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Soda by Mind Map: Soda
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Diet Coke

Care for some water? No way, get me a Diet Coke, or a Coke Zero. Water is for washing hands, not drinking. And regular soft drinks and juice are full of sugars and calories. So you decided a long time ago to go with artificial sweeteners. After a while, you didn’t even notice the slightly different taste compared to sugar sweetened beverages. And, diet drinks are zero calories. Win-win. Both taste buds AND body are happy. A no-brainer, right? Not so fast. A fascinating article – Artificially Sweetened Beverages Cause for Concern – recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), challenges the notion that artificial sweeteners are risk free. The article’s author, David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD,  a Harvard professor and Founding Director of the Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) clinic at Children’s Hospital, Boston, makes three important points, especially in the context of artificially sweetened drinks: 1. Our body gets confused by artificial sweeteners – the dissociation between sweet taste and calorie intake may put the regulatory system that controls hunger and body weight out of sync, thus sabotaging weight loss plans. A study on rodents showed that those fed saccharin actually gained weight compared to rodents fed sucrose. 2. We’re “Infantilizing” our taste sense – Artificial sweeteners are a hundredfold sweeter than sucrose (table sugar). By getting ourselves used to so much sweet, normal sweet flavors, of fruit for example, become bland and so do other healthful foods such as grains and vegetables, thus reducing our willingness to consume them and ultimately the quality of our diet. 3. Long term effects unclear – while there have been many studies on artificial sweeteners and disease such cancer, very few focused on long term weight gain. A seven year study, (San Antonio Heart Study), showed a relationship between diet drink consumption and obesity, but the causation is not clear. Consumption of artificial sweeteners is growing yearly. According to Ludwig, If trends in consumption continue, the nation will, in effect, have embarked on a massive, uncontrolled, and inadvertent public health experiment. Although many synthetic chemicals have been added to the food supply in recent years, artificial sweeteners in beverages stand out in their ability to interact with evolutionarily ancient sensorineural pathways at remarkably high affinity.  


