Monday, March 13, 2006

Dangers in soda drinking

I admit I drink a soda from time to time. But I think I might quit.

A newspaper in England just published a bombshell. Traces of a deadly chemical were found in soft drinks at eight times the level permitted in drinking water.(1)

In today’s Health Alert, I’ll expose the risk and why it might be better to avoid soft drinks all together.

* A Dangerous Combination Leads to Cancer *

The Food Standards Agency in the UK tested 230 drinks on sale in Britain and France. They found dangerously high levels of a compound known to cause cancer – benzene.

So where is this danger coming from? It turns out that two harmless ingredients – sodium benzoate, a preservative and vitamin C - when used together, form the deadly chemical benzene.

Drink makers had stopped using this combination after testing revealed the problem thirteen years ago. But according to Glenn Lawrence of Long Island University, who first conducted the tests, soda companies are putting vitamin C back into sodas. Apparently, marketers hope the vitamin C will encourage parents to buy the products for their kids.

* Reach for Healthier Alternatives *

The risk of benzene poisoning is a strong reason to avoid soft drinks. Add that to the fact that they have no nutritional value are high in empty calories and high in sugar. The unnaturally high glycemic index of the high fructose corn syrup also increases your risk of weight gain and insulin resistance, which leads to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

While soft drinks are convenient and fun to drink, they aren’t worth the risk. Pure, filtered water is your best choice. Green tea is a good option, too

For the kids? Milk and lots of it. Hormone-free organic is best. If you’re going to give them juice, your best bet is to buy a juicer and get the real deal. Juice you buy in the store is just not the same.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

The content and information contained in this E-Newsletter are for educational purposes only. It may not be construed as medical advice, and we do not intend for this information to be used to diagnose or prescribe forms of treatment.

[1] Syal R. Soft drinks found to have high levels of cancer chemical. The Times/UK. Mar 2, 2006.

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