Soda tastes great. Make no bones about it. It’s the first thing that comes to mind when ordering alongside junk food or a pizza. However, there are a plethora of side-effects to it which go largely unnoticed in the midst of its raging consumption. This list uncovers some facts about soda, soft drinks, carbonated water that will tell you that you have been messing with your health since a long time.
15. High levels of sugar in Soda lead to several cavities in teeth and the condition nowadays is so common that dentists have named it as “Mountain Dew mouth”.
In the Appalachian region of the United States, the situation of tooth decay from soda has become so common that dentists have named this situation as “mountain dew mouth”. Some 65% children in West Virginia have suffered from tooth decay caused by the enormous amount of sugar in the aerated drinks- particularly Mountain Dew- that has 11 teaspoons of sugar per serving besides containing a considerable amount of citric acid, an ingredient often used in lemon or lime-flavored foods and drinks.(source)
14. There is a chemical called “Aspartame” in diet soda drinks that has been linked with depression, insomnia and various other neurological disorders; This chemical is classified as “dangerous” by multiple studies but FDA has approved it which people speculate was done under Reagan’s influence.
Aspartame is the technical name for the brand names NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure. It was approved for use as a food additive in 1981 amidst a lot of negative reports. It was also speculated that the FDA Chairman headed the approval process for Aspartame was Dr. Arthur Hill Hayes who, besides having no professional experience in dealing with the science of food additives, was hand picked to head the FDA by a prominent member of Ronald Reagan’s political transition team, Donald Rumsfeld.
Aspartame which is present in diet soda contains 40% aspartic acid which when taken in high doses kills certain neurons in brain by allowing the influx of too much calcium into the cells. This influx triggers excessive amounts of free radicals, which kills the cells. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) also advocated that pregnant women should stop the intake of aspartic acid.
Besides aspartic acid, aspartame contains 50% phenylalanine-an amino acid found in brain- that leads too depression because it decreases the quantity of serotonin in brain by increasing the quantity of phenylalanine. This situation is particularly dangerous for persons with the genetic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU) since they cannot metabolize phenylalanine.(source)
13. People who are regularly consuming Soda have been linked to age faster since the excessive sugar in cola drinks shortens Telomeres- which are the repeated sequences of DNA that mark cellular aging.
At the University of California, San Francisco, researchers conducted a nationwide survey of 5,309 U.S. adults between 1999 and 2002 (although the survey had been ongoing since the early 1960s and had collected health data on more than 140,000 people) and unearthed a connection between cola beverages and rapid aging of cells. This was due to the shortening of telomeres- a repeated sequence of DNA that cap the ends of our chromosomes.
Telomeres shorten each time a cell divides but in the study, it was observed that regular consumption of soda led to extreme shortening of telomeres to a point where the cells stopped dividing and died. This indicated a rapid aging of the soda user since the biological age of cells had shortened.(source)
12. If you cannot put down a can of soda, it’s because you have become addicted to sugary drinks; This effect is similar with the addiction to cocaine.
When you eat sugar or junk food, a brain hormone called dopamine gets released in an area of the brain called the reward system. The human brain works in a way that seeks more of activities which release dopamine since this hormone is associated with “pleasure”. A plethora of studies have revealed that processed, sugar-laden cola drinks that consist of excessive amount of sugar function as “superstimuli” in which so much amount of dopamine is released to brain that it starts craving for intense amounts of this pleasure hormone.
This leads in an extreme resistance to put down the can of soda. This addiction is also similar in terms with the addiction to cocaine in which the brain wants more and more of it since it has been flooded with dopamine.(source)
11. Drinking soda regularly? Then you have a very high chance of developing gout or if you were already suffering from it, you are at an elevated risk of worsening it since high fructose in soda spikes uric acid in the body that leads to gout
Gout is a disease in which uric acid crystals are deposited in one or more joints that leads to intense pain and swelling. Frequent intake of soda has been linked to an increase in gout as per a study that was conducted in 2011 in which it was observed that the number of people with gout back in the 1970s was 20 per 100,000. By the mid-1990s, that number shoot to 45.9 per 100,000. Likewise, soda consumption among adults rose by 61 percent from 1977 to 1997. A link was established between soda consumption and gout since fructose-which is the primary source of sweetness in the drink- elevates uric acid concentration in the body that leads to the formation of gout.
Uric acid under normal situations is filtered by the kidneys and excreted through urine. However, due to the elevated number of uric acid in the blood stream due to the carbonated drinks, uric acid crystals are formed and get deposited in one or more joints that leads to an extreme discomfort.(source)