What is coca cola?

Coca cola is a carbonated soft drink with phosphoric acid, caffeine, high fructose corn syrup, natural flavours and caramel colour. Light or diet or zero Coca Cola contains artificial sweeteners like aspartame and acesulfame potassium. The latest one is a new healthy soda diet Coca Cola, called diet coke plus with vitamin B6, vitamin B12, niacin and zinc!!!

Do you drink Coca Cola?

Yes I do, but very rarely.

Why do you drink very rarely?

I do not know whether everybody knows how to drink Coca Cola. If you want to enjoy the whole taste of coca cola, it must be drunk exactly at 4 degrees C which is always not possible in a hot country. More over, as a clinical toxicologist, I look very carefully what I drink because I have normally more facts than several others.

I have read so many positive things about coca cola in the internet, is it correct?

I have also read the good points given by Coca Cola, India, but there is always the other side of the medal. My duty is to give the correct information to help the people. In internet, one can write whatever he likes because there is no control about the veracity of the points or the truth. Moreover, there are several questions about coke which I want to answer.

What is the real picture of Coca Cola in the world?

There are two groups in the world, one says it is a devil’s drink and the other says the angels have brought them this wonderful soft drink. Both are beliefs as well as myths.

What is the truth about coca cola and osteoporosis?

Coca Cola contains 140 mg of phosphate per litre which can give problems for the absorption of calcium as well as calcium metabolism which can reduce the bone mass density. This is present as inorganic acid and reacts with calcium in our body to form calcium phosphate which is useless for the bone formation because we need only calcium molecules but not calcium phosphate. This decreases the bone mass density and the result may be osteoporosis. The dose makes the poison.

Do not forget, Coca Cola is not only the source of phosphorous, the modern processed foods contain a lot of it and the cumulative effect plays a negative role in our life.

Is there any relationship between phosphorus and hyperactivity in children?

I have seen in several cases, phosphate increases the hyperactivity in children and in some Western countries you can get also phosphate free breads which are baked extra for them in a particular day in a month. The mothers buy enough on that day and deep freeze it for their children. Coca Cola and other similar soft drinks are not good for such children and must be avoided.

According to a study in the Harvard School of Public health, the teenage girls who drank regularly Cola drinks had 5 times more bone fracture during the sports than the others who did not drink it.

Coca Cola and our teeth, is it dangerous or not?

The phosphoric acid can remove the calcium from the tooth enamel and the problem starts here. It is not only for coca cola but also applicable to all soft drinks which contain phosphate. Enjoy the coke like most of the Indian friends drink their whisky; close the nose and one very big gulp, the whole whisky, no, coke is inside. There are many persons throughout the world who take sip after sip during the whole day, thus keeping their mouth always acidic and this enhances the removal of calcium and caries is the result of this.

Attention, never brush your teeth immediately after drinking coca cola or other soft drinks which increases the loss of calcium.

The doctors and dieticians opine that a glass of Coca Cola will not do any harm, but the problem starts if one drinks a litre a day, believe me, I know persons who drink two to three litres per day, caffeine dependence?

One of alcoholic drinks which people, young or old, men or women, like in Western countries is Coca Cola mixed with Bacardi, rum or whisky and I have noticed people drinking eight such glasses in a party that means 8 x 400 ml = 3.2 litre of Cola in 4 to 6 hours. I have no idea about such habits in India and I must do the research when I come next time.

Coca cola and meat, which is the relationship between them?

This is a well known myth that coca cola can dissolve the meat. If you put a steak overnight in coca cola, it looks thick and funny next morning but it is not at all dissolved. The group against cola hears the word phosphoric acid and produced this myth.

The hydrochloric acid present in our stomach is much stronger and there is no risk with coca cola for our stomach muscles. But, drink less and enjoy, do not forget the 4 degree C, if it is too cold or too warm, it is a waste of money.

What is the truth about coca cola and diabetes?

If you are healthy and there is no family history of diabetes, there is no problem, but it is better to be careful with sugar. But in coca cola high fructose corn syrup is used to sweeten to reduce the costs since 1985. There are two dangers, the corn syrup may come from genetically manipulated plants; excess of fructose could be quickly converted into fat in our liver, causing increase in weight, obesity and this is a risk of type-2-diabetes. Moreover, fructose is metabolized in the liver and it has to do lot more than its normal work which is also too much for it if other risks like alcohol or environmental and other poisons are there. Drink less and enjoy and remember always the dose makes the poison.

