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Tag: soda

Sugary Drinks May Up Disability in MS

I’m always surprised at how many adults admit to drinking mainstream sodas on a regular basis, both diet and otherwise. At my talk about hidden inflammation last week, I mentioned the potential inflammatory role that artificial sweeteners like Aspartame, saccarine, and high fructose corn syrup may play in sparking the inflammatory response in sensitive people, and the benefits of avoiding them all together. The majority of the audience (mostly middle-aged women) confessed that this was new information for them!

Coca-Cola Classic_klein.jpgA new study out of Germany examined the link between sugary drink intake and the inflammation associated with multiple sclerosis and found “In an analysis of 135 people with MS, those ranked in the highest quartile for sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake had five-fold higher odds for severe disability versus mild-to-moderate disability.”

“The authors found that the highest consumption group consumed around 290 calories per day of soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages, which is the equivalent of about two cans of non-diet soda.”

The first thing I wanted to know was if the soft drinks in Germany were formulated with high fructose corn syrup like they are here in the US. In yet another sad example of how big companies formulate unhealthier and artificially sweeter products for the US market than the European market, it appears at least Coca Cola uses sugar (most likely from sugar beets) in European Cokes.

Of course, they still add food dye and preservatives like phosphoric acid to European Cokes, just like they do in America, and the study did not take these artificial ingredients into account as potentially influencing factors, which I believe they are, and more so than the sugar itself.

Regardless, if you are looking to avoid and reduce inflammation in your body, whether you have MS, another autoimmune disorder, or are just dealing with rampant inflammation, the results of this study should influence you to cut out all mainstream soda, both diet and regular versions.

If you like carbonated drinks, the safest bets are to stick with bubbly spring waters or make your own with a Soda Stream and mix it with pure and natural substances like coconut water or organic fruit juice.


Too Much Soda May Contribute to Irregular Heartbeat

An interesting story out of the tiny country of Monaco tells the story of what can happen to your heart from drinking too much soda pop.

This 31-year old woman had been drinking soda pop exclusively since she was 15. For 16 years, she never drank anything else, not even water! Her soda of choice was a cola, and she drank about two liters a day (about 2 quarts).

It turns out that the soda had caused an imbalance in her potassium levels, compromising the electrical activity in her body and leading to erratic heart beats.

Arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeats, can be frightening when they happen to you. You may feel like your heart is skipping beats (palpitations), or that your heart is racing. Some people become faint or light-headed and experience shortness of breath.

The heart is controlled by electrical impulses. Conducting electricity requires a certain solution of minerals including sodium, calcium, and yes, potassium, to work successfully. Nerves and the nervous system also work on electrical impulses that fire the synapses between nerve endings and carry the messages to the rest of the body.

When we forget that the human body is a complex machine that requires vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to be the catalysts and conductors of electrical, osmotic, and cellular activity, things start to malfunction, as this woman has experienced.

Many, many chronic ailments can be traced to the twin culprits of inflammation and vitamin/mineral/nutrient imbalance or deficiency. Many people can find find relief simply by removing their personal inflammatory triggers and balancing their nutritional profile. My preferred method for doing this is to go on a scientifically-designed anti-inflammatory diet and taking appropriate supplements until the gut heals enough to absorb the needed nutrition from foods.

When the woman from Monaco stopped drinking soda for just one week, her potassium levels and heartbeat returned to normal levels.

Never underestimate the power of food on your body’s functions.