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Soft drinks: Unsafe Beverages

See all health articles | Osteoporosis article | Calcium Supplements | Vitamin D (helps you use calcium more effectively)

We would also like to thank Dr. Mercola, at for helping to get this article out in front of people.

by , health and fitness expert

Amazingly, Americans (and people in other countries) actually drink a product that can rightfully be called Osteoporosis In a Can. And, it gets worse from there. Read on.

This poison goes by many brand names, such as Coca Cola and Pepsi. Generically, this poison is on the market in formulations known as soda, pop, and soft drinks. It includes all carbonated beverages--even carbonated plain water. The various substances in sodas compound the problem, especially the typical formulations with their carbonic acid or phosphoric acid.

Reading the rest of this article may be the best use you've ever made of 5 minutes. Yeah, we know Pepsi will never sponsor an ad on this site. But your health is more important to us.

It's tragic that the "beverage" industry shoves this toxic brew at human beings. Let's take a closer look at what it does.

The carbonation in all soft drinks causes calcium loss in the bones through a three-stage process:

  1. The carbonation irritates the stomach.
  2. The stomach "cures" the irritation the only way it knows how. It adds the only antacid at its disposal: calcium. It gets this from the blood.
  3. The blood, now low on calcium, replenishes its supply from the bones. If it did not do this, muscular and brain function would be severely impaired.

But, the story doesn't end there. Another problem with most soft drinks is they also contain phosphoric acid (not the same as the carbonation, which is carbon dioxide mixed with the water). This substance also causes a drawdown on the store of calcium.

So, soft drinks soften your bones (actually, they make them weak and brittle) in three ways:

  1. Carbonation reduces the calcium in the bones.
  2. Phosphoric acid reduces the calcium in the bones.
  3. The beverage replaces a calcium-containing alternative, such as milk or water. Milk and water are not excellent calcium sources, but they are sources.

Diabetes in a can

The picture gets worse when you add sugar to the soft drink. The sugar, dissolved in liquid, is quickly carried to the bloodstream, where its presence in overload quantities signals the pancreas to go into overdrive. The pancreas has no way of knowing if this sugar inrush is a single dose or the front-end of a sustained dose. The assumption in the body's chemical controls is the worst-case scenario. To prevent nerve damage from oxidation, the pancreas pumps out as much insulin as it can. Even so, it may not prevent nerve damage.

But, this heroic effort of the pancreas has a hefty downside. The jolt of insulin causes the body to reduce the testosterone in the bloodstream, and to depress further production of it. In both men and women, testosterone is the hormone that controls the depositing of calcium in the bones. You can raise testosterone through weight-bearing exercise, but if you are chemically depressing it via massive sugar intake (it takes very small quantities of sugar to constitute a massive intake, because refined sugar is not something the human body is equipped to handle), then your body won't add calcium to the bones.

Add this to what we discussed above, and you can see that drinking sweetened colas is a suicidal endeavor. And now you know why bone damage formerly apparent only in the very old is now showing up in teenagers.

Cancer in a can

In the spring of 2005, research showed a strong correlation between esophageal cancer and the drinking of carbonated beverages. We aren't providing extensive detail here yet, because the subject is still rolling through the medical community. Basically, it works like this:

  1. You drink soda.
  2. It makes you burp (acid reflux, actually).
  3. The burping carries acid into the esophagus, causing lesions.
  4. The lesions become cancerous.

So, maybe it's not so bad if you sip sodas instead of guzzle them. By the time this issue settles out through double blind studies (rather than statistical analysis only), that is probably what researchers will conclude. It's common sense.

Of course, the softdrink companies have conducted their own flawed studies using flawed methods to obtain the flawed results they want. This way, they can deny that their toxic products also cause esophageal cancer in addition to other diseases their beverages cause. I wonder if these folks have flawed sleep at night, or if they are just psychopathic?

Do a Yahoo or Google search on softdrinks + esophageal cancer, and you'll get several thousand pages of results. Most of the articles say softdrinks "may" cause esophageal cancer. And that's true--in the sense that lying down on a railroad track "may" get you run over by a train or holding a revolver with one bullet in it and pulling the trigger "may" blow your brains out. It's a game of chance. How many chances do you want to take?

You can search online for data on the number of esophageal cancer cases per year and the startling increase in this cancer occurring with the huge ramp-up in soft drink consumption. This disease was unheard of two generations ago--now, it's common. You can also search for the source reports and articles. But, that's not really necessary because basic science is at work here:
  1. Mechanical damage to cells is a huge risk factor for cancer. It's why asbestos particles, for example, cause lung cancer.
  2. Soft drinks cause acid reflux (stomach acid rising up past the esophageal valve). This is more pronounced when the body is horizontal (as in sleeping), but the sheer volume of soft drinks consumed in the USA means the acid reflux is well past the danger point. Any time you ingest a gassy drink, you are going to get belching--and acid into the esophagus. How much is too much? The research doesn't say where the limit is--it only shows that most Americans are far, far, far past it.
  3. Stomach acid dissolves tissue--that's its purpose. The stomach lining does not extend into the esophagus, so the lower esophagus gets damaged by acid far more frequently in soft drink users than in non soft drink users. This results in a radical increase in cell mutations, along with a far higher level of free radicals.

This isn't an attack on the Coca-Cola or Pepsi corporations. It's a revealing of the truth about all carbonated beverages. This has been widely reported in many authoritative sources.

