'Refreshing' is an odd word to use for a mixture of unhealthy ingredients.

Soft drinks have been criticized for years.

Worldwide sales remain strong.

This page looks at the way soft drinks contribute to toxic body burden.

Aspartame used to sweeten 'diet' soft drinks yields phenylalanine, aspartic acid, methanol, formaldehyde, formic acid, and aspartylphenylalanine diketopiperazine (DKP).

Sucralose, also used to sweeten 'diet' soft drinks, yields a chlorocarbon, dextrose and maltodextrin.

Corn Syrup used to sweeten 'regular' soft drinks can harbor various toxicants too.

A single ‘flavor’ can be made out of hundreds of chemicals — some known to be toxic and most with no data at all. Artificial 'flavor' is formulated to affect your sense of taste in the same manner that artificial 'fragrance' is formulated to influence your sense of smell.

Bisphenol-a, phthalates, and antimony leach out of plastic bottles and into the soft drinks.

Consuming soft drinks from aluminum containers can transfer a significant amount of aluminum into blood, liver, and bone.

Nobody has studied what kind of net effects these combinations have on people — including fetuses exposed by the mother’s intake.

Sodium benzoate (E211) and potassium benzoate (E212) are used as preservatives in soft drinks.

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C, E300) is also frequently added to soft drinks.

Benzoates and ascorbic acid react to produce benzene in soft drinks.

The extensive toxicity of benzene is established. Short term acute effects include

  • Dizziness

  • Headache

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Drowsiness

Higher levels can induce convulsions, coma, and death. The long term chronic effects include

  • Leukemia

  • DNA damage

  • Reproductive damage

  • Immune deficiencies

  • Other illnesses

The U.S. federal limit on benzene in drinking water is 5 ppb.

California has a pubic health goal of 0.15 ppb.

But there is no completely safe level of benzene exposure.

There are no laws regulating the level of benzene in soft drinks.

FDA tests verify that combining benzoates with ascorbic acid (or erythorbic acid) leads to a higher incidence of contaminated soft drinks.

Some of their samples exceeded 70 ppb.

It is illegal to sell bottled water with more than 5 ppb.

Real-world conditions make the problem worse.

Sunlight and heat — separately or together — accelerate the formation of benzene in soft drinks.

Benze formation can happen while the drink sits in warehouses, delivery trucks, and automobiles.

It can happen while sitting on counter tops, picnic tables, and shelves.

Products may have been stored in these conditions for a long time, then cooled just prior to consumption.

Finding a cold container at the store is not an indication of safety.

Cooling does not reduce the amount of benzene already formed.

The study referenced in this letter tested common formulations of ascorbic acid and benzoate preservative that sat for 8 days, at room temperature, in a dark cabinet.

They found benzene at 266 ppb.

Benzene crosses the placenta.

The fetus can retain levels higher than in the mother's blood.

It has been discovered that these benzoate preservatives damage DNA inside the mitochondria.

This results in a loss of cell energy and the onset of excitotoxicity.

"Metabolic syndrome" and neurodegenerative diseases follow.

Regular consumption of a popular cola increases the rate of malignant breast cancer in mothers and their female offspring.

Many boys and girls consume at least 1 serving of soft drink per day by the time they reach age 4.

Boys between the ages of 14 and 18 consume the most soft drinks, averaging 3 servings a day.

Between 56% and 85% of children in school consume at least one soft drink daily.

Children become hyperactive after drinking liquid made with typical combinations of sodium benzoate and artificial colors.

Altered behaviors include switching activities, interrupting, talking rapidly and fiddling with objects or their own bodies.

Middle age people who consume soft drinks daily — even just a single 12-ounce can of diet or regular — have a higher incidence of metabolic risk factors including

18% Higher blood pressure
25% High blood triglycerides
25% Impaired fasting glucose
30% Increased waist circumference
31% Obesity
32% Low HDL cholesterol
44% Metabolic syndrome

There are thousands of products on the market combining sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid.

Just these additional links for the time being: