You may or may not drink cola or sodas, but you undoubtedly have a dear friend or family member who does! We’ve heard over and over again that sodas are an important factor in obesity, which is a huge cause for concern in it’s own right.  Recent developments show that obesity is just the tip of the iceberg, and many more serious issues linked to soda consumption lie below the surface.

In news this week of was the story a 31 year old woman from Monaco who was hospitalized after fainting. Blood tests indicated that she had severely low potassium levels, further tests of her heart’s electrical activity revealed she had a condition called long QT syndrome, which can cause erratic heart beats. She told her doctors that since the age of 15, she had not drunk any water, just cola — about 2 liters daily! Doctors recommended she abstain from soda, which she did and after just one week, the woman’s potassium levels and heart electrical activity returned to normal. The case was presented this week at the European Heart Rhythm Association meeting in Athens, Greece.

Researchers also found six reports of excessive cola consumption that are thought to be causative factors in serious medical problems, including heart rhythm problems. Additional studies will examine whether those who drink cola excessively have lower potassium levels than people who don’t drink cola.

Admittedly, this is an extreme case. However there are more issues associated with soda drinking than the news of possible heart problems caused by cola and other soft drinks — a lot more!

  • Drinking too much cola may cause excess water to enter the bowels, which in turn leads to diarrhea, and loss of potassium, the researchers said. High amounts of caffeine found in colas can increase urine production and decrease potassium reabsorption. Potassium plays a role in helping a person’s heartbeat, and low levels of potassium may cause heart rhythm problems
  • In one experiment, the sugar from one soft drink damaged white blood cells ability to ingest and kill gonococcal bacteria for seven hours.
  • Sodas contain large quantities of phosphorus which, as mentioned above, leeches calcium from the bones when excreted. Heavy users of soft drinks will suffer from osteoporosis along and damaged arteries.”
  • The Naval Medical Research Institute put human teeth in a cola beverage and found they softened and started to dissolve within a short period of time.
  • One liter of an aspartame-sweetened beverage can produce about fifty-six milligrams of methanol. If someone drinks several sodas in a a single day, the amount of methanol produced is 32 times the EPA limit.
  • Continuously high levels of sodium in the diet and the bloodstream causes a type of acute hypernatremia — an electrolyte disturbance that is defined by an elevated sodium level in the blood generally caused by a relative deficit of free water in the body — which keeps our sodium potassium pump slightly dysregulated and throws off the electrical system of the brain.
  • It’s also important to note that aspartame, found in diet sodas, contains methyl or wood alcohol, which can affect fetal brain development.

What could be more important for your health if you’re a regular soda drinker than to quit the habit!