Remember, soft drinks kill.

Stop doing acid!

Reader Jim Faulkner contributed the following to this article:

Refer to "The pH Miracle", Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health, written by Robert O Young, PhD and Shelley Redford Young (copyright 2002 by Robert Young, PhD, published by Warner Books Inc.)

We all know that our average body temperature is about 98.6 degrees F., but how many of us know our normal pH (Power of Hydrogen scale which measures Hydrogen from 0 to 14)? A rating of 7 is neutral. Healthy human bodies should be slightly alkaline at 7.365. Whenever your body moves away from 7.365, your system takes action to move you back to that value.

Water in most areas has a value of 7 or neutral. Carbonated drinks have a value of about 2.8, but the difference isn't just 4.2. The pH scale values vary exponentially. As the scale moves from 7 to 6, the difference is multiplied by 10. Food or beverage at 6 is 10 times as acidic as that at 7. So that carbonated beverage is approaching 100,000 times more acidic than water. With this information, the osteoporosis condition takes on greater LIGHT.

Ron Howell, a senior vice president at New Vision Inc elaborates on these ideas in "New Vision News Magazine" Vol 1 -issue 4 2002 in introducing new products that improve pH.

My wife Jan is a Diamond Independent Distributor with New Vision. She is 71 (married 50 years, May 2003). I read everything they send to her. We have both done the Bill Phillips "Body For Life" program since my 69th birthday, and we ballroom dance three nights a week. Neither of us take any pharmaceutical drugs. Life is good!

Kindest regards, Jim Faulkner

Let's compare soft drinks to water:


Soft drinks


1. The salt in these "beverages" may reduce the amount of water in your cells. Salt increases dehydration, which is why sailors don't drink seawater. 1. The National Institute of Health reports that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. However, this figure is likely understated.

In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.

 Even mild dehydration will slow down your metabolism, speed up aging, reduce resistance to disease, and reduce muscle recovery after exercise.

2. The sugar in these "beverages" (other than the diet kind) increases hunger. 2. One glass of water shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.
3. All sodas promote the symptoms shown in the box at right. The insulin response from the sugary versions compounds them. 3. Lack of water is a major trigger of daytime fatigue, mid-day munchies, leg and toe cramps, and inability to mentally focus.
4. The obesity and nutritional deficiencies typically suffered by heavy soda drinkers bring on back and joint pain. 4. Research indicates drinking half a gallon of water a day would significantly ease back and joint pain for 80% of sufferers.
5. Sodas cause the body to lose water, thereby promoting the symptoms shown at right. 5. A 2% drop in the amount of water retained in the body (other than as subcutaneous or intercellular water due to excess sodium) can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on printed or video text.
6. The various colorings and other substances in sodas aren't noted for cancer prevention. 6. The NIH says drinking a quart of water daily reduces the risk of colon cancer by 45%, reduces the risk of breast cancer by 79%, reduces the risk of bladder cancer by 50%.


The author talks about his credentials:  

Here's how my aversion to softdrinks got started.  Wa-a-ay back in the late 1960s (when I was in grade school), I put 2 + 2 together (that is, carbonation and calcium carbonate) and concluded that drinking soft drinks would cause the loss of calcium in the bones. I was delighted to read in such august publications as the American Journal of Nursing in the mid-1980s that the AMA publicly reached this same conclusion. Note here that I'm not telling you about any false conclusions I also reached....  :)

You are probably used to reading articles that have a fair number of references in the backnotes. I realize that the medical establishment looks for peer-reviewed references (so do the engineering and management professions, which is where my formal training lies). That is one way to filter information, and it is certainly helpful. But it isn't perfect.

On the other hand, the Internet is full of articles that are poorly researched, riddled with errors, and written by crackpots. It sometimes is hard to tell if someone is just an idiot writing opinion or a knowledgeable person writing something that can be validated by experts.

The subject of credentials requires a bit of an open mind, and I think you have that. I haven't taken any medical classes. My undergraduate is in electrical engineering, and I have an MBA. No medical training. Now, here's where it gets interesting...

My gamma globulin is well below the "acceptable" limit. It's been that way my whole life. I was always sick when I was little. But I have not been sick even one day, since 1971. This has amazed every doctor who has seen my blood work and medical history side by side. Asking me how to stay well is like asking Tiger Woods how to play golf. There are some other "markers" along these lines, but this gamma globulin one makes the point.

My expertise here has come the old-fashioned way: reading absurd amounts of authoritative materials. I have pored over thousands of books and articles on health (at one time, I had library cards for 5 different library systems and used all of them regularly). Due to my personal condition, I have been conducting this research now for about four decades.

You can find many of my articles, plus a fairly recent photo of me at .

The scientific method requires using a control group. The "credentials" I gave don't comply with that and are thus anecdotal. But I think they are compelling nonetheless.

Best Regards,
Mark Lamendola
Mindconnection and Supplecity


We've had a fair number of people write to us, asking for sources. For this topic, "sources" are not necessary:

  1. The fact that calcium combines with carbon to create calcium carbonate is basic chemistry.
  2. The fact that carbon is in carbon dioxide is also basic chemistry.
  3. I figured out the calcium depletion from carbonated beverages at the age of 8; I remember because I spoke up in class about this and that led to a parent teacher conference.

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