Things Don’t Go Better with Coke! By Mrs Vera West
Is it true that you can use coke to dissolve a coin, or is that an urban legend? What about heart attacks?
“JUST two diet drinks a day raises the risk of dying young by a quarter, a major study reveals. And lovers of Diet Coke and Pepsi Max see their chances of being killed by a heart attack or stroke rocket by more than half, compared to those who avoid the stuff. Experts said the “important” European findings – involving more than 450,000 people – were “concerning”. They urged Brits to ditch soft drinks and switch to water. The World Health Organisation research found the dangers from guzzling artificially sweetened pop were up to three times greater than regular sugary drinks.
Diet drinks 'worse'
It suggests switching to sugar-free products - such as Diet Pepsi or Lucozade Zero - could be equally bad for health, if not worse. The study was carried out by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France, which is a part of the WHO. Lead researcher Dr Neil Murphy said: “The striking observation in our study was that we found positive associations for both sugar-sweetened and artificially-sweetened soft drinks with risk of all-cause deaths. “It would probably be prudent to limit consumption of all soft drinks and replace with a healthier alternative, such as water.” The take home message is drink water – certainly avoid sugar sweetened beverages and be cautious about artificially sweetened beverages The research tracked participants for 16 years – including Brits - and is the largest study of its kind. It found chances of early death went up by eight per cent for those who consumed sugary drinks twice daily. But for those glugging two glasses of diet pop each day, the risk went up by 26 per cent. This group also saw their chance of being killed by cardiovascular disease rise by 52 per cent.
Take home message:
'Drink water' The damning findings, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, coincide with the largest gathering on heart experts in the world. Speaking from the European Society of Cardiology congress in Paris, Professor Mitchell Elkind, incoming president of the American Heart Association urged people to ditch soft drinks. He said: “This study is important. “There are concerns about both sugar sweetened beverages and so-called diet beverages. “There may be a direct impact [of diet drinks] – and other studies have suggested biological mechanisms may include an impact on insulin signalling in the liver. “The take home message is drink water – certainly avoid sugar sweetened beverages and be cautious about artificially sweetened beverages.”
The sugar industry has a lot to answer for too:
“The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead, newly released historical documents show. The internal sugar industry documents, recently discovered by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, and published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry. “They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at U.C.S.F. and an author of the JAMA Internal Medicine paper. The documents show that a trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation, known today as the Sugar Association, paid three Harvard scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 in today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review of research on sugar, fat and heart disease. The studies used in the review were handpicked by the sugar group, and the article, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat.”
In short, get some good clean water and glug that down. How could that possibly go wrong?
“It may sound far-fetched, but there is solid proof that Americans are drinking radioactive tap water. An analysis that was carried out by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) from 2010 to 2015 revealed that up to 170 million Americans are being exposed to drinking water that has enough radioactive contamination to raise their risk of cancer. In fact, the levels of radioactive compounds such as radium, uranium and radon exceed federal legal limits and those set by the EPA, which are 40 years old and widely believed to be too low. The most widespread radioactive contaminates were radium-226 and radium-228. The EWG’s Tap Water Database, which compiles the results of water quality testing for 50,000 utilities across the country, found that more than 22,000 utilities in every state of the nation are using water with radium in it. You can take a look at their interactive map or enter your zip code into their site to find out how safe the water is in your area. The news is especially bad for California, which is the state with the greatest number of residents impacted by radiation-laden drinking water. Around 64 percent of the population there is believed to be affected. The contamination is most widespread, however, in Texas, where 80 percent of the population has detectable levels of the two radium isotopes.”
Ok, that is for the US, but how good is Australian drinking water? Here are a few articles I found indicating that the issue could be relevant to Australia too, but not like the US example, where everything is bigger and not better