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Kick the Can (Of Soda)
By Dr. Jon Ellison
February 22, 2017
Category: Health
Tags: erosion   soda   Dentist   cavities   health   heart   habit  

How often do you reach for a soda? Our culture promotes fairly regular consumption of soda despite the increasing negative publicity. Whether you are at a backyard barbecue, a movie theater or just on the go, it's all too easy to grab a soda. It's been the norm for so long most of us cannot recall a time that sodas weren't readily available. That's due, in part, to convenience, but it seems that society finds this a difficult addiction with which to part. 

As a dentist, I have always been aware of the primary effects of drinking soda on oral health, erosion and tooth decay. The acid causes erosion of the protective layer on teeth called enamel. The sugar can lead to cavities and tooth decay. This is certainly a simplified explanation, yet combined with poor oral hygiene, the damage can be significant. We've heard this before and I have mentioned it before. But those are not the only negative effects of soda on the human body. As if you needed more reason to kick the can of soda habit, here goes. Soda can have tremendous negative systemic impacts as well. I see articles and studies on a weekly basis that illustrate this point.

I recently came across a 2014 article on how soda effects your body from Experience Life Magazine. Perhaps you have heard that one 12 ounce can of soda contains an unbelievable 10 teaspoons of sugar. Within 20 minutes of that first sip and the blood sugar spike, the liver reacts to the glucose and stores it to capacity. Once capacity is full the sugar converts to fat. Incidentally, there have also been stories reported of an increase in fatty liver disease in children. How disturbing is that? Although unproven, I suspect that there could be a link to soda consumption.The caffeine in some sodas will increase heart rate and blood pressure and, of course, disrupt sleep. After about 40 minutes, as the brain chemical dopamine rises there is a feeling of "high" that's been compared to amphetamines, cocaine or heroine. The caffeine will give you the urge to pee and the phosphoric acid in the soda binds to calcium, magnesium and zinc in the body so those nutrients will soon be flushed. What a waste! Then about an hour after that first sip, the sugar crash hits. Now you are likely moody, lethargic and probably craving more. The artificial sweeteners in diet drinks also affect the addiction centers of the brain. That sounds like a vicious circle to me. 

If you simply Google "effects of soda" you will find numerous articles on the topic and none of them have anything positive to say about drinking soda. If you find that you do have a so called addiction to soda, it might be a good idea to look at ways to curb that habit. You may be pleasantly surprised by the effects of stopping that soda consumption.