by Mike Adams

extracted from "Grocery Warning"

from Scribd Website




Now let’s take a look at the next problem found in everyday foods and groceries consumed by most Americans: soft drinks.

Generally speaking, we are a nation of people hooked on soft drinks. As I know from personal experience - and perhaps your own experience agrees with this - many of us became overweight or obese in the first place by engaging in diets very high in soft drink consumption. As a result, we are “addicted” to these soft drinks and have a very hard time eliminating them from our diet.

This addiction operates at many levels. It’s more than just a desire: it’s a biochemical, multi-sensory addiction that can be exceedingly difficult for people to break.


I know this very well: I grew up on a diet that was high in soft drink consumption. During most of my younger years, I hardly drank water at all and, instead, relied on soft drinks. It only took me six months to break the habit. And I’m happy to say today that I have been 100 percent free of soft drinks for nearly 10 years. And I don’t miss it one bit.

Obviously, this is the goal you should shoot for: the complete and permanent elimination of soft drinks from your dietary patterns.


Unfortunately, it isn’t so easy to arrive at the goal, and many people attempting to lose weight inevitably turn to diet soft drinks to avoid the extraordinary amount of refined sugars contained in regular soft drinks.



The damaging health effects of soft drink consumption

While it’s a smart decision to avoid refined sugars, especially when they are presented in liquid candy form as they are in soft drinks, there are characteristics of soft drinks that pose tremendous risks to your health that go way beyond corn syrup.


People universally overlook these characteristics.

As an example, I’ll show you an overwhelming amount of evidence that demonstrates soft drinks leach minerals from your bones, resulting in decreased bone mass and the onset of osteoporosis. There are many other problems associated with the frequent consumption of even diet soft drinks, as you will see.

Let’s start by looking at a few statistics that show an alarming increase in the consumption of soft drinks over the years and the massive expenditures by the soft drinks manufacturers to market this disease-promoting substance


Soft drink consumption and marketing statistics

  • The Coca-Cola Company spends nearly $300 million per year on soft drink advertisements

  • The average American eats over 200 pounds of sugar and artificial sweeteners per year

  • The typical teenage male who drinks soda drinks over 42 ounces every day, and the habits of girls are only slightly better

  • The average American drinks more than 50 gallons of soft drinks per year.

Soft drink portions - Super size me!
At the same time advertising expenditures on soft drinks are skyrocketing, and fast food restaurants, movie theaters, quick stop convenience marts and other retail establishments that sell soft drinks are upsizing their portions to ridiculous levels:

The largest movie-theater soft drink contains 800 calories if not too diluted with ice. Larger portions can contribute to weight gain unless people compensate with diet and exercise. From an industry standpoint, however, larger portions make good marketing sense. The cost of food is low relative to labor and other factors that add value.


Large portions attract customers who flock to all-you-can-eat restaurants and order double-scoop ice cream cones because the relative prices discourage the choice of smaller portions. It does not require much mathematical skill to understand that the larger portions of McDonald’s french fries are a better buy than the “small” when they are 40 percent cheaper per ounce
-Marion Nestle, Food Politics


Diet soft drinks don’t cause you to lose weight
Despite all of this increase in the consumption of soft drinks - especially diet soft drinks - it turns out diet soft drinks don’t help people lose weight in the first place.


If you haven’t already experienced this yourself (you know, years and years of buying “diet” soft drinks without shedding a single pound), just walk into any grocery store and look at the people who are buying diet soft drinks. These are not thin people.


From my own observations, the more diet soft drinks a person buys in line at the grocery store, the more overweight they tend to be.

There have been absolutely no scientific studies showing that “diet” soft drinks help people lose weight. In fact, the experience of most people is quite the opposite. Soft drink manufacturers certainly don’t claim their products cause people to lose weight, because they know they couldn’t get away with that kind of claim without some sort of proof - and they have none.

Technically, then, all diet soft drinks are mislabeled.


There’s nothing about them that qualifies as “diet,” and the FDA should require soft drink manufacturers to either prove their drinks help people lose weight or disallow the use of the word “diet” in the product names.



A closer look at the health problems linked to soft drink consumption

Now, let’s take a look at the various problems and health risks associated with diet soft drinks. First, the most obvious: artificial chemical sweeteners:


Artificial chemical sweeteners

Factoid: One liter of most aspartame-sweetened soft drinks contains about 55 mg of methanol.
- H.J. Roberts, M.D., Aspartame: Is It Safe?

