(NaturalNews) The Coca-Cola Company is currently embroiled in an investigation involving a New Zealand woman who allegedly died as a result of drinking too much of the company's sugary beverage. According to reports, Natasha Marie Harris had been consuming a steady diet of roughly two gallons a day of Coca-Cola in the years before her untimely death at the young age of 30.
Natasha's overall lifestyle was by no means healthy, as she reportedly ate very little actual food, and smoked about 30 cigarettes every day. But it was her ridiculous Coca-Cola habit that appears to have pushed her over the limit, robbing her body of potassium and eventually leading to liver and heart problems that culminated in a fatal heart attack.
"She drank at least ten liters a day," said Christopher Hodgkinson, Natasha's partner. "The first thing she would do in the morning was have a drink of Coke and the last thing she would do in the day was have a drink of Coke by her bed."
Because the cause of Natasha's death was unclear at the time, New Zealand's inquest court, which handles inexplicable deaths, began an investigation. And what the court uncovered is that Natasha died of cardiac arrhythmia, and had also likely been suffering from hypokalemia, or a severe lack of potassium in the blood.
According to Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, people who drink too much sugary soda are extremely prone to developing hypokalemia. Fructose induced osmotic diarrhea, for instance, which is a side effect of drinking sugary soda, causes the body to lose potassium, as does the massive release of insulin from the pancreas that results from drinking sugary soda.
Additionally, the caffeine in Coca-Cola drives potassium out of the bloodstream and into the cells which, combined with these other effects, is a perfect recipe for potassium deficiency. And in someone like Natasha who had been drinking outrageous amounts of Coca-Cola, the effects were even more potent and deadly.
Natasha was afflicted with all these symptoms and more, as she reportedly vomited several times a week from what appeared to be caffeine toxicity, and also had a severely diseased liver, which is a common side effect of consuming soft drinks. A 2009 study found that drinking just two cans of soda a day, in fact, is enough to cause long-term liver damage (http://www.dailymail.co.uk).
"[High fructose corn syrup] increases the chances of suffering from a fatty liver, which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer," said Dr. Nimer Assy, lead author of that earlier study.