Dr. James Chandler, N.D.,  Ph.D - Chandler Naturopathic Health Center
Chandler Naturopathic Health Center

Diseases link to Soda Consumption

Nearly everyone likes to have a soda or two.Many like to have several sodas per day. What is the harm in drinking a soda a day? Is there a difference in drinking a diet soda verses a regular soda? Why you should think twice about the next soda you are about to drink or allow your child to drink.
Who am I to talk to you about drinking sodas? I have been a long time fan of the wonder elixirs from Coke to Pepsi to Sun drop to Mountain Dew and many many more brand names and some not so brand named drinks. It seems like I was raised on the stuff. I remember my school days as a young lad. Those days pretty much started with a soda, in my case it was often an accompanied by a sugary snack like a candy bar or cupcake. On a hot summer day, me and my friends would gather at the local community store and have a moon pie and a soda (just for the record we called sodas "dopes" back then.
Even into adulthood, I couldn't (or wouldn't) stop drinking the stuff. Often, I would drink several of them a day, at work,at home, and at restaurants. I would drink them with just about every meal. Hey, they didn't do anything to my health! WRONG!!
The major problem I have had with drinking sodas has been dental issues, tooth decay and heartburn and acid reflux. But that is me. I have known people that have drank so much of this stuff that they have developed much more severe conditions that, in fact, led to death. I know that is a strong statement, but in my opinion and experience, it is true. The kicker is, they really didn't drink that much. Like everything else in life, it depends on the individual reaction to what they are doing.
Statistics show that Americans drink more soda than ever before. Despite the health risks that have been touted by numerous organizations and recent attempts to regulate the size of drinks sold at  fast food places, Americans continue their thirst for soda. So much in fact that TheNational Soft Drink Association reports that 600 12 ounce servings are consumed per person per year. In 2006, I stopped drinking sodas and I haven't had one since.
What is the harm? I'll give you 11 good reasons to say No to sodas.
1. Obesity. Soda is a significant contributor to added pounds. It doesn't matter if the soda is diet or not. In fact, some studies show that the diet sodas cause even more weight gain.
2. Tooth decay. The chemical in soda erode tooth enamel. The acidity of soda combined with the sugar dissolves tooth enamel much faster than the sugars in candy along.
3. Liver damage. Too many sodas can cause cirrhosis of the liver, just like the risk faced by alcoholics.
4. Diabetes. Drinking soda decreases the body'sability to process sugar. As in number 1 above, weight gain is a major factor in development of type II diabetes, soda increases that risk. Type II diabetes has tripled in our population since the1980s. More young adults and children are diagnosed with diabetes today. Diagnoses of younger and younger people is becoming the norm.
5. Kidney stones and kidney disease. Sodas, of all kinds, have high levels of phosphoric acid. This substance changes the urine and promotes kidney stone formation. For those of you that have not had a stone, you do not want one.
6. Hypertension (high blood pressure). Experts have reasons to believe that consumption of soda (diet or regular) increases blood pressure.
7. Heart disease. research shows that drinking one or more sodas per day increased the risk of developing heart disease and metabolic syndrome (combination of conditions such as: obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated blood glucose (sugar), elevated triglycerides, and low levels of good cholesterol (HDL).
8. Osteoporosis. Phosphoric acid is linked to osteoporosis (a weakening of your skeletal structure). When phosphate levels are high, it pulls calcium from the bones.
9. Cancer. Soda consumption has been linked to elevated risks of developing pancreatic cancer and esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer can develop in people that have GERD. Soda consumption causes an increased risk of development of GERD. I know two people that have died (one was 26 the other 56) of esophageal cancer. Both were heavy soda drinkers, often a liter per day. Soda feeds other cancers. The sugar in soda acts as food for the developing cancer cells.
10. Heartburn/acid reflux. Carbonated beverage sare highly acidic. In addition, they deliver a lot of air in the form of carbon dioxide, which can cause stomach distention. That distension is associated with more reflux. As stated earlier, reflux disease can lead to esophageal cancer.
11. Immunity. Each teaspoon of sugar can reduce your immune response for 60 minutes. Most 12 ounce can of soda have between 10 and 14 teaspoons of sugar in them. For each 12 ounces of soda, your immune response is diminished 12 hours. In addition, sodas now have a very disruptive type of sugar, high fructose corn syrup or HFCS. This sugar is even more disruptive to the immune system than the regular white sugar that was used many years ago.
It’s hard to eliminate the things that provide you comfort. Sodas do that for many people, provide them comfort. I am not telling you to give sodas up completely. One every once in awhile is alright, provided you have no other health issues. My concern is over consumption and the daily consumption by our children. ADD and ADHD are among the fastest growing psychological diagnoses of our children. I see children drinking soda at every meal; it is the beverage of choice for them. Most children diagnosed with ADHD are actually suffering from severe nutritional imbalances. Soda adds to that imbalance by robbing the body of vitamins and minerals, weight gain through empty calories, and through caffeine concentrations that equal a cup of coffee per serving of soda.  Its no wonder that our kids are hyper, only to be diagnosed with ADHD and given drugs along with their daily dose of soda.
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