Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Does Soda Cause Cancer?

Can Soda Cause Cancer?

It seems as though every time we log into social media or turn on the tube, we hear of a new study linking possible cancer risk to some food, beverage or product we’ve stashed in our cupboard.  But have you noticed it all seems a bit hazy?  Specifically, what of soda-pop & its so-called cancer risk factors?  Below are some findings concerning soda that you may find informative. 

Regular Soda’s “Caramel Coloring”
In January of this year an interesting, and for some, alarming study published by Consumer Reports suggested that a potential carcinogen may be found in many sodas, both diet and regular.  This study found that a chemical known as 4-methylimidazole, or 4-Mel, may cause cancer to humans.  Haven’t seen 4-Mel listed in the ingredients on your can of soda?  Look for its’ harmless sounding label: “caramel coloring”. The FDA was alarmed enough by the
Consumer Reports study to announce that it will conduct a series of new research initiatives to get to the bottom of the caramel-coloring question.  The studies are currently being conducted and some states, such as California, are already limiting the amount of caramel coloring allowed in products sold to their consumers.

Diet Sodas
Many people you talk with will have an opinion on whether they think it's worse or better to drink diet sodas vs non-diet.  As far back as the 1970’s, concerns arose regarding unnatural, artificial sweeteners contained in diet drinks.  In one study it was found that an artificial sweetener known as Saccharin was linked to bladder cancer in rats.  This prompted the government to require a warning label on any products containing Saccharin to inform consumers that the product “may be hazardous to your health.”

Over time, however, additional studies suggested that this effect was specific only to rats and no conclusive evidence linked the substance to cancer in humans.  That is why you no longer see a warning label on products containing Saccharin.  Although similar studies related to other artificial sweeteners have raised different red flags over the years, the truth is there has never been a clear link established between cancer and these products.  For more information from the National Cancer Institute on this topic, click here.

Bottom Line
A good rule of thumb is moderation, and whenever possible, err towards natural, organic products.  While there is still debate over the cancer-causing possibilities of the substances listed above, there is conclusive evidence that our bodies thrive when we primarily hydrate with that boring, universal, essential-for-all-life-liquid:  water.  So if you’re worried about cancer, shock your liver and drink more water.

Dr. Sam Yoder

Chiropractor in Campbellsville, KY