(NaturalNews) According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 310 million people worldwide are affected by type 2 diabetes, a long-term condition characterized by insulin resistance. What is at the heart of this growing epidemic? According to a new European study, the mass availability of sugary soda drinks may be one of the greatest single contributing factors to the growing diabetes epidemic. In fact, researchers concluded that drinking only one 12-ounce can of sugar sweetened soda a day raises the risk of diabetes by 22 percent compared with drinking just one can a month. The study involved data from 350,000 people in eight European countries. The study questioned everyday people about how many sugary, artificially sweetened soft drinks and juices they drank each day. The research further explained that fruit juice consumption and diabetes incidence are not linked.
High fructose corn syrup, the evil culprit
In the 1970s, HFCS began replacing cane sugar, due to the fact that HFCS is much cheaper to produce. According to Dana Flavin, author of the article "Metabolic Danger of High-Fructose Corn Syrup", "HFCS is now the primary caloric sweetener added to soft drinks in the United States, and comprises more than 40 percent of caloric sweeteners added to foods and beverages."
Between 1970 and 1990, the annual intake of HFCS increased by more than 1,000 percent, greatly exceeding the change in intake of any other food group.
HFCS, derived from genetically modified corn, is a man made product that goes through a series of processes that break it down into starch, glucose, and fructose using enzymes produced by bacteria and fungus.
The end product contains about 80 percent fructose, which is rabidly converted to fat by the liver, leading to an excess concentration of fats and lipoproteins in the body. This causes a rise in triglyceride levels, promoting atherosclerosis, elevated cardiovascular risk, and increased incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Studies show that HFCS may be the evil culprit spurring obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney stones, and gout.
Bone-destructive phosphoric acid
Phosphoric acid, the flavor additive that gives soda its tangy, sharp flavor, is also the acidifying agent that helps slow the growth of mold and bacteria in the sugary solution of soda. Its acidity level that makes soda a great agent for removing rust or scum build up around the toilet!
These similar effects happen inside the body. By creating a high acidity level inside the body, the body reacts by trying to neutralize the environment. This results in the body pulling calcium from the bones. This explains the link between phosphoric acid consumption and lower bone density.
The damage is even greater in the developmental stages of a person's life. According to a 1994 Harvard study done on bone fractures in teenage athletes, 14-year-old girls who drank cola were about five times more likely to suffer bone fractures than girls who didn't consume soda pop.
Cancer-causing caramel flavoring
The Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a petition to the FDA in February of 2011 to ban the use of caramel colorings in soda. From their studies they found out that the caramel coloring in soda contains two cancer-causing chemicals.
The chemistry behind caramel coloring starts by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperatures. These chemical reactions result in the formation of 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, two chemical formations that have been shown to cause thyroid, liver, and lung cancer in laboratory rats. The National Toxicology Program reports that these animal carcinogens, toxic to laboratory rats, pose similar risks to humans.
Ditching soda, introducing fresh juice may be the best remedy
Treating type 2 diabetes with pharmaceutical drugs but still drinking high fructose corn syrup-laden soda is a counterproductive approach to good health. Ditching soda may be the best remedy for those suffering from a wide array of health problems. One of the simplest solutions to vitality today is found in eliminating high fructose corn syrup, caramel coloring, phosphoric acid and replacing it all with fresh fruit and vegetable juice. The myth that healthy food is too expensive is a fallacy. Juicing fruits and vegetables every day costs way less than a weekly 24-pack of soda and a prescription drug regime. Either way, the benefits of juicing, in regards to quality of life, will always be worth the price.