I used to drink a lot of diet soda. For some time I drank it regularly. Later, I stopped buying it for home, but I still indulged when I went out to eat or stopped at the gas station to fill up a cup with diet soda.
However, a few months ago, I decided to give up soda completely. It may sound a bit crazy, but I learned a lot about soda that made me quit. Let me share with you a few new very disturbing soda facts that you need to know about and why it made me decided to give up soda for good.
Diet Soda Dangers | Understanding the Nervous System
First, you need to understand a bit about the nervous system. It works by sending messages from parts of the body to other parts, or from cells to other cells.
Neurotransmitters are used to send messages from cell to cell. Neurotransmitters activate the receiving part of the cell that receives the message. Two of the main neurotransmitters are aspartate and glutamate.
You also need to realize that many diseases are related to the nervous system, including Meningitis, Migraines, Tourette’s, Alzheimer’s, Autoimmune Disorders, Autism and many others.
Diet Soda Dangers | A Look at Aspartate and Glutamate
Both aspartate and glutamate are amino acids, but these neurotransmitters are also considered excitatory. The make the receptor cell get excited, so it opens to catch the message.
Usually, aspartate and glutamate are made and kept inside cells, and then they get released in only small amounts to help transmit messages. Once done, they go back to the home cell.
When levels of these neurotransmitters are elevated, they become excitotoxins and end up having sustained contact with receptor cells. This over excites the cell, which can make it die.
While cells normally die, if you make cells die faster, it increases the speed of aging and also make the body more susceptible to health problems and diseases.
Diet Soda Dangers | More Information on Excitotoxins
What exactly are excitotoxins? They are amino acids, but they react with cell receptors in such a way that the cell dies. They often lead to neurodegenerative diseases and may also cause obesity, learning problems, endocrine disorders, autoimmune disorders and neurological disorders. Aspartate and glutamate are on your body, so they are called endogenous excitotoxins.
The opposite of endogenous excitotoxins is exogenous excitotoxins, which are toxins that come from outside your body which results in cell death and neurotoxicity. Among processed foods, aspartame and MSG are two of the primary sources of these exogenous excitotoxins.
Diet Soda Dangers | A Close Look at Aspartame and MSG
Aspartame is a non-caloric sweetener and has 50% aspartate. It is used in many sugarfree foods and most diet drinks. MSG, which stands for monosodium glutamate is one form of glutamate found in foods.
It is used to provide flavor in many processed foods. If you consume processed foods, the food probably contains aspartame, MSG or even both.
When you begin eating foods with MSG or aspartame, the glutamate and aspartate are rapidly absorbed into your blood, and they quickly head towards brain cells.
They start exciting cells, which is their job. However, since they are coming from outside of your body, there is no home cell for them to go back to, so they’ll continue exciting cell receptors until it results in the cell’s death.
This is what happens within an hour of drinking a can of soda:
- Within 20 minutes, you get a sugar high. Your blood sugar spikes, resulting in a quick release of the hormone insulin. The liver tries to compensate by turning excessive sugar into fat and storing it around the body.
- Within 40 minutes, all the caffeine is absorbed, and your body responds to this substance: the pupils dilate, blood pressure rises, and the liver dumps, even more, sugar into the bloodstream.
- Around 45 minutes after you have had your drink, the body increases dopamine production, which gives the person an imminent sensation of pleasure – this is similar to the way the body responds to heroin.
- After 60 minutes, you develop a sugar crash. You can experience fatigue, change in mood, lethargy, mental fogginess.
- A can of soda contains about ten teaspoons of sugar, which amounts to 100% of your recommended daily intake.
The extreme sweetness is masked by phosphoric acid, which prevents the body from developing an immediate reaction to the glucose overload. Some studies have linked phosphoric acid to osteoporosis, chronic kidney disease, kidney stones and many other health issues.
The Negative Health Effects
Many people immediately realize it when they take in these exogenous excitotoxins. Common symptoms include stomach problems and headaches.
However, in most cases, it takes time for the effects of these exogenous excitotoxins to develop and show up.
They may not cause neurological disorders and diseases directly, but they definitely can make them get worse. While many nervous system diseases are affected by genetics, limiting the exposure to these exogenous excitotoxins can reduce the risk of developing the disease.
Exogenous excitotoxins make these disorders or diseases even worse int hose who already deal with these nervous system diseases or disorders. While everyone needs to avoid consuming exogenous excitotoxins, they are especially dangerous for pregnant women and young children.
- It speeds up the aging process.
- It may help cause diabetes.
Diet or regular, all colas contain phosphates, or phosphoric acid, a weak acid that gives colas their tangy flavor and improves their shelf life.
Although it exists in many whole foods, such as meat, dairy, and nuts, too much phosphoric acid can lead to heart and kidney problems, muscle loss, and osteoporosis, and one study suggests it could trigger accelerated aging.
A new study out today suggests that just one 12 ounce serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage can raise the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 22 percent. Notably, even diet soda drinkers had to worry about developing diabetes.
Why? Aside from sugar, there are nine other potentially dangerous ingredients in soda, including carcinogenic artificial colors and phosphoric acid, which can contribute to everything from obesity to cancer to the depletion of micronutrients essential for strong bones.
Why I Made My Decision
While this information has been around for quite some time, I didn’t pay attention to it right away. I often read the information but put it to the side, not even thinking about it.
Many years ago, I chose to eliminate processed foods from my diet, and when I buy items that have a label, I always look to make sure that there is no MSG in the food.
So, what really kept me from quitting the diet soda? Well, the truth is that I didn’t want to think that these problems could affect me. I thought that just drinking it a few times to enjoy it would mean that I wouldn’t have any problems.
However, now that I’ve seen what progressive brain diseases can do, I’ve changed the way that I think. I have family members dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, and I’ve seen what it does mentally to people that I love. I know that my loved ones have eaten many foods with MSG and they have consumed plenty of diet drinks in the past as well.
Even though loved ones are dealing with severe brain problems, they continue with the diet drinks, not realizing what is going on.
Alzheimer’s disease is becoming more prevalent in our country today and is only expected to become worse among Americans in the future. Even though I may have a genetic predisposition to getting Alzheimer’s, I want to do everything that I can to avoid this disease.
It is not worth enjoying that drink of diet soda each week if it contributes to my mental decline and leaves me with Alzheimer’s disease.