A new study has found another negative related to sodas. Researchers at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health decided to cull through data from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, assessing whether sugar-sweetened soft drinks and juices had a noticeable effect in a different population. They concluded: yes on soft drinks, no on juices. In fact, consumption of two or more soft drinks a week was linked to an 87% increase in the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Even though the average person’s risk of pancreatic cancer is low that a doubled risk would not seem like a cause of concern, pancreatic cancer has a high mortality rate so this seemingly small detail is still significant.
This is just one of the many health risks associated with the fizzy liquids we have come to love so much – there is also obesity, type 2 diabetes, dental cavities, low nutrient levels, muscular problems and lower sperm count.
The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is directly proportional to changes in weight. This may be because people who consume calories in sugar-sweetened beverages may fail to adequately reduce their intake of calories from other sources as liquid calories do not have the benefit of making one feel full.
And while the USDA recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of added sugars is less than 10 teaspoons for a 2,000-calorie diet, many soft drinks contain more than this amount, so it’s not surprising that they can cause a spike in diabetes and cavities, though for the latter, the drinks’ acidity also aggravates the situation.
A research review carried out by Dr Elisaf and his colleagues has shown that excessive cola consumption can also lead to hypokalaemia, in which the blood potassium levels fall, causing an adverse effect on vital muscle functions. Symptoms can range from mild weakness to profound paralysis. All the patients studied made a rapid and full recovery after they stopped drinking cola and took oral or intravenous potassium.
Meanwhile, a Danish study looked into more than 2,500 young men and found that those who didn’t drink cola had better sperm quality — averaging 50 million sperm per milliliter semen — and tended to have a healthier lifestyle. In contrast, the 93 men who drank more than one liter (about 34 ounces) a day had only 35 million sperm per milliliter.
And then there are the ingredients in most sodas that are themselves sources of concern, like caffeine which may cause anxiety and sleep disruption, high fructose corn syrup which is more evil than sugar, suppressing the sensation of fullness and leading to obesity and Sodium benzoate which has been investigated as a possible cause of DNA damage and hyperactivity.