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The Deadly Poison in Soda Pop


By Dr. Dana Myatt

Soda pop is slop. File this under "more good reasons to avoid soda pop."

Tooth decay, overweight, diabetes and osteoporosis are the lesser problems associated with soda pop consumption. But there is an even more sinister side to America's favorite beverage. Benzene, a highly toxic compound that can cause liver cirrhosis, Parkinson's disease and accelerated aging --- is found in many sodas. In my opinion, soda pop is one of the most harmful beverages a person can drink. Let's review the evidence.

Each 12-ounce can of soda pop contains between 10 and 12 teaspoons of sugar. The increase in soda pop consumption parallels our current epidemic of obesity, overweight and diabetes.

Soda pop rots teeth, but it is not the sugar alone that causes this. The acidity of soda pop combined with high sugar levels form a tooth-destroying combination.

Phosphates in soda pop, combined with the fact that soda often replaces calcium-containing drinks like milk, are associated with an increased risk of bone loss.

And these are the "lesser problems" that soda causes.

Most soda contains the chemical preservative sodium benzoate. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is another common additive. When sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid interact, the highly toxic chemical benzene is formed. Benzene is an aggressive carcinogen, even in minute amounts. And drink which contains both sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid can contain benzene.

But now there is more evidence which suggests that sodium benzoate by itself can cause DNA damage. Research from Sheffield University in Britain shows that sodium benzoate, a common preservative in soda pop, pickles, sauces, and many other "food stuffs," has the ability to shut off vital parts of DNA known as the "mitochondria."

Mitochondria are the "power stations" inside the cell. According to lead researcher Piper, "These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it: They knock it out altogether."

When the mitochondria are damaged, the cell begins to malfunction in a serious way. Conditions such as Parkinson's, cirrhosis of the liver, and accelerated aging, can be linked to this type of cellular damage.

Here's the bottom line. We have no idea how many of these "harmless" artificial ingredients and chemical preservatives in our food can cause disease. Short-term effects are studied in the lab but long-term effects are unknown until the public acts as "guinea pigs" by consuming these chemicals for many years.

To protect yourself, avoid soda pop, period. Eat more "real" (unprocessed) food. Look for "sodium benzoate" on food labels and when you see it (as they say on the TV "Cop Shows"), set the product down and back away slowly, and no one gets hurt.

Product Acid Low=BAD Sugar per 12 oz
Pure Water 7.00 (neutral) 0.0
Barq's 4.61 10.7 tsp.
Diet Coke 3.39 0.0
Mountain Dew 3.22 11.0 tsp.
Gatorade 2.95 3.3 tsp
Coke Classic 2.63 9.3 tsp.
Pepsi 2.49 9.8 tsp.
Sprite 3.42 9.0
Diet 7-Up 3.67 0.0
Diet Dr. Pepper 3.41 0.0
Surge 3.02 10.0
Gatorade 2.95 3.3
Hawaiian Fruit Punch 2.82 10.2
Orange Minute Maid 2.80 11.2
Dr. Pepper 2.92 9.5
Source: Minnesota
  Dental Association *
The threshold pH for enamel dissolution is 5.5.  

Nurse Mark Adds: You may be interested to know that our mighty, ever-vigilant, and ever-protective FDA (which we think really stands for "Fleece and Dope Americans") sets no limits to benzine in any beverages sold in America except bottled water - this according to the FDA's own website! Unbelievable, but true - the FDA is happy to let the soda pop industry "develop guidance" that it claims will "minimize" (not eliminate, just "minimize") benzine in it's products.


1.) Relation between consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and childhood obesity: a prospective, observational analysis. Lancet 2001;357:5058.

2.) Soft drink consumption among US children and adolescents: nutritional consequences. J Am Diet Assoc 1999;99:43641.

3.) Carbonated beverages, dietary calcium, the dietary calcium/phosphorus ratio, and bone fractures in girls and boys. J Adolescent Health 1994;15:2105.

4.) Consumption of soft drinks with phosphoric acid as a risk factor for the development of hypocalcemia in children: a case-control study. J Pediatr 1995;126:9402.

5.) Phosphates and caries. Lancet 1968;i:1431.[letter]

6.) Beverage ingredients can form carcinogen. Consum Rep. 2006 Oct;71(10):7.

7.) Benzene in beverages. FDA Consum. 2006 Sep-Oct;40(5):9-10.

8.) Caution: Some soft drinks may seriously harm your health: Expert links additive to cell damage. The Independent, Sunday, 27 May 2007

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