We’ve already covered artificial chemical sweeteners in some detail, so I’ll limit my comments in this section.


But allow me to summarize what we’ve learned so far:

  • Most diet soft drinks are sweetened with aspartame. It is well known that aspartame breaks down into methanol (free methyl alcohol) which is a chemical regulated by the EPA and considered an environmental pollutant. This methanol, in turn, breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde inside the human body.

  • Formaldehyde is a potent nerve toxin, which may explain why so many users of aspartame complain of nerve-related symptoms such as blindness, dizziness, migraine headaches, and seizures. Aspartame alone is responsible for 75 percent of the food and beverage-related health complaints to the FDA.

  • Aspartame remains legal solely due to the financial and political interests of those who profit from its sales and consumption. The FDA does not protect the public from aspartame because the FDA generally acts in collusion with private industry, rather than in the interests of the general public.

It is my belief that when the truth about aspartame becomes publicly known, this substance will join the artificial sweetener cyclamate on the list of highly toxic chemicals permanently banned from use in the food supply.


When this ban is put in place, I predict the FDA will champion that ban, claiming they are “protecting the public!”. Sure they are, but only after tens of millions have been unnecessarily harmed.

As a reminder of the toxic nature of aspartame, here’s a quote from the book Aspartame: Is It Safe?

The unknowing consumption of aspartame, whether by ingestion or the chewing of gum, predictably triggered subsequent grand mal seizures. The amount of aspartame ingested in some patients was remarkably small.


This is illustrated by (1) an infant who developed convulsions when his nursing mother drank an aspartame soft drink, and (2) a young woman believed to have aspartame-related epilepsy who convulsed within minutes after chewing one piece of “sugar-free” gum.
- H. J. Roberts, M.D., Aspartame: Is It Safe?


Soft drinks, phosphorus, meat and osteoporosis

In addition to the significant health risks posed by the artificial chemical sweeteners found in diet soft drinks, another major health risk exists.


This one is rarely discussed, however, and because few people know about it. They happily drink gallons and gallons of diet soft drinks each year, thinking they are “protecting themselves” from the ravages of refined sugars and high-fructose corn syrup.

What they don’t realize is that while they may be avoiding the refined sugars, they are not at all avoiding another problem that’s perhaps worse: the dangerous mineral imbalance.

To understand how this works, however, you’ll first need a fundamental understanding of how minerals operate in the human body. Minerals like calcium and magnesium must be present in a specific ratio (2 to 1, in this case) in order to support healthy, balanced function in the human body. If this ratio is substantially altered, imbalances begin to occur.


These mineral imbalances can create destructive health consequences.

One crucial mineral ratio in the human body is the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. For optimum balance and healthy function throughout the body, calcium and phosphorus must exist in a ratio of around 1:1. In other words, for every 500mg of calcium you consume, you should ideally get 500mg of phosphorus as well.

The standard American diet is way too high in phosphorus due to its heavy reliance on foods and beverages with a high phosphorus content such as meats and dairy products. All by itself, this dietary pattern presents possible imbalances in the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.


Many people are simply not getting enough calcium in their bodies, but they are consuming an excess of phosphorus through meats and other high-protein foods (protein, in general, contains a high phosphorus content). Remember: phosphorus isn’t a “bad” mineral, in fact it is essential to your health. What’s bad here is the ratio of these minerals when phosphorus is consumed in excess.

There’s also the issue of the acidity of soft drinks.


When you consume these highly acidic beverages, your body must neutralize that acid by buffering it with alkaline minerals such as calcium. And where do you think your body might find stores of calcium? Your bones, of course, which are sort of like “calcium banks” as far as your body is concerned.

In this way, eating or drinking soft drinks results in your body tapping your bones in order to find the calcium needed to “balance” the phosphorus ratio in your body.


This calcium is stripped from your bones and then eliminated through your urine.


When you drink soft drinks, you are peeing away your bones
To put it simply, if you frequently drink soft drinks, you are initiating a series of biochemical cause-and-effect events that result in you literally peeing your bones away.

As explained in The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine:

Soft drinks have long been suspected of leading to lower calcium levels and higher phosphate levels in the blood. When phosphate levels are high and calcium levels are low, calcium is pulled out of the bones. The phosphate content of soft drinks is very high, and they contain virtually no calcium. It appears that increased soft-drink consumption is a major factor that contributes to osteoporosis.


The link between soft-drink consumption and bone loss is going to become even more significant as children who were practically weaned on soft drinks reach adulthood. Soft-drink consumption in children poses a significant risk factor for impaired calcification of growing bones.


Since there is such a strong correlation between maximum bone-mineral density and the risk of osteoporosis, the rate of osteoporosis may reach even greater epidemic proportions.

The severe negative impact that soft drinks exert on bone formation in children was clearly demonstrated in a study that compared fifty-seven children with low blood calcium levels, aged eighteen months to fourteen years, to 171 matched controls (children with normal calcium levels). The goal of the study was to assess whether the intake of at least 1.5 quarts per week of phosphate-containing soft drinks is a risk factor for the development of low blood calcium levels. Not surprisingly, a strong association was found.


Of the fifty-seven children who had low blood calcium levels, thirty-eight (66.7 percent) drank more than four bottles (12 to 16 ounces per bottle) of soft drinks per week, but only forty-eight (28 percent) of the 171 children with normal serum calcium levels consumed as much soft drink. For all 228 children, a significant correlation between serum calcium level and the number of bottles of soft drink consumed each week was found. The more soft drinks consumed, the lower the calcium level.

These results more than support the contention that soft-drink consumption leads to lower calcium levels in children.


This situation that ultimately leads to poor bone mineralization, which explains the greater risk of broken bones in children who consume soft drinks.

Although this study focused on children, the same is true for adults: the more soft drinks you consume (diet or otherwise), the lower your levels of calcium. These soft drinks literally leach calcium right out of your bones.


Loss of calcium and bone mass, not surprisingly, leads directly to osteoporosis and other bone disorders:

The skeletal system suffers most from calcium deficiency. Teeth minerals are more stable, though there is a possibility of poor dentition with insufficient calcium. Tooth loss, periodontal disease, and gingivitis can be problems, especially with a high phosphorus intake, particularly from soft drinks. All kinds of bone problems can occur with prolonged calcium deficiency, which causes a decrease in bone mass.


Rickets in children, osteomalacia (decreased bone calcium) in adults, and osteoporosis (porous and fragile bones) can occur when calcium is withdrawn from bones faster than it is deposited. Fractures are more common with osteoporosis - almost eight million yearly in the United States are related to this prevalent nutritional deficiency disease

The typical American diet provides too much phosphorus and not enough calcium, leading to reduced body storage of calcium; thus, many of the problems of calcium deficiency discussed earlier may develop. Phosphorus and calcium can compete for absorption in the intestines. High consumption of meats or soft drinks increases phosphorus intake and may contribute to this imbalance. The ideal ratio of calcium to phosphorus in the diet is 1:1.

In recent years, the increased consumption of soft drinks, which are buffered with phosphates, has been a concern. There may be up to 500 mg. of phosphorus per serving of a soft drink, with essentially no calcium.
- Elson Haas M.D., Staying Healthy With Nutrition


High phosphorus content combines with high meat consumption to spell disaster
As the statement above describes, most Americans’ diets are too high in phosphorus to begin with. If you add diet soft drinks, your phosphorus consumption skyrockets.


This only accelerates the loss of calcium from bones and the subsequent bone disorders that naturally result. of the leading contributors to osteoporosis in the U.S. is carbonated soft drinks containing phosphorus. Research has shown a direct link between too much phosphorus and calcium loss. If you’re guzzling down a couple of fizzy soft drinks a day, you’re most likely creating bone loss.


Our other source of excessive phosphorus in the U.S. is eating too much meat. The average American gets more than enough protein, so for most of us it can only help to cut down on our meat consumption.
- Earl Mindell, Ph.D., Prescription Alternatives

Dr. James Balch, author of the A to Z Guide To Supplements, supports the same line of thinking:

The average American diet of meats, refined grains, and soft drinks (which are high in phosphorus) leads to increased excretion of calcium. Consuming alcoholic beverages, coffee, junk foods, excess salt, and/or white flour also leads to the loss of calcium by the body
- James F. Balch, M.D., A to Z Guide To Supplements

The meat connection to excess dietary phosphorus is also well explained in The Doctor’s Complete Guide to Vitamins and Minerals:

Excess dietary phosphorus, found in meat, soft drinks, grains, and potatoes, may promote bone loss by interfering with calcium balance. In theory, the higher your phosphorus intake, the greater your tendency to leech calcium out of bones, which could weaken the bony foundation beneath your gums. Recommendation: ...try not to drink carbonated soft drinks, diet or otherwise.

