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Coke Adds Death

Does Coca-Cola contain an ingredient in common with anti-freeze? Is Coke a slow poison comparable to arsenic? Will it dissolve teeth and bones? Carla Homan investigates the claims of a popular forwarded email.

Description: Email flier
Circulating since: 1999
Status: False


Email example contributed by A. Alava, Nov. 17, 2000:

Subject: Say Bye to COKE!!

An interesting piece of information .......

Have a look at the wrapper on a Coca-Cola 1.5 litre bottle and in the ingredients label you will find phosphoric acid in it. Minute quantities of ethylene glycol is also used (which is acknowledged in the soft drink world for making it really chill").

This is popularly known as anti-freeze which prevents water from freezing at 0 degree C and instead drops it by 4-5 degrees with minute quantities.

This chemical is a known slow poison in the caliber of arsenic. So, if you manage to drink about 4 litres of Coke within an hour or so, you can die. Read along and give up these dangerous things.

Be natural, have flavoured milks, tender coconuts, butter milk and plain water instead of these "soft" drinks.

Guess what's the pH for soft drinks, e.g. Coke? pH 3.4! This acidity is strong enough to dissolve teeth and bones! Our human body stops building bones at the age of about 30.

Soft drinks do not have any nutrition value (in terms of vitamins &minerals). It is high in sugar content, carbonic acid, chemicals i.e.colorings etc.

Some like to take cold soft drinks after each meal. Guess what's the impact? Our body needs an optimum temperature of 37degrees Celsius for digestive enzyme functioning. The temperature of cold soft drinks is very much below 37 degrees or even close to 0 degrees Celsius. This will dilute the enzymes & stress the digestive system. The food taken will not be digested. In fact it will be fermented! The fermented food produces gases,decays and becomes toxin, and gets absorbed by the intestine, circulates in the blood stream and is carried to the whole body. Hence, toxin is cumulated in other parts of the body, developing into various diseases.

Think before you drink coke/Pepsi (or any soft drink) again. Have you ever thought what you drink when you drink an aerated drink? You gulp down carbon dioxide, when nobody in the world would advise you to drink CO2.

Two months back, there was a competition at Delhi university. "Who could drink the most Coke?" The winner drank 8 bottles and fainted on the spot-too much CO2 in the blood. Thereafter, the principal banned all soft drinks from the college canteen! While this might have been an extreme measure, the results do provide some food for thought.

Did you know that soft drinks use chemicals in them that cause immense harm to you. Someone put a broken tooth in a bottle of Pepsi and in 10 days it DISSOLVED! Can you believe it? Teeth and bones are the only human parts that stay intact for years after death. Imagine what the drink must be doing to your soft intestines and stomach lining!

Request to All : Forward this message to your friends to increase the awareness of the great "Assumed soft drinks". Please read this and forward to all your friends.. you care.


Analysis by Carla Homan: There are a few things I'm sure about with respect to soft drinks:

  1. It's not a health food.
  2. It's not going to kill me, either.

The above email would like to convince me otherwise, damning virtually every ingredient in soft drinks, and even adding some new ones that aren't really there.

Ethylene Glycol

CLAIM: "Have a look at the wrapper on a Coca-Cola 1.5 litre bottle and in the ingredients label you will find phosphoric acid in it. Minute quantities of ethylene glycol is also used (which is acknowledged in the soft drink world for making it really chill"). This is popularly known as anti-freeze which prevents water from freezing at 0 degree C and instead drops it by 4-5 degrees with minute quantities. This chemical is a known slow poison in the caliber of arsenic. So, if you manage to drink about 4 litres of Coke within an hour or so, you can die. Read along and give up these dangerous things."

No soft drink contains ethylene glycol in any amount. Ethylene glycol, which is indeed used in antifreeze, is toxic. What they may (or may not) contain is propylene glycol, also used as antifreeze, but according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

"The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified propylene glycol as an additive that is 'generally recognized as safe' for use in food. It is used to absorb extra water and maintain moisture in certain medicines, cosmetics, or food products. It is a solvent for food colors and flavors." (See Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol.)

