Tags: Warning: | Soft | Drinks | May | Seriously | Harm | You

Warning: Soft Drinks May Seriously Harm You

Tuesday, 05 June 2007 12:00 AM

You may want to think twice before you sip another soft drink: research reported in the UK's Independent newspaper says a common preservative used in fizzy drinks can switch off essential parts of DNA. The preservative may bring on premature aging and trigger diseases associated with old age.

The problem preservative is sodium benzoate, commonly used for many years by the $160 billion worldwide soft drink industry. Sodium benzoate, derived from benzoic acid, prevents mold in drinks like Coca-Cola, Oasis, Dr. Pepper, etc., and is also used in pickles and sauces.

Alarm bells have already been ringing about it, because it's been discovered that when it's mixed with vitamin C in soft drinks, it creates the carcinogenic substance benzene. Now UK Professor Peter Piper of Sheffield University has sounded an even louder alarm — his experiments show that benzoate damages DNA in the energy-producing mitochondria of cells.

"These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it: they knock it out altogether," Piper said. "The mitochondria consumes the oxygen to give you energy and if you damage it — as happens in a number of diseased states — then the cell starts to malfunction very seriously. And there is a whole array of diseases that are now being tied to damage to this DNA—Parkinson's and quite a lot of neuro-degenerative diseases, but above all the whole process of ageing."

The World Health Organization, the Food Standards Agency in the UK, and the US Food and Drug Administration all say that sodium benzoate is safe. Professor Piper, however, says that FDA tests are out of date.

"The food industry will say these compounds have been tested and they are completely safe," Piper said. "By the criteria of modern safety testing, the safety tests were inadequate. Like all things, safety testing moves forward and you can conduct a much more rigorous safety test than you could 50 years ago."

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You may want to think twice before you sip another soft drink: research reported in the UK's Independent newspaper says a common preservative used in fizzy drinks can switch off essential parts of DNA. The preservative may bring on premature aging and trigger diseases...
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2007-00-05
Tuesday, 05 June 2007 12:00 AM
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