseph E. Pizzorno, N.D., Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised Second Edition

6. Although caffeine is a well-known stimulant, the intensity of response to caffeine varies greatly; people prone to feeling depressed or anxious tend to be especially sensitive to caffeine. The term caffeinism is used to describe a clinical syndrome, similar to generalized anxiety and panic disorders, that includes such symptoms as depression, nervousness, palpitations, irritability, and recurrent headache. Several studies have looked at caffeine intake and depression. For example, one study found that, among healthy college students, moderate and high coffee drinkers scored higher on a depression scale than did low users.

- Michael T. Murray, N.D., Joseph E. Pizzorno, N.D., Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised Second Edition

7. Caffeine intake is linked to anxiety as well as depression for the same reasons that it produces mental and physical stimulation. Caffeine produces significant alteration of brain chemistry.

- Michael T. Murray, N.D., Joseph E. Pizzorno, N.D., Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised Second Edition

8. For every cup of tea or coffee a person ingests, the body has to mobilize about 2-3 cups of water just to remove the caffeine, a luxury it cannot afford. This also applies to soft drinks, pharmaceutical drugs, or any other substance or activity that brings about the release of stress hormones, including watching TV for many hours. As a rule, all stimulants have a strong dehydrating effect on the bile, blood, and digestive juices. To heal a cancerous growth, stimulants are counterproductive, and it is best to avoid them.

- Andreas Moritz, Cancer Is Not A Disease - It's A Survival Mechanism

9. Simply eliminating refined carbohydrates and caffeine (which can aggravate hypoglycemia) from the diet is sometimes all that is needed for effective therapy in patients whose depression results from reactive hypoglycemia.

- Michael Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D., The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

10. It is especially important to eliminate or restrict intake of refined sugar and caffeine. Sugar is a major contributor to hypoglycemia, and caffeine stresses the adrenal glands. Although caffeine consumption provides temporary stimulation, regular caffeine intake may actually lead to chronic fatigue. While mice fed one dose of caffeine demonstrated significant increases in their swimming capacity, when the dose of caffeine was given for six weeks, a significant decrease in swimming capacity was observed.

- Michael T. Murray, N.D., Joseph E. Pizzorno, N.D., Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised Second Edition

11. Simply avoiding caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and any foods that trigger allergies, along with boosting B vitamins, calcium, and magnesium, can go a long way in relieving anxiety. In fact, cutting out caffeine alone often results in the complete elimination of symptoms. The diet should be rich in foods that have higher levels of B vitamins, such as leafy vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Foods high in calcium and magnesium include sea vegetables, sesame, milk, and dairy products as well as leafy green vegetables. Stress reduction and relaxation exercises are often recommended for those suffering from anxiety.

- Michael Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D., The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

12. Caffeine, sugar, nicotine and alcohol damage neurons and neurotransmitters and decrease the ability to deal successfully with stress, thus a degenerative spiral begins. The Brain Longevity Diet is not severe or restrictive, but it is certainly different from the standard American diet, which consists of 35 to 40 percent fat, and includes an abundance of processed foods and refined sugars. I recommend a diet that revolves around whole grains, vegetables, non-animal protein, fruits, and an occasional serving of fish. In general, this diet is tailored to fit individual needs and preferences.

- Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., Brain Longevity: The Breakthrough Medical Program that Improves Your Mind and Memory

13. Since caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, the people in this country are electrified: always on, brains jazzy as neon, bodies humming like generators. Unfortunately, quite a few of them also end up electrocuted. The Country of Caffeine is America, of course. And many of its highly caffeinated citizens are nervous and irritable and can't get a good night's sleep. They have headaches, queasy stomachs, and daytime drowsiness. And they may be putting themselves at risk for osteoporosis, heart disease, and possibly even certain types of cancer. All because of caffeine.

- Bill Gottlieb, Alternative Cures: The Most Effective Natural Home Remedies for 160 Health Problems

14. Elias also asks his fibroid patients to avoid refined sugar, white flour, alcohol, caffeine, and cigarettes, all of which stress the body and interfere with healing because they overwork the liver and lead to stagnation and fibroid growth.

- Bill Gottlieb, Alternative Cures: The Most Effective Natural Home Remedies for 160 Health Problems

15. It is also important to reduce the intake of alcohol (especially beer), caffeine, and sugar, all of which have an adverse effect on the way testosterone is metabolized and cleared from the body.

- Michael Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D., The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

16. Too much caffeine can raise blood pressure and lead to insomnia. In addition, it can be addicting.

- Joe Graedon, M.S. and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D., Best Choices From the People's Pharmacy

17. Intolerance to some foods, such as lactose, fructose, caffeine, fiber, or legumes, in patients with IBD is also often suspected because these foods have the same effects in normal individuals. In the latter case, the disease or its consequences (e.g., short bowel, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, obstruction) may make the consequences of the food intolerance more profound. - Ann M. Coulston and Carol J. Boushey, Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Disease

18. In 1943, we published a paper on caffeine withdrawal headache as a clinical entity by using the individual patient as his or her control. The patients abstaining from caffeine drinks of all kinds were given numbered envelopes, which contained increasing doses of caffeine. On the seventh or eighth day, all the capsules in the envelope were placebos, which on withdrawal of caffeine precipitated a monstrous headache. The patient appeared at the laboratory, where the headache was studied biochemically and the patient was treated.

- Carl C. Pfeiffer, Nutrition and Mental Illness: An Orthomolecular Approach to Balancing Body Chemistry

19. However, an overexcited and suppressed immune system eventually fails to provide the "energizing" adrenaline and cortisol boosts needed to free the body from the acidic nerve toxin caffeine. At this stage, people say that they are "used" to a stimulant, such as coffee. They tend to increase their intake of it to feel the "benefits." The often-heard expression, "I am dying for a cup of coffee," reflects the true peril of their situation.

- Andreas Moritz, Cancer Is Not A Disease - It's A Survival Mechanism

20. Stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol affect the nervous system. The nervous system and the gut are tightly connected. When it is stimulated it can cause a chain reaction of gastrointestinal upset, gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. Food sensitivities may play a role in autoimmune conditions. If you have a reaction to certain foods, you may inadvertently be causing an inflammatory reaction in your body. Take care to avoid certain foods that are triggers for your condition.

- Heather Caruso, Your Drug-Free Guide to Digestive Health

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