As you can see, high-protein diets and soft drink consumption multiply each other’s mineral imbalances.


While avoiding refined carbohydrates is a very healthy way to lose weight, if people don’t pay attention to their calcium / phosphorus ratios, some of their weight loss may actually be due to their loss of bone mass!


Calcium supplements alone won’t solve this problem
You might think you could solve this problem by simply taking calcium supplements.


But think again: the high consumption of phosphorus actually makes it difficult for your body to absorb calcium. Phosphorus competes with calcium for absorption in the intestines, meaning that the more phosphorus you have in your diet, the less calcium you can actually absorb.

In this way, taking calcium supplements in order to “balance” the consumption of diet soft drinks may not be nearly as effective as you hoped:

If your diet contains an excess of phosphorus, from too much animal protein or too many carbonated soft drinks, you may fail to absorb calcium from your food as well as lose more calcium from your urine. Americans tend to eat more phosphorus than calcium, which looms large if you are at risk for bone thinning. ...Avoid carbonated soft drinks and yeast products.
- Mary Dan Eades, M.D., The Doctor’s Complete Guide to Vitamins and Minerals

Eventually, with enough bone loss and depleted calcium stores, bone fractures start to occur at an accelerated rate.


This has been well demonstrated in clinical studies of soft drink consumption, even in young adults who typically have stronger bones than those who are older:

Significant calcium imbalance can come about as a result of high intakes of phosphorus. Phosphorus is present in high quantities in protein-containing foods and soft drinks. There is some evidence that due to the large increase in soft drinks in the last decade that this factor alone may contribute to poor peak bone mass in younger individuals.


Based on data from more than 4,000 children aged 2-17 years, soda consumption among children and adolescents rose 41 percent in the time period of 1989-1991 compared to 1994-1995. A 1994 study of 127 children aged 8-16 found that 39 percent of the girls and 41 percent of the boys had a history of bone fracture.


Girls who consumed greater amounts of cola beverages had a higher incidence of fractures than those who consumed low amounts. A high calcium intake was found to protect against fractures, particularly among girls who had high physical activity (Ballew et al. 2000).
- Disease Prevention and Treatment by the Life Extension Foundation

(If you noticed, this study also showed that high physical activity helped protect against bone fractures - something I’ve advocated for years. The more physical you get on a daily basis, the stronger your bones.)

This study showed that calcium supplementation helped prevent bone fractures. It only makes sense: if you get more calcium, you will help balance out the ratios. But as the earlier quotes mentioned, the absorption of that calcium may be seriously impaired by the excessive phosphorus. This is why the best strategy is to reduce phosphorus intake in order to balance the calcium / phosphorus ratio in your body.


And the easiest way to do that is to simply avoid soft drinks for life.



Milk is not the answer to calcium deficiency

Many people think they are getting “plenty of calcium” from all the milk they consume, and therefore, they think they can drink diet soft drinks without worrying about the imbalance.


The more milk they drink, they say, the more soft drinks they can safely consume.

This position is sadly misinformed. Milk doesn’t have much calcium in it to begin with, regardless of the hype and promotional efforts of the dairy industry (which will be discussed in greater detail later). A cup of broccoli juice, for example, has more calcium than a cup of milk. An ounce of spirulina (a micro-algae superfood) has far more calcium than milk, along with magnesium and zinc as well.

Secondly, the calcium in milk isn’t well utilized by the human body unless magnesium and vitamin D are also present - and both of these are typically lacking in the American diet.


Milk also contributes to the phosphorus mineral imbalance due to its own high phosphorus and protein content:

Too much protein - milk again, as well as meat - increases calcium loss. Also, phosphates (in processed foods and soft drinks, common in the average child’s diet) can cause calcium loss or excretion.
-Robyn Landis, Herbal Defense

Supplementing with magnesium would help your body absorb more supplementary calcium, and increased exposure to healthy, natural sunlight would increase vitamin D stores, but even then, there are far better places to get calcium. Namely: whole food complexes and superfoods like chlorella and spirulina.


Plant sources of calcium are clearly your best choice:

Obtain as much calcium and magnesium and other trace minerals from your diet as possible by ...eating dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, nuts, and seeds; eliminate or reduce the use of colas and other soft drinks in order to decrease phosphorus intake.


Postmenopausal women should probably supplement with calcium/magnesium capsules.


