Soft Drinks: Disease in a Can

Out of over 100 soft drinks and other beverages analyzed by the government, five contained levels of benzene -- a cancer-causing chemical linked to leukemia -- that exceed federal standards set for benzene in drinking water, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

While the federal benzene limit for drinking water is 5 parts per billion (ppb), researchers found benzene levels as high as 79 ppb in the drinks, and most had at least some detectable level of benzene present.

Benzene is able to form in beverages that contain vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and the preservatives sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate. Exposure to heat and light can trigger the formation.

The five drinks that contained excessive benzene levels were:


  • Safeway Select Diet Orange
  • Crush Pineapple
  • AquaCal Strawberry Flavored Water Beverage
  • Crystal Light Sunrise Classic Orange
  • Giant Light Cranberry Juice Cocktail.


    In response, soda manufacturers, including Safeway, are changing their beverage formulations to reduce the risk.

    Aside from the potential benzene risks, MindConnection has compiled a thorough article on all of soft drinks‘ potential health threats. Soft drinks, they say, could rightfully be called:


  • Osteoporosis in a can
  • Diabetes in a can
  • Cancer in a can May 20, 2006

    Yahoo News May 19, 2006



    Dr. Mercola's Comments:


    I am still shocked every time I reflect on the fact that the number one source of calories in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">America</st1:country-region> comes from soda. We clearly have a long way to go to share even the most fundamental, basic nutrition concepts to the typical highly deceived and manipulated American consumer.

    One of the most important physical choices you can make is to discontinue the use of any types of soda and replace it with clean water. This can have absolutely profound influences on not only your health but the health of your children.

    Surveys have found that parents are major role models for their kids' eating habits, even more so than their peers.


    • Almost one-third of the children surveyed drank soft drinks daily, and most drank "regular," not "diet," drinks.


    • Consumption was greater among boys than girls and their intake increased as they got older



    • Virtually all of the respondents liked or "strongly liked" the taste of soft drinks. The "strongly liked" group was almost five times more likely to have soft drinks at least five times a week


    • A child's odds of having a soft drink daily almost doubled if they watched at least 3.5 hours of TV


    • Soft drinks are far more likely to be consumed when they're available in homes and schools


    • Parents who regularly drink sodas may indeed relax rules and restrictions for their kids

    For ten years after I graduated from medical school I could never determine which type of soda was worse, regular or diet. In some ways this is analogous to asking which would you rather get hit with a hammer or a baseball bat? There simply isn't a good answer to this one.

    About two years ago I started writing a book on Splenda and it will finally be published this fall as Sweet Deception. Writing this book required me to perform a very critical review of artificial sweeteners and after performing that analysis I am absolutely convinced that artificial sweeteners are more dangerous than even high fructose modified corn syrup.

    So don't fool yourself and say you are drinking diet soda because it is safer than regular soda. The reality is that it is even worse and will cause you to gain even more weight than regular soda.

    If you are drinking any soda, in my book, there simply is no excuse for you not to immediately take strong actions to discontinue this pernicious habit. If you struggle with addiction I strongly recommend you consider Turbo Tapping as a simple yet highly effective tool to help you stop this health-sucking habit.


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