Technically, any liquid intended for drinking is a beverage so named by a word derived from French and Latin verbs meaning ‘to drink.’ Healthy beverages are beverages with health benefits that attribute by its nutritional value. The use of healthy beverage for promoting health and relieving symptom is as old as the practice of medicine.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Harmful Effects of Soft Drinks

The most popular beverages among young people in the United States are carbonated beverages also known as sodas or soft drinks.

The important thing to remember is that over consumption of soft drinks should be avoided because of their numerous harmful effects such as as: obesity, osteoporosis, nutritional deficiencies, and tooth decay. It is important to be aware of the harmful effects of such deleterious beverages.

Bone mass peaks in the early 30s. After this age most people lose approximately one percent of bone mass a year. As more and more bone is lost, the bone becomes weaker and more brittle, a condition known as osteoporosis.

A very serious effect of soft drinks on people’s health is the correlation between soft drink consumption and the increased risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis.

People who drinks instead of milk or other dairy products likely will have lower calcium intakes. Low calcium intake contributes to osteoporosis, a disease leading to fragile and broken bones.

The large amounts of sugar, bubbles caused by carbon dioxide, and phosphoric acid that are found in soft drinks remove nutritious minerals from bones allowing the bones to become weak and increasing the risk for them to break.

This is done by the phosphoric acid disrupting the calcium-phosphorous ratio, which dissolves calcium from the bones. This can cause calcium loss in bones. The phosphorus acid then pulls the calcium from their storage warehouse – that is, their teeth and bones.

The result is osteoporosis – that is, loss of density of bones, back and disc trouble, pyorrhea and of course, decayed teeth.

All soft drinks are made with a solution of phosphoric acid. This is in part what gives them their kick.

Many people consume soft drinks instead of necessary beverages like milk, so their bodies are not receiving enough nutrients, especially calcium.

By lowering bone mineral density it may be increasing osteoporosis risk.

This deficiency in calcium intake and increased consumption of soft drinks is a greater problem for women than for men.

On average, women reported drinking five carbonated drinks a week, four of them colas. Calcium intake was lower for women who drank the most cola.

The discrepancy between genders is because men traditionally eat more and consume more milk than their female counter parts, so soft drinks do not have as profound of an effect on men.

Caffeine in soft drinks
Most carbonated beverages contain caffeine, which is considered to be a mild drug and can have harmful effects, especially on children.

Soft drinks today – both ‘colas’ and many noncolas – have caffeine added to them as part of the recipe.

The children’s major source of caffeine was soft drinks.

Soft drinks are the most consumed caffeine-containing beverage in America. Caffeine is a drug that acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system.

The contribution of soft drinks to total caffeine consumption is significant. One study showed that in 1962 one-third of the population is significant soft drinks than before, but currently around two thirds said that they had.

Large amounts of caffeine consumption can cause diseases and disorders such as insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, irritability, and deviations from the normal heart rate.

In 1994, there was a study published that children ages eight to twelve warning that , although caffeine may improve children’s attention to detail and their manual dexterity, it also increase their anxiety.

Caffeine is an addictive substance, which causes consumers to need more caffeine.

A major concern about caffeine is that it increases the excretion of calcium in urine, which increases the risk for osteoporosis in heavy caffeine consumers.

Some preliminary studies show that caffeine increases the risk of birth defects. Evidence suggest that a level over 500 mg a day, caffeine may delay conception.

The amount of caffeine in soft drinks varies and it usually isn’t listed on the beverage container. In general, most have 30 mg to 50 mg per ounce serving – half that of an 8 ounce cup of coffee.

Caramel in softdrinks
Carmel is the amorphous, dark brown resulting from controlled heat treatment of food grade carbohydrates, usually corn syrup with 75% dextrose content.

Many soft drinks contain caramel coloring to allow them to have their dark appearance. The chemical polyethylene glycol is used to achieve this dark color.

The color intensity of a caramel is related to its nitrogen an sulfur content which itself is determined by the amount of ammonium sulfite added to the sugar during the production process.

Glycol is used in antifreeze. Scientists are concerned that this caramel coloring may be a carcinogen.

Seventy-five to eighty five percent of the caramel produced in the Unite States is used in soft drinks, particularly root beers and colas.

Dental cavities
High sugar beverages such as softdrinks are more likely to cause dental carries when they are sipped slowly over an extended period of time.

Dental cavities are often associated with carbonated beverage. Most carbonated beverages contain phosphoric acid, citric acid and carbonic acid that leads to chemical erosion of teeth.

This association is important because the amount of sugars that are consumed is important in forming caries, which is when a cavity effects only the enamel, the outer protective layer of a tooth.

Soft drinks promote carries because they bathe the teeth of frequent consumers in sugar-water for long periods of time.

Caries are caused by the bacteria mutatis streptococci, which is a part of dental plaque. It is the most common organism in dental plaque, but other bacteria also appear to contribute.

The bacteria attach to teeth and produce high amounts of acid from sugars and other types of acid.

What is dental carries? Dental carries are lesions in the tooth crown or root which develop due to site specific demineralization of the tooth enamel, dentine and cementum as a result of organic acids produced by bacteria which permanently inhabit dental plaque.

Lactobacillus and actinomyces viscosus are two other kinds of bacteria that adversely affect teeth and survive well in very acidic environments.

The amount of sucrose that is consumed in a diet propagates tooth decay by changing the nature and thickness of plaque. Glucose and fructose increase the thickness of plaque as it forms into a thick gel from a liquid. The gel blocks the movement of saliva and forms an acid environment that erodes the tooth surface. This thick plaque formation is more common in pits where it is easier for the bacteria to keep the saliva out.

The more often one eats the greater risk the person has for caries. This is because sugars in food are broken down to fulfill the metabolic needs of the different harmful bacteria. The more this happens the more difficult it is for saliva to buffer all of the acids present.

The acids that are not buffered dissolve the apatite crystals of a tooth’s surface; this process is called demineralization.

Demineralization is characterized by a thick layer of plaque blanketing teeth, dropping to a low pH for several hours removing the calcium nutrients of the tooth. Teeth can be mineralized by calcium, fluoride and phosphate, which are all contained in saliva.

Saliva has a composition that protects the teeth against demineralization. Here, the salivary activities of calcium and phosphate become important because both ions are part of the hydroxyapatite unit cell.

Demineralization process occurs when specific bacteria firmly adhere to teeth and are exposed to certain carbohydrate over extended periods of time to form acids, which react with the hard tooth structure, causing mineral loss.

Carries are formed when the process of demineralization occurs more often than the process of remineralization. Enamel, which is composed of cementum and dentin, naturally protects teeth.

Dentin is a highly substituted calcium phosphate salt, which is also called apatite. Carbonate makes the apatite very soluble but fluoride helps to strengthen the apatite. Cycles of demineralization and remineralization of teeth allows for the teeth to contain more fluoride, which makes the teeth stronger.
The Harmful Effects of Soft Drinks

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