Calcium citrate is generally better absorbed and utilized than calcium carbonate. Daily intakes should reach at least 1,000 mg of calcium and 500 mg of magnesium, along with sufficient trace minerals including zinc, boron, and copper.
- Disease Prevention and Treatment


Soft drinks make you ugly by altering your facial bone structure

Consuming soft drinks can even alter your physical appearance by slowly destroying the bone structure of your face and jaw.


Much of the calcium loss that impacts bones affects the dominant jawbone, which makes a person’s face look old, weak and sunken:

The differences between people who had eaten their ancestral diet from birth and people who had feasted on sugar, white flour products, and soft drinks are astonishing. The traditional wholesome diet produced wide faces with jaws wide enough to accommodate all thirty-two teeth with proper spacing, high cheekbones, few to no cavitations, and wide foreheads to house their brains.


The facial structures of the people who enjoyed a more “civilized” diet are not so beautiful. Their jaws are narrow with so little room that the teeth crowd together in two crooked rows. Cavities are common, and in cultures where dental care is inadequate, the pain and suffering are intolerable.


Their foreheads are also narrow, or misshapen, with scarcely enough room for a growing brain.
-Carol Simontacchi, The Crazy Makers

The solution to everything presented here is deceptively simple: drink water, not soft drinks. It’s the only liquid I consume: no soft drinks, no juices, no milk.


And yet so many people simply refuse to drink water:

Americans don’t drink very much water. We drink coffee, a beverage that pulls even more minerals out of the tissues and excretes them in the urine. Americans drink soft drinks that are often loaded with more sodium and which further unbalance the mineral stores. We drink V8, loaded with sodium. We drink everything but water, which would pull the excess sodium out of the blood and out of the brain.


We defeat the body’s own mechanism of balancing the critical sodium-to-potassium ratios by overindulging in these entrees and beverages that contain so much sodium, and then by not drinking water to flush it out of the system.
-Carol Simontacchi, The Crazy Makers

So just how serious is this problem of calcium depletion and bone mass loss in the first place? It’s a hidden, destructive health consequence that comes from drinking any kind of soft drinks, and very few people are aware of this.


Here’s an extended collection of additional quotes from doctors and authors on this subject:

Diets high in sugar alter calcium uptake; coffee, alcoholic beverages, and phosphorous-rich soft drinks also promote increased calcium excretion.
- Disease Prevention and Treatment by The Life Extension Foundation



Many general dietary factors have been suggested as a cause of osteoporosis, including: low calcium-high phosphorus intake, high-protein diet, high-acid-ash diet, high salt intake, and trace mineral deficiencies. It appears that increased soft-drink consumption is a major factor that contributes to osteoporosis.
- Michael T. Murray, N.D., The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine

Avoid soft drinks. One study of 460 young, very active girls found that those who drank colas were five times more likely to suffer fractures than girls of equal activity who avoided soft drinks. It is suspected that because phosphorus draws calcium from bone, it is the culprit in such cases. Cows’ milk is also high in phosphorus, as well as protein. Avoid all soft drinks, especially those sweetened with aspartame. Carbonated soft drinks deplete the body’s magnesium.
- Russell Blaylock, M.D., Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life

Phase out soft drinks. Canned soda contains excess phosphorus, a mineral that could lead to the leaching of calcium from your bones, a potential cause of osteoporosis. Some researchers believe that calcium is first robbed not from your hips or spine but from your jaw, leading to tooth loss, says Ken Wical, D.D.S., professor of restorative dentistry at Loma Linda University in California.
- Healing With Vitamins by Prevention Magazine

Action Item:
Avoid soft drinks for life.

Drink water or tea, but no “acidic” drinks like fruit juices

or nutritionally imbalanced drinks like cows’ milk.





The truth about caffeine, a highly addictive, psychoactive drug

About sixty-five percent of all soft drinks sold contain caffeine, and the average American drinks over 576 twelve-ounce cans of soft drinks per year.
-Carol Simontacchi, The Crazy Makers

Beyond the bone disorders, mineral imbalances and osteoporosis problems mentioned in the section above, soft drinks manage to serve up yet another dangerous ingredient: caffeine.

It is arguably the lesser of the evils when consideration everything that goes into soft drinks, but caffeine also presents serious problems when consumed to excess. For one thing, it is acidic and accelerates the mineral imbalances detailed in the previous section.

Most notably, however, caffeine is highly addictive. Soft drink manufacturers, in fact, depend on caffeine to keep people hooked on their products in much the same way that cigarette manufacturers rely on nicotine for repeat sales. Caffeine makes it hard to “quit” soft drinks because your nervous system keeps telling you, “You need caffeine!”

But in fact, you don’t need caffeine, especially if you are battling mineral depletion problems or osteoporosis.


This situation is especially crucial for women:

If you are at risk for osteoporosis, reduce your intake of caffeine to less than two servings of coffee, tea, or caffeinated soft drinks per day. If you already have osteoporosis, you should totally eliminate caffeine from your diet. This includes regular coffee and tea, chocolate, and many soft drinks (although carbonated beverages will already be on your list of things to avoid, as just noted).


Women who consume four to 15 caffeine-containing drinks per day (coffee, tea, soft drinks, or chocolate) suffer PMS at higher rates than women who drink little caffeine. Recommendation: Reduce your daily caffeine consumption to fewer than four caffeinated drinks per day.


Reduce your intake of caffeine even more strictly (to no more than two caffeine-containing drinks) at least three days prior to the usual time of symptoms each month.
- Mary Dan Eades, M.D., The Doctor’s Complete Guide to Vitamins and Minerals

There are, in fact, many health problems associated with the excess consumption of caffeine:

Caffeine is a problem for people with heart disease, as it heightens the blood pressure and puts stress on the circulatory system. I tell my patients with angina to limit themselves to no more than one caffeinated drink per day.


Most people opt for a cup of coffee in the morning and cut out all additional coffee or caffeinated sodas or teas. I might mention here that some of the bottled iced teas and soft drinks (even “un-colas” like Mountain Dew) have a great deal of caffeine in them.
- Robert M. Giller, M.D., Natural Prescriptions

When it comes to caffeine, soft drinks aren’t the only concern, either.


Most people are getting an overdose of caffeine from other sources regardless of whether they consume soft drinks:

Caffeine is clearly the most prevalently used stimulant in the world. Coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa, many soft drinks, diet pills, aspirin, various analgesics used for migraine headache and vascular pain, and even some herbal preparations contain either caffeine or very closely related substances.


Examples of such caffeine-like substances are theobromine in chocolate and cocoa and theophylline in tea.


When caffeine and similar compounds are taken in excess, any of several symptoms usually result: anxiety and nervousness, insomnia or light sleep patterns, various types of heart disease, stomach and intestinal maladies, and moodiness.


When consumed regularly, as little as two cups of coffee can initiate these symptoms. Children who exhibit hyper activity are often victims of diets rich in chocolates and cola drinks.
- Paul Pitchford, Healing With Whole Foods

Elson Haas, M.D., describes caffeine as a “lifetime drug” for many, and puts it in the category of the most frequently abused drug in our modern society:

Caffeine can be a lifetime drug for many. We begin with hot chocolate or chocolate bars, which contain some caffeine, move into colas or other soft drinks with caffeine, and then add coffee and tea. Many adults use caffeine daily, but this is slowly changing with education and experience revealing the long-range problems resulting from caffeine abuse.

Physiologically, caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. The amount needed to produce the wake-up and stimulation effect increases with regular use, as is typical of addictive drugs. Larger and more frequent doses are needed for the same effect, and symptoms can develop if we do not get our “fix.”


Eventually, we need the drug to function; without it, fatigue and drowsiness occur. So caffeine is a natural stimulant with both physical and psychological addiction potential and withdrawal symptoms similar to the symptoms of its abuse.
- Elson Haas M.D., Staying Healthy With Nutrition


Caffeine consumption results in even more calcium loss

Even mild caffeine consumption has been linked to serious health disorders such as miscarriages, in addition to promoting yet more calcium loss.


From Food Additives:

Caffeine is the number one psychoactive drug. Obtained as a byproduct of caffeine-free coffee. It is a central nervous system, heart, and respiratory system stimulant. Caffeine can alter blood sugar release and cross the placental barrier. It can cause nervousness, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, noises in ears, and, in high doses, convulsions.


It has been linked to spontaneous panic attacks in persons sensitive to caffeine. It has been found to be addictive. It also causes increases in calcium excretion. Because of its capability to cause birth defects in rats, the FDA proposed regulations to request new safety studies and to encourage the manufacture and sale of caffeine-free colas.


A University of Montreal study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, December 22, 1993, said that women who consume the amount of caffeine in one and a half to three cups of coffee a day may nearly double their risk of miscarriage.

In summary, caffeine is not only the most frequently-abused psychoactive drug in America, it carries significant a significant negative health risk as well.