Aspartame/Nutrasweet is not very sweet in itself, that may be why Equal puts Dextrose (sugar) and maltodextrin as the first ingredients, so that it tastes sweet. Aspartame/Nutrasweet is a brain drug that stimulates your brain so you think that the food you're eating tastes sweet. If you pay attention you'll notice that when using Aspartame/Nutrasweet, everything you eat at the same time also tastes sweet! This may be why Aspartame/Nutrasweet causes you to crave carbohydrates. Hence, you won't lose weight using it. BTW, cyclamates got pulled off the market in the 70's in the US (but not Canada or the rest of the world) because the sugar industry saw too much of their market disappear. Aspartame/Nutrasweet (aspartylphenylalanine-methyl-ester) breaks down to its poison constituents at 86 degrees (Aspartic Acid 40%, Phenylalanine 50%, and Methanol 10%). Remember your stomach is at 98.6 degrees! Therefore you should never use Aspartame/Nutrasweet in hot beverages or cooked foods such as Jello. How the FDA allows this remains a mystery. There is mounting evidence that the "Burning Mouth Syndrome" experienced by the Desert Storm troops was actually Methanol poisoning from the Diet Coke they drank lots of, after being exposed to desert temperatures. Aspartame/Nutrasweet's 10% Methanol appears in the body quickly and is the same alcohol (wood alcohol also in lacquer thinner), that your mother correctly warned you could make you blind. Many skid-row alcoholics had major problems with this cheap but deadly form of alcohol. Aspartame/Nutrasweet's 40% Aspartic Acid is an "excitotoxin" in the brain and excites neurons to death, i.e. it kills brain cells and causes other nerve damage. Aspartame/Nutrasweet triggers Migraine Headaches This even happened to me!. The Usenet is filled with posts by people who have pinned their migraines down to aspartame/Nutrasweet consumption. Aspartame/Nutrasweet's breakdown products attack the bodies tissues and create Formaldehyde which builds up in the tissues forever. Remember the smelly, eye watering fumes from the frogs you dissected in school? They were preserved with Formaldehyde! Formaldehyde is thought to cause cancer.  The American Bottlers Association did not want the FDA to approve Aspartame/Nutrasweet because of what the test report showed. But the FDA approved it anyway! Airline pilots stay away from Aspartame/Nutrasweet because they are well aware of the documented dangers. Aspartame/Nutrasweet also breaks down to diketopiperazine [DKP] which is proven to cause Brain Tumors! Brain Tumors used to be rare. Several of the rats in the original study formed brain tumors during their Aspartame/Nutrasweet exposure. The researchers surgically removed the tumors and returned the rats to the study and discounted the tumors. Linked to cancer in laboratory animals. "If you are using Aspartame [NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc.] and you suffer from Fibromyalgia symptoms, Spasms, Shooting Pains, Numbness in your Legs, Cramps, Vertigo, Dizziness, Headaches, Tinnitus, Joint Pain, Depression, Anxiety Attacks, Slurred Speech, Blurred Vision, or Memory loss, you probably have ASPARTAME DISEASE!" People were jumping up during the lecture saying, "I've got this! Is it reversible?" It is rampant. Some of the speakers at my lecture were suffering from many of these symptoms. In one lecture attended by the Ambassador of Uganda, he told us that their Sugar industry is adding Aspartame! He continued by saying that one of the industry leader's son could no longer walk due in part to product usage! We have a very serious problem. A stranger came up to Dr. Espisto, (one of my speakers) and myself and said, "Could you tell me why so many people seem to be coming down with MS?" During a visit to a hospice, a nurse said that six of her friends, who were heavy Diet Coke drinkers, had all been diagnosed with MS. This is beyond coincidence.     Three byproducts of aspartame are methanol, formaldehyde, and formate, which defenders maintain occur in modest amounts - similar to what is found in fruit juices - and cannot be considered toxic. But according to Michael Schachter MD in an article on HealthWorld, the methanol in juices is chemically bound so it cannot be absorbed into the body whereas in aspartame it is in a free state where it can be absorbed. Additionally, in aspartame the methanol is unaccompanied by ethanol which acts as a protectant in its natural state. A PubMed search reveals divided opinion over whether aspartame consumption can lead to worrisome build-ups of blood methanol or formaldehyde. A 1998 Spanish study on rats, for example, warns "that aspartame consumption may constitute a hazard because of its contribution to the formation of formaldehyde adducts," while a 2002 Japanese study on rats concludes: "It is suggested that aspartame at abuse doses is harmless to humans." A survey of aspartame studies by Ralph Walton MD of Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine found: "Of the 166 studies felt to have relevance for questions of human safety, 74 had NutraSweet industry related funding and 92 were independently funded. One hundred percent of the industry funded research attested to aspartame's safety, whereas 92 percent of the independently funded research identified a problem." One in 15,000 people may not properly metabolize phenylalanine, an essential amino acid found in aspartame. The substance is a precursor to tyrosine, a building block of norepinephrine anddopamine, but, in the words of the FDA: "High levels of this amino acid in body fluids can cause brain damage." Accordingly, the FDA duly requires a warning that all products containing the sweetener be labeled for the substance. Newborns are routinely screened for phenylalanine metabolism (the PKU test), which rules out the likelihood of an unsuspecting consumer gulping down hemlock. The FDA approved aspartame for use in certain dry foods in 1981 and for soft drinks in 1983. In 1996, it removed all restrictions, allowing use in all food products, including ones exposed to heat, which separates the main ingredients. The FDA has set an acceptable daily limit of 50 mg per kg of body weight, which assumes that aspartame can safely replace all sucrose sweeteners in the diet. The FDA approval, however, should not be equated with safety, particularly in light of how the product got the green light. In 1980 a three-member board of inquiry examined the test results of Searle, the pharmaceutical arm of Monsanto that manufactures aspartame. Although they thought the sweetener did not cause brain damage, they concluded more studies were needed to conclusively demonstrate the product's safety. A five-member panel then decided 3-2 that Searle's safety studies were not conclusive. Nevertheless, commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes overruled the board's recommendations, and granted approval for aspartame's first two approvals in 1981 and 1983. Within three months of the 1983 approval, Hayes resigned from the FDA and accepted a position as a paid consultant in Searle's PR firm. (This is set out in two GAO reports, which nevertheless absolved both Hayes and the FDA.) Meanwhile, the agency stands behind its original approval in 1981: FDA calls aspartame ... one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved. The agency says the more than 100 toxicological and clinical studies it has reviewed confirm that aspartame is safe for the general population. Aspartame and Depression and Bipolar Disorder Fine, but can those who suffer depression or bipolar disorder be considered part of the general population? In 1993, Dr Walton, who is a psychiatrist, conducted a study of 40 patients with unipolar depression and a similar number without a psychiatric history. The subjects were given 30 mgs per kg of body weight a day of aspartame or a placebo for 20 days (about equal to daily consumption if it completely replaced sugar). Thirteen individuals completed the study, then an institutional review board called the project to a halt "because of the severity of reactions within the group of patients with a history of depression." In a smaller, shorter crossover design, "again there was a significant difference between aspartame and placebo in number and severity of symptoms for patients with a history of depression, whereas for individuals without such a history there was not." Accordingly, the author concluded that "individuals with mood disorders are particularly sensitive to this artificial sweetener and its use in this population should be discouraged." As to further particulars of the study, based on the eight depressed subjects and five healthy subjects who completed it: Three quarters of the patients with a history of depression taking aspartame reported feeling depressed vs none of the healthy subjects taking aspartame and about 40 percent of both groups taking a placebo. The 40 percent is probably a statistical aberration owing to the small numbers who completed the study. Nevertheless, the figures consistently show the depressed/aspartame group experiencing an array of symptoms in far greater numbers and severity, including: fatigue, nausea, headache, trouble remembering, insomnia, and other symptoms. The depressed/placebo group showed almost none of these symptoms, along with the healthy/aspartame and healthy/placebo groups Dr Walton told this writer he believes aspartame inhibits serotonin synthesis by decreasing the availability of the precursor L-tryptophan, a finding borne out in another research team’s 1987 experiment on rats. Remarkably, Dr Walton’s study is the only one we have related to both mood and aspartame. It would be helpful to get a second opinion, but no one else since, apparently, has tried to either replicate or refute his results. This may be due to the political and funding climate. "The NutraSweet company," Dr Walton told this writer, "clearly tried to block our study." So we are left contemplating the fridge, where our Diet Coke is being chilled, with but one aging study to either guide us or confuse us. Once again, like the trial and error of our meds, we find ourselves human guinea pigs, this time experimenting with our diet. For many, aspartame may turn out to be a life-saving alternative to that well-documented sweet poison, sugar. Others who continue to experience depression, fatigue, and other symptoms, however, may want to moderate their aspartame consumption and see what happens. Splenda In 1998, the FDA approved the use of another artificial sweetener, sucralose (Splenda), in all foods. Sucralose is derived from actual sugar. Those "Atkins friendly" and "Low carbs" graphics now plastered on commercial baked goods and desserts like product logos on racing cars are just another way of saying the sugar has been removed and replaced with Splenda. RC Cola uses Splenda in its diet version, and in the summer of 2004, Coke and Pepsi debuted half-sugar, half-Splenda concoctions - C2 and Edge, respectively - to capitalize on the Atkins fad. Critics point out there have been no long-term studies of Splenda on humans, that pre-approval studies on rats turned up shrunken thymus glands and other organ damage, that relatively few studies exist, and that the product has no long-term safety record.  

Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew is one of the most damaging drinks to the body in my opinion. Everything from high sugar levels to caffeine to preservatives and brominated vegetable oil make it a health zapping product. There is also some controversy regarding the safety of the sodium benzoate. PepsiCo lists their ingredients in Mt Dew as: Carbonated water High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) Concentrated orange juice and other natural flavors Citric acid Sodium-benzoate(preserves freshness) Caffeine (55.2 mg per 12 oz.) Sodium citrate Gum arabic Erythorbic acid (preserves freshness) Calcium disodium EDTA (to protect flavor) Brominated vegetable oil Yellow 5 So in summary - these are the product *benefits* - 1) Acidic pH levels that leach minerals from your bones 2) High acid levels and sugar destroy teeth 3) High fructose causes hit to the pancreas, spikes glucose and causes weight gain. 4) Increases uric and lactic acid levels which increases disease risk. 5) Raises triglyceride levels 6) Inhibits copper metabolism 7) Contains 11.5 teaspoons of sugar per 12 oz serving. 8) Suppresses your immune system anywhere from 6-36 hours 9) Contains sodium benzoate which deactivates parts of DNA and destroys mitochondria function thus inducing fatigue and other diseases. 10) High levels of caffeine tax the adrenal glands which lower immune resistance and hormone levels over time. 11) Brominated Vegetable Oil contributes to lower thyroid function through displacement of iodine and also creates bromide toxicity which has been tied to cancer among other degenerative diseases. 12) Yellow Dye #5 can contribute to allergic reactions. Allergies kick up inflammation. Google chronic inflammation and you will see all the negative aspects of doing this to your body.

