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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Is Coke Zero Nutrition?

Here is an extract from an email from Patrick Holford. And I agree wholeheartedly!!


Is the new Coke Zero zero nutrition, or zero natural ingredients or zero good for you? Of course, the idea is, by containing no actual sugar it’s meant to be good for you. ‘The stag night without the wedding’ says one ad.
Personally, I had a lot more fun on my stag night than you are likely to get from a combination of chemicals in a can of Coke Zero, or Diet Coke, which is basically the same thing. The marketers have obviously decided to push a new angle. Here’s the ingredients:

Acesulfame K
Phosphoric acid
Citric acid
Sodium benzoate (E211)
Sulphate ammonia caramel (E150d)

You can’t knock water - but cooked up with this family of chemicals?

It’s widely used as a sweetener in snacks, sweets, desserts, ‘diet’ foods. Aspartame may affect people with PKU (phenylketonuria). Recent reports show the possibility of headaches, blindness, and seizures with long-term, high-dose aspartame. Another study reports raised risk of a rare kind of brain tumour, called lymphoma. The EU have given it a clean bill of health, but clearly, some people react badly.

Acesulfame K
This is another sweetener that causes cancer in animals. Acetoacetamide, which is a breakdown product, causes thyroid problems in animals. It’s commonly mixed with aspartame but no-one really knows how safe this is.

Phosphoric acid
High intakes erode teeth enamel and bones. Hence the link with high fizzy drink consumption and low bone density in children. A child consuming 1.5 litres of phosphorated drinks a day has five times the chances of having low calcium levels.

Citric acid
This is quite harmless on it’s own. Found in fruit. But, combined with sodium benzoate, especially at high temperatures, could produce carcinogenic benzene.

An addictive stimulant with all sorts of downsides in excess. There’s about 10mg per 100ml, so a 330ml can is 30mg, and a 1.5 litre bottle is 150mg. That’s the equivalent of two coffees.

Sodium Benzoate
It’s widely used as a preservative in many foods, including drinks, low-sugar products, cereals, meat products. Can temporarily inhibit the function of digestive enzymes and may deplete glycine levels. Should be avoided by those with allergic conditions such as hay fever, hives and asthma.

Sulphite ammonia caramel
This is made by heating sugar and is not ‘technically’ sugar. Ammonia is highly toxic. This colouring has not been fully evaluated for its potential carcinogenicity or reproductive toxicity.

That’s it. I recommend anyone with half a brain to avoid it like the plague.


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