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Cola health alert

Apr 15, 2014

It is being reported that the “caramel” coloring in colas, known as 4-Mel, is carcinogenic and greatly increases the risk of cancer. Aspartame, the artificial sweetener in diet drinks, is also linked to “several blood cancers.” If you want to drink colas, you may want to sign up for Obamacare.


The caramel coloring in your favorite cola causes cancer in mice — and may cause cancer in you as well, warn scientists. The chemical called 4-methylimidazole (4-Mel) causes colas to turn a rich brown color, but it's not related to caramel in any form. Although it's been known since 2007 to be carcinogenic, there's no federal rule to limit its use

California's Proposition 65 law was enacted in 2012 to force foods sold in California that contain more than 29 micrograms of 4-Mel to carry a warning label. But in tests conducted last year, Consumer Reports found that a single can of some popular soft drinks sold in the United States contains much more than the daily maximum. One can of Pepsi One tested contained more than 195 micrograms of 4-Mel. Some manufacturers have promised to reduce levels of the chemical, but haven't vowed to ban it completely….

Switching to diet colas doesn't bypass health risks. Recent studies show that diet drinks cause more weight gain than sugar. Researchers at Purdue University found that the artificial sweeteners upset the body's normal metabolism and increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. They've also been linked to an increase of cancer: A study printed in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men who drank more than one soft drink a day sweetened with the artificial sweetener aspartame increased their risk of several blood cancers. In addition, women who drink two or more cans of diet soda a day increase their risk of stroke and heart attack by 30 percent, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology.


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Category: Health
Blog Author: Dr. Stephen Jones