How to Overcome Mountain Dew Addiction

Yellow 5

Yellow Dye #5(Tartrazine) Yellow 5 is suspected to cause clinical depression, anxiety, vision problems, feeling like your suffocating, migraines, it can also cause you to miss out on a lot of sleep if you have an allergy to the dye. This product has been banned for usage in Norway, Austria and Germany. It is extracted from coal tar. Tartrazine seems to cause the most allergic and intolerance reactions of all the azo dyes. Symptoms of this can include anxiety, migraines, clinical depression, blurred vision, itching, general weakness, heatwaves, feeling of suffocation, purple skin patches, and sleep disturbance. Other symptoms include asthma and mild rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal passageways mostly with discharge).

Sodium Benzonate

Sodium benzoate- A preservative found in many soft drinks that has the ability to deactivate parts of DNA and eventually cause diseases such as Parkinson's and cirrhosis of the liver. Peter Piper, a professor of molecularbiology and biotechnology at Sheffield University, after studying it for 8 years found that the preservative seriously damages living cells. Sodium benzoate was found to damage the mitochondria of the cells. These organelles are your "power houses". They give the cell (and you) energy. Mitochondria consume oxygen for energy and if you damage these, diseases will set in.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) - The majority of HFCS is made from genetically engineered corn.  This is a corn syrup that has undergone an enzymatic process to increase its fructose level. Then it is mixed with pure corn syrup (100% glucose) to arrive at its final form. High fructose corn syrup can be manipulated to contain equal amounts of fructose and glucose, or up to 80 percent fructose and 20 percent glucose. Thus, with almost twice the fructose, HFCS delivers double the risk compared to sugar. Ingestion of fructose increases uric acid levels. Increases in uric acid levels have been linked to heart disease. It also raises levels of lactic acid. Very high levels in the body can be serious or even life-threatening.  A high sucrose diet may alter intracellular metabolism. This will accelerate  aging because of the oxidative damage it produces. Scientists have found that rats given fructose had changes in the collagen of their skin. [1] Fructose is metabolized by the liver so the pancreas does not produce the  normal amount of insulin. The fructose more readily converts to fat than other sugars which may be the reason why we are seeing an increase in obesity. If you check the labels of most products you will be shocked to see most contain high fructose corn syrup.  Fructose raises triglyceride levels significantly.  It has damaging effects when the person is copper deficient because it inhibits copper metabolism which can be accompanied by a wide variety of issues like anemia, connective tissue issues, heart attacks, high cholesterol and an inability to control blood sugar. Low levels of copper have also been linked to thyroid disorders. These are the Nutritional Facts for a can of Mt Dew. Notice the number of  grams of sugar. If you would like to know how many teaspoons this equates to take the number and divide it by 4. ( 46 / 4 = 11.5 teaspoons of sugar.) But keep in mind that this is not sugar - it is HFCS and that is almost twice the fructose of sugar.  Nutrition Facts Serving Size: 12 fl oz / 335 mL  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Amount per Serving  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Calories 170 Calories from Fat 0  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- % Daily Value *  Total Fat 0g 0%  Saturated Fat 0g 0%  Monounsaturated Fat 0g  Polyunsaturated Fat 0g  Cholesterol 0mg 0%  Sodium 70mg 3%  Potassium 0mg 0%  Total Carbohydrate 46g 15%  Dietary Fiber 0g 0%  Sugars 46g  Protein 0g 0%  Your immune system also takes a hit with the high levels of sugar in the blood stream. The ingestion of sugar begins to inhibit the immune system in less than 30 minutes and continues for 6 hours. Some studies are now showing that to some degree it affects the body for up to 36 hours. If you think about how often sugar is consumed by the average person you will soon realize that we are in a constant immunosuppressed state. Most believe their immune system only comes into play for colds and flu but in fact, it goes much deeper for chronic health conditions and cancer.