Coca cola and more hunger can lead to obesity, is aspartame the culprit?

It is very interesting to see the quarrel between different groups; Coca Cola Company says there is no scientific study to prove the weight increase. Group of chemists and dieticians who accept the release of more insulin from the mimic sweetening effects of aspartame say that this has an effect on sugar metabolism. Reducing the blood sugar means increasing the hunger.

However, observation with colleagues showed that if they drink three or four glasses of Cola light, we have seen a drop in their blood sugar values, once the blood sugar is below 80 mg, the colleagues consumed more food than normal. There is no mechanism in our body to make the insulin disappear and it does its duty by reducing the normal blood sugar values to low level. With all the possibilities what coca cola and the different research institutes have, it is not a big thing to do proper research and find out the real side-effects, but nobody is willing or doing or even nobody is thinking of that. So, in this case you are your own judge, drink a litre cola light every day, note your weight before and after 14 days, if you are weighing more at the end, you can make your judgement for you. Nobody is interested in your health, only you have to save yourself!!

Is Coco Cola a medicine for diarrhoea?

The grandmother’s medicine for diarrhoea in Germany is Coca Cola and Salzstangen (wheat flour sticks with crystal salt). It is correct because of electrolyte, sugar and enough fluid at first thought, but there is no equilibrium between the high amount of sugar and low salt content. The adverse effect is the diarrhoea can become worse. Moreover, from 1985 there is only corn syrup fructose.

When I tell this to my patients, the immediate question is which is the alternative to have the balance between salt and sugar, it is very easy, take a glass of boiled and cooled water, add half a teaspoonful salt and five teaspoonful glucose and you have mixture which will do the best to you.

If it does not help, go to the doctor immediately.

What is Mentos Eruption?

The reaction between diet Coca Cola and mint flavoured candies result in a fountain which is called the mentos eruption. The ingredients of diet coca cola, caffeine, aspartame, potassium benzoate and carbon dioxide and gum Arabic and gelatine produced this jet effect. When such a reaction happens in our stomach the inner organs may get damaged because of the production of a large amount of carbon dioxide. But, the Coca Cola Company assures that diet coca cola and mentos candies are used throughout the world without any problem.

This effect could also be produced with other similar soft drinks.

Is Coca Cola an efficient spermicide to use in birth control?

It is totally false and it is impossible to kill all the sperms with a post coital douche, this matter about Coca Cola prevails in the internet even today and it is one of the myths. The excess fructose in the cola can only make yeast infection, an annoying difficult to cure health problem.

If it works in Africa, it is the pure luck of the woman and nothing to do with coke because shortly after intercourse the sperms are away from the reach of Coca Cola douche. Never try, you may be unlucky, you can become pregnant even at the first time. There are several other methods and devices for contraception and consult your doctor to select the right one for you.

What is E 211, is it dangerous?

It is a food additive, E 211 or sodium benzoate, in diet coca cola which is a controversial additive linked to hyperactivity in children and also linked to DNA damage. Coca cola has agreed to remove this additive as soon as a satisfactory alternate is discovered. This additive is present in some other cola drinks also. If it is not declared on the label, ask your local coca cola office to find it out

What about Kerala, India and coca cola?

Even in a country like Germany where we take drinking water from below 3000 meters, even this have traces of pesticides. It is the duty of the industry to use only water free from pesticide residues. The techniques and filters are available; mostly it is the mistake of the local management to control their own workers or to save money at the wrong ends.

Government of India has formed a committee to find the world’s first pesticide residue standards for soft drinks. It is great.

So many information, which is your final suggestion?

Drink three to four or more litres of fluid every day, 70% of that must be pure drinking water to excrete the wastes produced from your cells and to detoxify the environmental poisons from your body continuously. Two cups of coffee or tea a day, one to two glasses of fruit juices like apple, orange and pineapple or a maximum of one glass of soft drinks like coca cola or other beverages, I prefer here the fresh fruit juices. Tender coconut is a good alternative. Now and then surely drink a glass coke.

What our friends from Kerala do is also good, different teas with spices like Jeeragam, coriander etc. They are very healthy.

This information is from my book “Food and our Health – Facts and Misconceptions” published in March 2009. For more particulars visit www.aaronverlag.com