(NaturalNews) Soda pop consumption is on the rise. Before 1950, the standard soft drink was 6.5 ounces. By 1960, the average serving size jumped to a 12 oz can, and today, 20 oz bottles have become the norm. It's easy to fill up a 44 oz foam cup of soda from any American gas station, and free refills are encouraged at almost every restaurant.
Soft drink industry ads market directly to children, spurring an ADHD epidemic
The soft drink industry, marketing directly to children, spends nearly a half billion dollars aiming ads directly toward youth between the ages of 2 and 17. The marketing is apparently working, as soda fills most family's Wal-Mart shopping carts and home refrigerators.
As soda consumption continues to climb in children, attention and hyperactivity disorders are being diagnosed at alarming rates. According to new statistics released this year by the Centers for Disease Control, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is affecting 11 percent of school aged children, including one in five high school-aged boys.
As diagnosed hyperactivity disorders increase in children, doctors quickly default to drugging them unnecessarily with prescriptions of Ritalin and Adderall. Not dealing with the root problem, these junk medicines lead children to further anxiety, addiction and psychosis as time goes on.
Australian study shows how soda causes hyperactivity in the brain
A new study from Australia shows how sugary beverages increase hyperactivity in the brain. What the researchers found was that soda consumption alters hundreds of proteins in the brain
- proteins responsible for healthy cellular function and DNA communication.
In the study, the brains of 24 rats were examined. The study, led by researchers Jane Franklin and Jennifer Cornish from the Macquarie University in Sydney, looked at tissue samples taken from one area of the rats' brains
. By the end of the experiment, drastic changes in the levels of nearly 300 different proteins were observed.
During the test, a 10 percent sugar solution was given to the rats for 26 days. This formula is equivalent to one can of soda
per day for about a month. A control group was also established and was given water.
After the 26 days, the team examined the rats' orbital frontal cortex - the section of the brain sitting right behind the eyes. Using a specific enzyme, the researchers snipped proteins and peptides from the orbital frontal cortex of the rat brains. Using mass spectrometry, they were able to identify and list specific peptides and proteins.
After identifying 1,373 proteins, they found that 290 were significantly altered in the sugar-fed rats. The rats that were given water showed no signs of altered protein levels. Franklin even mentioned that the various protein changes in the sugar-fed rats were significantly greater than a previous study looking at caffeine's effect on brain protein levels.
Alerting the world about soda consumption and the hyperactivity link
The alarming part of the study is that about half of the altered proteins in the rat brains play an important role in cellular function of the brain, including cellular life span, DNA communication and DNA repair. Likewise, 30 percent of the proteins that were altered play a vital role in regulating conditions like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia.
Franklin says, "Our research suggests that the long-term consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks in place of water can cause long-lasting changes to behavior and a profound change in the chemistry of the brain."
"Hyperactivity is a physical sign that something unusual is happening in the brain. It is probably a reflection of changes being made to return the system back to its pre-sugar state, after it had adjusted to prolonged sugar consumption."
In conclusion, she stated that sugar exposure can alter many diverse biological processes and can even play a role in neurological disorders. "We can't say from this work that these changes are causing the associated diseases, but it's a warning that we need to look more closely at the link."Sources for this article include:http://www.telegraph.co.ukhttp://www.nytimes.comhttp://www.washingtonpost.comhttp://www.hsph.harvard.edu