Drop the Soda and Back Away Slowly…

As a reformed Pepsi-holic, I’m not a fan of soda (or, pop, as we call it in my part of the Midwest).  In fact, I don’t even recommend making the switch to diet sodas.  I rarely drink the stuff, preferring water, tea, coffee, even Crystal Lite…anything but soda. I believe that even the diet version slows down weight loss, which is one of the reasons I gave it up.

But I’ve found another reason to quit drinking soda;  it messes with your DNA!

No, I’m not kidding.

Research has shown that sodium benzoate, a preservative in many of the sodas on the market, can actually switch off parts of your DNA.  It can even eventually lead to Parkinson’s Disease.

Here’s what one of the researchers, Dr. Peter Piper (alright, no Pickled Peppers jokes!) had to say about the effect of sodium benzoate:

“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.”

Wow.  Doesn’t exactly make you want to run to the fridge and grab a can, does it?

I’m a firm believer that darn near anything is OK, as long as it’s done in moderation.  Especially has it applies to weight loss and fitness.  But personally, I think this is enough for me to give up even the occasional can of soda that I drink now.

I value my mitochondria too much.



16 Responses to “Drop the Soda and Back Away Slowly…”

  1. waistloss Says:

    I think I just drank my last soda! I mostly drink water, tea, and juices. The only carbonated think I drink anymore is the occasional beer.

  2. Longevity Science Says:

    Thank you for your interesting story!
    I thought perhaps you may also find this related post interesting to you:
    Longevity Science: Soft Drinks Linked to Aging ?

  3. loseweightwithme Says:

    WAISTLOSS — I’m with you…I’ll stick to the other drinks now. 🙂

    LONGEVITY –Thanks for stopping by and contributing!


  4. Chicken Girl Says:

    I’ve long since given up soda, except as a treat, but because I don’t like the caffeine and sugar/fake sugar. I’m always skeptical when I hear about things like this that are going to kill you!!! Or, going to give you Parkinson’s!!!, as the case may be.

  5. loseweightwithme Says:

    Hey, Chicken Girl — glad you stopped by and commented!



  6. Melanie Says:

    I knew sodas were bad for you, but wow that really stinks. I like my DNA just the way it is (no matter how dysfunctional, thank you very much). Thanks for the info!

  7. Kery Says:

    I’m never sure about the studies, because there are so many, and so many changes, each time a new research brings something new… But at least, ‘just in case of’, I’m glad I actually don’t even like soda. 🙂

  8. loseweightwithme Says:

    Hi, Melanie — you’re welcome! Thanks for coming by.


  9. Jason Says:

    I saw this on Drudge a couple days ago. Scary stuff, but I’m not ready to kick the diet soda habit yet. I can’t seem to find a U.S. soda that uses this stuff. Most of our soda’s have potassium benzoate instead of sodium benzoate. This article is from a U.K. source and they DO use sodium benzoate over there. Still, when I first saw the article I was thinking about I’d still take the risk and drink that garbage. Now THAT is the definition of addiction.

    I think we dodged this bullet, but who knows what’s next?

  10. Summer Says:

    Scary. I went cold turkey off of Diet Dr Pepper a few weeks ago, and I swear, it used to run through my veins. My husband had been pushing me to pour them down the drain, and stories like this make me glad that they no longer get my money… 😀

  11. Sandy Says:

    Well, DH isn’t going to give up his soda anytime soon. It is his drug of choice. I only like it when I eat greasy food. AND there have been studies that show that Diet really doesn’t help in weightloss anyway so to me it isn’t worth it unless you are a diabetic and can’t have the regular sugar.

    We drink homebrewed tea anyway most of the time.

  12. loseweightwithme Says:

    KERY — I think you’re probably lucky that you don’t like soda.

    JASON — That definition of addiction is the same one I had when I was a smoker, so I can understand it!

    SUMMER – Pour it down the drain, and it’ll probably work like Drano. 🙂

    SANDY — I catch myself wondering if the sugar may actually be better for you. It’s at least a real, natural ingredient.

    Thanks to everyone for getting involved in the discussion.


  13. Mark Richards Says:

    Trouble I have is the i use diet soda to squash food cravings…especially at night. WHile I know that diet soda is not really healthy, for me it beats the alternative…compulsive nightime overeating.

  14. loseweightwithme Says:

    Hi, Mark — if you’re using it to avoid something worse, I wouldn’t be too worried about it. Have you tried Crystal Lite or something instead?

    Thanks for stopping by.


  15. laura Says:

    I quit drinking soda 2 and a half weeks ago. I replaced it with 70 oz. of water/day. I am 5’6 and did weight 155, now 2 weeks later I am down to 143! Only 20 pounds to go. I have more energy and a healthy glow. I also have been increasing my fiber, cutting out fast, fried, and unhealthy food. I used to eat it two- three times daily!!! yikes! I do a little excercising a day and just began dring unsweetend tea to help burn fat and boost my metabolisum, along with taking a b1 vitamen. These other factors probably help with the weight loss, but i used to hate water and now i love it. I have also noticed my migrains (I used to get daily) and muscle soreness are both gone! Cant wait to lose the next 20. Thank you for the info.


  16. loseweightwithme Says:

    Hey, Laura — way to go! Amazing what happens when we cut out the soda, fast food, fried food and add a little exercise. Keep up the great work, and be sure to keep us posted on your results.

    You’re kickin’ butt!


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