Coca-Cola, A Silent Killer?

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FOR all parents who love to feed their children Coca-Cola, you probably want to think twice before purchasing the next can. Many reports have shown that soft drinks are bad for health but not many can comprehend just how much damage it can do to the body.

Just recently, a woman in New Zealand was said to have died from Coca-Cola 'overdose'. Thirty-year-old Natasha Harris, who died from cardiac arrhythmia, also suffered from caffeine toxicity and low potassium levels. AFP reported that her mother-in-law Vivien Hodgkinson said that they "never knew it was any harm because it was a soft drink with no warning labels..." and suggested that maybe there should be a call for "warning signs" printed on them.

Although Coca-Cola Oceania suggested that excessive consumption of anything over a short period of time can be dramatically negative on the health, the example in the above still poses a question as to how much soft drinks must be consumed before it is deemed dangerous?

In this article, we are going to introduce to you the potential dangers of certain ingredients in soft drinks that may be considered as hazardous to the health.

High Sugar Level
Many would have already known that all soft drinks are high in sugar. Research has shown that constant consumption of high-sugar beverages will increase one's risk of type 2 Diabetes. The Harvard School of Public Health warns that drinking just one can of soft drink every day will increase one's risk of blood sugar level problems by 25 percent.

Needless to say, with such high concentration of sugar, it also increases the risk of obesity. Did you know that a can of Coke contain 140 calories? These calories are useless as there are no additional beneficial nutrients that come along with it. So why inject yourself with such unnecessary calories and increase your risk of weight gain? Furthermore, the high fructose corn syrup in the drinks also tricks the body into wanting more calories. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that such beverages lead to the danger of caloric overconsumption.

All soft drinks also contain high-levels of caffeine, an ingredient which is famously known for its physical and psychological impact. Addiction to caffeine is evident in coffee and tea lovers. If they do not get their share of caffeine for the day, they are very likely to feel anxious and suffer from headaches and restlessness. As for  Natasha Harris, her addiction to Coke was obvious. Vivien Hodgkinson claimed that her daughter-in-law would "go crazy if she ran out (of Coke)... she would get shakes, withdrawal symptoms, be angry, on edge and snappy".

According to the report from, Coca-Cola drinks contain between 35-47mg of caffeine in a single 12 oz. serving. Does that not get you thinking?

A Diuretic
Soft drinks' high caffeine content acts as a diuretic, thus encouraging you to urinate more often. The United States Department of Health and Human Services warns that such excessive urination over a long period of time can cause dehydration, especially if one consumes soft drinks during, or after rigorous exercise or sports.

Soft drinks contain too much gas, which may lead to stomach bloating. These beverages are very acidic. Did you know that Coke is so acidic that it is used in many households to replace detergent? Here are some of its uses:

-  Cleaning toilet bowl: Pouring a can of Coca-Cola inside the toilet bowl and allow it to remain for one hour before flushing helps remove stains from the vitreous China without any need to scrub or sweat;
-  Removing spots from chrome car bumpers;
-  Clearing corrosion from car battery terminals;
-  Loosen a rusted bolt;
-  Removing grease from clothes; and more...

Does this list not scare you? Can it really be that a multi-purpose cleaner be disguised as soft drinks? Due to the acidic content, the stomach lining will thin over time and this leads to heartburn and gastritis. Repeated attack to the stomach lining can also pose a danger of stomach or colon cancer, researchers say.

What about Coke Zero, Diet 7-Up etc.?
These drinks are often sweetened with artificial sweetener known as Phenylalanine, an amino acid found in aspartame. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center this ingredient can react with various medications, making their effects stronger or weaker. Health conditions were reported to deteriorate whenever such drinks were consumed.

So what are we to do? It would be great if we can eliminate soft drinks completely from our diet. However, I do acknowledge that we drink these beverages from time-to-time just for our own enjoyment. I personally drink soft drinks too, but I am very careful not to allow this practice to develop into a habit due to all the reasons listed in the above.

Related articles:
So you thought Paracetamol was safe? Think again...
Home Remedies for Insomnia: A Complete Guide
Treat Stomach Acidity with Potato Juice
Turmeric: One of Nature's Most Powerful Healer

Author: Genevieve Tan Shu Thung

Copyright © 2012 Sandhya Maarga Holistic Living Resources
Holistic Living Annex (Volume 1, Issue 4 - MAY 2012 Edn)

4 Responses for “ Coca-Cola, A Silent Killer?”

  1. WHY?!?! says:

    But I love Coke!

  2. Natalie says:

    You forgot to add that Coke makes people go high also. I will never forget the time I gave Genevieve Coke in Paris and she couldn't stop laughing. LoL

  3. No more coke for me from today onwards! Thanks for the article.

  4. The purpose of this article is not to call for a complete elimination of soft drinks in your diet. It serves to provide information on the heath effects produced by such beverages. As already clearly stated in the above, one can still drink Cola, Fanta or any soft drinks from time-to-time. Just do not make it a habit!

    @DharmaMaya: If you choose to adopt an extremist practice just by merely reading the article in the above, then there will be many things that you cannot eat and drink in the world. The best approach would be to lead a life of moderation.


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