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Friday, February 01, 2013

The Cola pandemic

Coca-Cola is a major international brand. 

It usually contains caramel color, caffeine and sweeteners such as sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
The primary modern flavoring ingredients in a cola drink are sugar, citrus oils (from oranges, limes, or lemon fruit peel), cinnamon, vanilla, and an acidic flavorant. Manufacturers of cola drinks add trace ingredients to create distinctively different tastes for each brand. Trace flavorings may include nutmeg and a wide variety of ingredients, but the base flavorings that most people identify with a cola taste remain vanilla and cinnamon. Acidity is often provided by phosphoric acid.
“Sugar-free" or "diet" colas typically contain artificial sweeteners only.

Health Hazards:

               The Real Bears
  • Regular soft drink users have a lower intake of calcium, magnesium, ascorbic acid, riboflavin, and vitamin A.
  • Colas, both those with natural sweetening and those with artificial sweetening, were associated with increased risk of chronic kidney disease most likely due to the phosphoric acid.
  • The drink has also aroused criticism for its use of caffeine, which can cause physical dependence and addiction.
  • A link has been shown between long-term regular cola intake and osteoporosis in older women (but not men).This was thought to be due to the presence of phosphoric acid.
  • Frequent exposure of teeth to acidic drinks increases the risk of tooth damage through dental erosion.
  • Colas are majorly responsible for the Obesity and Diabetes epidemic throughout the world because of the high sugar and caloric content. Approximately, 150 kcal in a 330ml can of coke.
  • In addition, there are food dyes and other chemical additives in Coke products that are known carcinogens.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease is very commonly associated with regular cola drinkers.


One of the commonest artificial sweeteners used in diet colas is "Aspartame". 

The artificial sweetener aspartame has been the subject of several controversies since its initial approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1974. The FDA approval of aspartame was highly contested, with critics alleging that the quality of the initial research supporting its safety was inadequate and flawed and that conflicts of interest marred the approval of aspartame. In 1987, the U.S. Government Accountability Office concluded that the food additive approval process had been followed properly for aspartame. The irregularities fueled a conspiracy theory, which circulated along with claims, unsupported by medical evidence, that numerous health conditions (such as multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus, methanol toxicity, blindness, spasms, shooting pains, seizures, headaches, depression, anxiety, memory loss, birth defects and death are caused by the consumption of aspartame in normal doses in the "Nancy Markle" email hoax.
The "Markle" email says that there is a conspiracy between the FDA and the producers of aspartame.


The potential health risks have been examined and dismissed by numerous scientific research projects. With the exception of the risk to those with phenylketonuria, aspartame is considered to be a safe food additive by governments, worldwide, and major health and food safety organizations. FDA officials describe aspartame as "one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved" and its safety as "clear cut". The weight of existing scientific evidence indicates that aspartame is safe as a non-nutritive sweetener.

The acceptable daily intake (ADI) value for aspartame, as well as other food additives studied, is defined as the "amount of a food additive, expressed on a body weight basis, that can be ingested daily over a lifetime without appreciable health risk.The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Food has determined this value is 40 mg/kg of body weight for aspartame, while FDA has set its ADI for aspartame at 50 mg/kg.

The primary source for exposure to aspartame in the United States is diet soft drinks, though it can be consumed in other products, such as pharmaceutical preparations, fruit drinks, and chewing gum among others in smaller quantities. A 355 ml can of diet soda contains 180 milligrams of aspartame, and for a 75 kg (165 lb) adult, it takes approximately 21 cans of diet soda daily to consume the 3,750 milligrams of aspartame that would surpass the FDA's 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight ADI of aspartame from diet soda alone.


Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious including seizures and death. A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as being caused by aspartame include: Headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain."

Drinking diet soda daily is linked to a higher risk of stroke, heart attack and vascular-related deaths.

Evidence is increasing to suggest that excessive cola consumption can also lead to hypokalaemia, in which the blood potassium levels fall, causing an adverse effect on vital muscle functions.’

                    IS THIS THE RIGHT CHOICE, BABY???


  1. Superb blog. The bears u tube is very cute. All aerated drinks consumed regularly are harmful to health and so are artificial sugars and even the sugar which we use at home. Cutting down the use of sugar in tea n milk will also show a reduction in wt. in people trying to lose wt. alternativess to sugar can be jaggery n honey

  2. How safe or unsafe various sugar-substitutes are has not been determined to be tilted in any one direction. All of them are as safe or unsafe as any other. However, I think sucralose and stevia-sugar are relatively more physiological and therefore, more safe.

    Good write-up. Thanks for sharing with my bhabhi and me ;-)

    p.s. Please change your settings to not require commentators to verify words. This is very irritating. Thank you.

    1. Thanks drtaher for your encouragement n advice. I have done the needful.