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Saturday, June 2nd 2007

Well I'm Hosed With Soft Drinks

The British newspaper The Independent plays up a story on the health effects of sodium benzoate.

Professor Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology, tested the impact of sodium benzoate on living yeast cells in his laboratory. What he found alarmed him: the benzoate was damaging an important area of DNA in the “power station” of cells known as the mitochondria.

He told The Independent on Sunday: “These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it: they knock it out altogether.

“The mitochondria consumes the oxygen to give you energy and if you damage it – as happens in a number if diseased states – then the cell starts to malfunction very seriously. And there is a whole array of diseases that are now being tied to damage to this DNA – Parkinson’s and quite a lot of neuro-degenerative diseases, but above all the whole process of ageing.”

The problem – more usually associated with ageing and alcohol abuse – can eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver and degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.

Sodium benzoate has already been the subject of concern about cancer because when mixed with the additive vitamin C in soft drinks, it causes benzene, a carcinogenic substance. A Food Standards Agency survey of benzene in drinks last year found high levels in four brands which were removed from sale.

The findings could have serious consequences for the hundreds of millions of people worldwide who consume fizzy drinks. They will also intensify the controversy about food additives, which have been linked to hyperactivity in children.

I’m too worn to rant on the tabloid nature of the article. Needless to say it is probably unnecessarily dramatic.

Personally, to take this story at face value, I might as well start thinking about trying to squeeze my way onto the liver transplant waiting list (or talking to my family about a living donation) considering the number of soft drinks I go through in a week. *rolls eyes*


Still, It Could Always Be Worse…


…”Fizzy Drinks” Could Be This Addictive
Listen To Clip At Normal Speed

[In Case You Don’t Get The Reference]
[Sodium Benzoate MSDS]

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