Caffeine - This has become American's drug of choice. It is how we functionfrom day to day and get the energy we need. The mechanism of how this works is to increase adrenaline into the blood stream. Where does this come from? The adrenals. Eventually being in this fight or flight status will cause them to become fatigued. These glands are the marathon runners not the sprinters. Unfortunately overtaxing them for energy will cause hormone levels to drop because a fatigued gland will not operate at optimum levels. Lowered sex hormones, low libido, infertility and more will come as a result of this. In the long run overuse of caffeine causes fatigue which will fuel the need for more caffeine and the vicious cycle begins. At 55.2 mgs per 12 ounces, Mt Dew packs a wallop. I know very few people who consume just 12 ounces. With the big gulps and supersized drinks, amounts consumed can be upwards of 48 oz which gives 4 times the amount or 200.8 mgs of caffeine and 46 teaspoons of sugar.

Brominated Vegetable Oil

Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) - is a vegetable oil that has atoms of elemental bromine bonded to it. It is used in Mt Dew as an emulsifier (stabilizes the combining of two *unblendable* substances). It is what gives drinks that cloudy look. In this case it helps keep fat-soluable citrus flavorings suspended in the drink.  Long after consumption, traces of BVO will remain and can be found in thetissues. Bromide is a halide which has been shown to inhibit thyroid function by blocking the uptake of iodine. When in an iodine deficient state and bromine is supplied, the thyroid gland will take it in because it's *appears* to be a close substitute for iodine. A century ago potassium bromide was used as a sedative. The following is a list (although not inclusive) of what bromide toxicity can do. Abdominal cramps  Anxiety Anorexia  Blurred vision  Coma  Constricted pupils Convulsions  Cyanosis (skin blueness)  Diarrhea  Dizziness  Heart beat malfunction Headache  Weakness  Tremors of the tongue and eyelids  Muscular cramps  Nausea  Respiratory difficulty  Salivation Slow pulse  Sweating  Tearing  Vomiting  There's no telling just how much bromide is contained in this product but in my opinion any amount is too much for me. If you are not taking in high doses of iodine with this product you are setting yourself up for some major health issues. Even with iodine there is still a risk. We are only beginning to understand the levels of iodine required to push out bromide. If detoxification pathways are compromised it may be difficult to remove this toxin from the body.

Acidic PH Levels

Acidic pH Levels- All soft drinks share a common issue. They are highly acidic. The pH level of Mt Dew is 3.3. Pure water is 7.0 which is the level your body seeks to maintain for optimum health. Consuming a product that is highly acidic begins a rather destructive process in your body. Your blood must maintain a pH level of approx 7.1. If it does not you will suffer destructive consequences. If it varies greatly from this level you will die within a matter of minutes. So in an effort to maintain a healthy pH your body does everything in its power to balance it. When you consume these highly acidic drinks your body has a game plan for buffering the acidity. The way it accomplishes this is to use alkaline minerals. It does this by pulling from your skeletal system utilizing minerals like calcium and magnesium. It then releases them into your bloodstream to counteract the acidity. This is how your body keeps you alive.