The confusion between these two chemicals is understandable, I guess, since they both contain the word "glycol" and are used in antifreeze. Conspiracy theorists like to think that evil corporations want to poison their customers whenever possible. Don't worry, unless it's a slow death occurring after a lifetime of use and the product is addictive (cough, cough), corporations generally prefer not to kill off their customer base.

pH Level

CLAIM: "Guess what's the pH for soft drinks, e.g. Coke? pH 3.4! This acidity is strong enough to dissolve teeth and bones! Our human body stops building bones at the age of about 30."

pH level measures the acidity of foods on a scale ranging from 1 (most acidic) to 14 (most weakly acidic, or very basic). Water, with a pH of 7, is neutral. Most soft drinks weigh in with a pH level between 2.0-4.0, so 3.4 is a fair estimate for Coke. Foods with a comparable approximate pH value include most fruits (oranges, cherries, apples, blueberries, etc), wine, chili sauce, and horseradish, to name a few.

It's true that this acidity is strong enough to dissolve teeth and bones, if you have enough time on your hands, like a week or more. Fortunately, most of us have a digestive system, which prevents the soft drinks from coming into contact with our bones. Additionally, most of us cannot hold a mouthful of cola in our mouths for a week or more (and then there are those pesky salivary glands, mucking up our experiment). But please, the next time you get a compound fracture and you have an exposed, say, fibula, don't try soaking it in a tub of coke for ten days prior to seeking medical attention. Be a smart consumer!

Phosphoric Acid

CLAIM: "Have a look at the wrapper on a Coca-Cola 1.5 liters bottle and in the ingredients label you will find phosphoric acid in it."

Yes, most soft drinks contain phosphoric acid. You can confirm this by looking at the label. If this is a bad thing, the email doesn't tell us why. I suppose we are meant to read that statement, toss our colas in the air, and scream, "God help me!" because it says "acid," and we all know from watching the first Batman movie that acid is bad and will turn us into evil, giggling, white-faced psychotics if we take a bath in it.

Carbon Dioxide

CLAIM: "Have you ever thought what you drink when you drink an aerated drink? You gulp down carbon dioxide, when nobody in the world would advise you to drink CO2. Two months back, there was a competition at Delhi University -- Who could drink the most Coke? The winner drank 8 bottles and fainted on the spot-too much CO2 in the blood. Thereafter, the principal banned all soft drinks from the college canteen! While this might have been an extreme measure, the results do provide some food for thought."

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this: anyone who thought it might be entertaining to have a contest to see who can drink the most coke probably deserved what they got. And I would imagine anyone drinking that much of just about any beverage as fast as they could would pass out too. Does that mean that the beverage is poisonous, or does that just mean the person's an idiot? I'll leave it to you to decide.

Temperature

CLAIM: "Our body needs an optimum temperature of 37 degrees Celsius for digestive enzyme functioning. The temperature of cold soft drinks is very much below 37 degrees or even close to 0 degrees Celsius. This will dilute the enzymes & stress the digestive system. The food taken will not be digested. In fact it will be fermented! The fermented food produces gases, decays and becomes toxin, and gets absorbed by the intestine, circulates in the blood stream and is carried to the whole body. Hence toxin is cumulated in other parts of the body, developing into various diseases."

Or, for that matter, any chilled beverage, food or frozen dessert. I'm not sure exactly how coldness can dilute enzymes. Nor am I sure what the "various diseases" are (ostriopliosis, perhaps?). Not to mention, I get antsy any time I read something purporting to be scientific information that contains exclamation points. Somehow it strikes me as unprofessional to get that excited over fermentation.

We checked with About's Nutrition Guide, Rick Hall, for his expert opinion on the alleged harmful effects of cold soft drinks on the digestive system. While he concurred that ice-cold beverages are below the "optimum" temperature for digestion, his response, basically, was that it's no big deal.

"Generally speaking, foods are warmed in the stomach," he said, "and the temperature of iced beverages reaching the small intestine is not considered detrimental."

He added: "Certainly, soft drinks are not considered healthy. They are extremely high in sugar and contain virtually no needed nutrients. The reasons for their lack of nutritional value, however, have nothing to do with the temperature they are ingested at."

(Carla Homan is a writer and researcher based in Washington, D.C.)


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Last updated 03/30/05


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