July 9, 2007

Coke Adds Death?

A disturbing little study published recently in the journal, Epidemiology, received no coverage at all by the media. It found that drinking as little as two "cola drinks" a day could double the risk of "chronic kidney disease."

This was true for both regular and diet sodas. The study also found that drinking non-cola sodas did not appear have any impact on the incidence of chronic kidney disease.

The culprit appears to be the phosphoric acid found in cola drinks but not other kinds of sodas, which usually contain citric acid. Before this study was done, phosphoric acid was already known to promote the formation of kidney stones.

But this study was not reporting the incidence of kidney stones, it was reporting the risk of developing "chronic kidney disease" among people who drank various beverages. The study involved 932 people, half with newly diagnosed kidney disease and half controls.

Chronic kidney disease is the condition that leads to dialysis. It seems pretty clear to this Diet Cherry Pepsi addict that it's time to make a change. No one with diabetes can afford to do anything that further challenges our kidneys.

Carbonated Beverages and Chronic Kidney Disease

Why Didn't this Story Hit the Media?

You do have to wonder. Those of us who are a bit cynical about the power of money to affect our media might wonder if the reason you didn't see this result all over the press is because the companies that produce cola drinks are huge advertisers that no media outlet can afford to alienate.

Even more telling, this isn't the first bad news about phosphoric acid, and cola drinks, that has come and gone without any significant attention being paid to it by the media. Good research (part of the Framingham Study) associates the drinking of sodas with phosporic acid with osteoporosis in older women, because phosporic acid apparently disturbs the mineral balance of the bones.

Here's a Medscape "Medical News" release that describes the osteoporosis findings and a more technical abstract describing the same findings.

Regular Cola Consumption Linked to Lower Bone Density in Women

Carbonated Beverages and Bone Mineral Density

One web site calls these sodas, "Osteoporosis in a can." The sodas that contain phosporic acid include Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper. There may be others. Read the label to be sure. And don't expect to see this reported on any of the networks each of which runs mind-numbing amounts of advertising for all these dangerous drinks.


Emily said...

I too, am a Diet Cherry Pepsi, addict. I have been trying and trying to cut down on this habit. Maybe this will be the kick in the pants I need.

Anonymous said...

I grew up drinking skimmed milk (but I always preferred whole milk). I did not drink a lot of carbonated beverages until I left home and was on my own with dietary choices (rebellions?). In my 30s I increased my soda intake when I switched to sugar free varieties, after reaI had a glucose problem. But a year or two ago I realized I needed to set a better example for my 8 yo son and I pretty much stopped buying or drinking soda, except in rare circumstances. Usually I drink water, especially if eating out, sometimes some wine with dinner. My husband has joined me in this effort, too, although he finds it harder to resist away from home (guess who our son badgers for a soda?). After a while I just lost my desire for it. The hardest part of giving it up is the expectation that all Americans drink soda. Usually soda or fruit juice is the non-alcoholic option at parties. Soda is the default beverage at nearly "fast" restaurants. Sometimes I have some plain carbonated water if there is a button at a soda disenser. A slice of lemon is a nice addition.

mikepaulson said...

I have to agree that diet sodas are a real problem for diabetics. My blood sugars are now 80 to 120 (down from the 150's) since I gave up all diet sodas. I heartedly recommend an article which I found on the topic: http://www.collectivewizdom.com/DietSodas-BadforYourHealth