Dr. Elson Haas jokes about honest labeling requirements for products containing caffeine:

All products containing caffeine should carry a warning saying something like,

“Caffeine can be hazardous to your health. Regular use may be addicting and injurious.”

The problem here is less with the drug itself and more with the amounts consumed and the constant stimulation on which people depend many times daily. The caffeine creates an addiction to the drink.
- Elson Haas M.D., Staying Healthy With Nutrition

What hasn’t been mentioned in any of this literature is caffeine’s ability to also deplete the adrenal glands. This causes long-term exhaustion, a condition that most caffeine drinkers solve by, of course, drinking more caffeine!



Aluminum cans may present yet another health danger for soft drinks

The news on soft drinks keeps getting worse, it seems, and another toxin present in soft drinks isn’t something added by manufacturers: it’s something leaching out of the containers in which soft drinks are stored and shipped: aluminum cans.

No educated person in their right mind would eat or drink aluminum, and yet nearly everyone will gladly drink highly acidic substances that have been rubbing molecules with aluminum for any number of days, weeks or months.


No metal is “100 percent solid,” as any physicist knows.


Some of the aluminum inevitably leeches into the soft drink itself.

Although aluminum is not a heavy metal, environmental exposure is frequent, leading to concerns about accumulative effects and a possible connection with Alzheimer’s disease.


In the home, we are in constant contact with aluminum in foods and in water; from cookware and soft drink cans; from consuming items with high levels of aluminum (e.g., antacids, buffered aspirin, or treated drinking water; or even by using nasal sprays, toothpaste, and antiperspirants).
- Disease Prevention and Treatment by The Life Extension Foundation

The ability of aluminum to contaminate beverages stored in aluminum cans is well explained by Elson Haas:

One of the most common sources of aluminum fluoride complexes is in liquids packaged in aluminum cans, a combination that is especially hazardous with acidic fruit juices and diet drinks. Acidic juices leach aluminum from the wall of the can and disperse it throughout the juice. Soft drinks also present special hazards.


While all soft drinks containing fluoride will leach aluminum from the can, diet sodas may be worse than regular sodas because the fluoride content, at least in one study, was higher in the diet drinks. Although most aluminum cans now have inner linings, the coating may be defective and can also be fractured during shipping.

Furthermore, the longer a canned drink sits, especially at higher temperatures, the more aluminofluoride compound will be created in the drink. This would be a major consideration, for example, in the millions of diet soft drinks donated to soldiers in the Persian Gulf. These drinks sat in the blazing heat, over 105° F, for weeks.


In addition, the drinks contained the toxic sweetener, aspartame, which in the heat breaks down very quickly into the carcinogenic compound, diketopiperizine, as well as formaldehyde and formic acid.
- Russell Blaylock, M.D., Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life

Soft drink manufacturers, of course, claim that their aluminum cans are perfectly safe.


But they also claim that their high-sugar products don’t cause obesity, either, and they staunchly defend the safety of aspartame.


So it’s difficult to lend credibility to anything stated by soft drink manufacturers. Clearly, they are primarily interested in selling products, not in protecting the health of their customers. After all, sick customers don’t demand reimbursements from soft drinks companies for their medical bills. Making people sick and promoting diseases like osteoporosis has absolutely financial consequences to soft drink companies themselves.


The medical costs of dealing with these diseases are fully shouldered by the customer.



Soft drink companies spin the science to claim their products are harmless

There’s a tremendous amount of spin coming out of the public relations departments of soft drink companies.


Not surprisingly, the soft drink spin machine has infected all sorts of scientific-sounding groups and organizations whose employees unabashedly defend the soft drink manufacturers:

Corporations also fund ‘’nonprofit research institutes” which provide “third party experts’’ to advocate on their behalf. The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), for example, is a commonly-used industry front group that produces PR ammunition for the food processing and chemical industries.


Headed by Elizabeth Whelan, ACSH routinely presents itself as an “independent,” “objective” science institute.


This claim was dissected by Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post in the March 1990 Columbia Journalism Review, which studied the special interests that fund ACSH.


Kurtz reported that Whelan praises the nutritional virtues of fast food and receives money from Burger King. She downplays the link between a high fat diet and heart disease, while receiving funding from Oscar Mayer, Frito Lay and Land O’Lakes.


She defends saccharin and receives money from Coca-Cola, Pepsi, NutraSweet and the National Soft Drink Association.
- John Stauber, Toxic Sludge Is Good For You

Despite all the spin efforts, it is generally recognized that soft drinks are unhealthy and certainly not “wholesome beverages” as claimed by soft drink makers.


Yet, every time a lawmaker attempts to ban soft drinks in schools, for example, or pass new “junk food taxes” that would help dissuade consumers from buying so many soft drinks, they are steamrolled by a seemingly unstoppable political influence machine.

The combined industries of food producers, media owners, and pharmaceutical companies, when taken as a whole, simply aren’t interested in making people healthy since that would destroy their profits.


This phenomenon is described by Marion Nestle in Food Politics:

Ethical or not, a message to eat less meat, dairy, and processed foods is not going to be popular among the producers of such foods.


The message will not be popular with cattle ranchers, meat packers, dairy producers, or milk bottlers; oil seed growers, processors, or transporters; grain producers (most grain is used to feed cattle); makers of soft drinks, candy bars, and snack foods; owners of fast-food outlets and franchise restaurants; media corporations and advertising agencies; manufacturers and marketers of television sets and computers (where advertising takes place); and, eventually, drug and health care industries likely to lose business if people stay healthier longer.


The range of economic sectors that would be affected if people changed their diets, avoided obesity, and prevented chronic diseases surely rivals the range of industries that would be affected if people stopped smoking cigarettes.


Perhaps for this reason, USDA officials believe that really encouraging people to follow dietary guidelines would be so expensive and disruptive to the agricultural economy as to create impossible political barriers.


Rather than accepting the challenge and organizing a concerted national campaign to encourage more healthful eating patterns, they propose a more politically expedient solution: the industry should work to improve the food supply through nutrient fortification and the development of functional foods with added nutritional value.
-Marion Nestle, Food Politics

To get an idea of the power of this political / economic machine, take a look at the influence of just one player: big sugar companies.

In 1991, 1,700 farms raised sugarcane and 13,700 raised sugar beets in the United States, but 42 percent of the sugar subsidies went to just 1 percent of these growers. The owners of these few farms give generously to both political parties.


The Fanjul family, for example, controls about one-third of Florida’s sugarcane production and collects at least $60 million annually in subsidies.


The Fanjuls contributed more than $350,000 to the two political parties - more to Democrats than to Republicans - through their Flo-Sun companies in 1997-1998. Alfonso Fanjul hosted a dinner attended by President Bill Clinton that raised more than a million dollars for the Florida Democratic party.
-Marion Nestle, Food Politics


Four simple steps to rebalance the mineral content of your body

As you can see from all this, the risks to your health from consuming diet soft drinks extends far beyond the artificial chemical sweetener contained in those drinks.


You may have avoided the sugar, but you haven’t avoided the acidity of the beverage. If you continue to drink these beverages, you will undoubtedly suffer additional health consequences in the long term that you never intended. Now that you know about the dangers of consuming soft drinks, you are hopefully considering giving them up for good.


In order to finally rid yourself of soft drinks forever, be sure to check out the report, “The Five Soft Drink Monsters”.

You may also wish to take the following steps to rebalance the mineral content of your diet:


  1. Supplement with calcium

    Coral calcium is a good choice, but plant-derived calcium from dark green vegetables is even better. The best source? Chlorella. In addition to assisting with your calcium / phosphorus ratio, supplemental calcium provides a long list of additional health benefits.

  2. Supplement with magnesium to help your body better assimilate the additional calcium you’re eating. Most Americans are deficient in magnesium. Best source? Once again, chlorella.

  3. Get more natural sunlight

    By exposing your skin to natural sunlight, without sunscreens (in moderation, of course), your body will naturally produce vast stores of Vitamin D, which is critical for the construction and maintenance of healthy bones. Without adequate Vitamin D, your body cannot efficiently use the extra calcium you’re taking. Also, by the way, the darker your skin, the more sunlight you need to generate Vitamin D. This is one reason why most American males of African descent are highly deficient in Vitamin D and suffer from skyrocketing rates of prostate cancer. To learn more about this, read “The Healing Sun: an interview with Dr. Michael Holick.”

  4. Engage in physical exercise: both cardiovascular and strength training

    These activities promote healthy bone mass and actually increase your bone mass density, regardless of your age or gender. Older women especially need to engage in strength training activities to combat the hormone-related and age- related bone mineral deficiencies so common in modern society.

If you’re interested in chlorella, my recommended source is Jenny Lee Naturals, which also sells spirulina and various superfood nutritional supplement products.

Learn more about soft drinks at: