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Phosphoric Acid in Soft Drinks: Say No to Carbonated Beverages

Soda Drink Side Effects: A Myth or Reality?

We all love carbonated drinks like anything, but do you have any idea about the phosphoric acid content in soft drinks? Surprised, are you? Well, research reveals that phosphoric acid is added to your favorite soft drinks. To know why it is added and what its effects are, please read further.

Here I must tell you that when I first heard cries about soda drink side effects, I was addicted to these beverages. As a health-conscious individual, with my own fitness goals, I immediately decided to STOP drinking soda drinks. Since then I have never felt a craving for these sugar-rich beverages. Though it was hard to quench my cravings for these drinks initially, I had to work hard to reduced my consumption in the beginning, limiting it to almost 50% of what I used to have earlier. Gradually, I reduced the intake further. Here I am today - with no cravings for sodas!!! I am happy my transition wasn't too difficult!  

No one in my home buys soda drinks now - I have even persuaded a number of my relatives to stay away from these beverages. While some have quit drinking cola drinks, some others continue to make soda beverages a part of their diet. Alas!!!


Why is Phosphoric Acid Added in Soft Drinks
Phosphorus is an essential nutrient in diet, which contributes to the growth of teeth and bones. It also helps in the conversion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into energy. Being an acidity regulator and nutrition agent for yeast, phosphoric acid is used as an additive in soda.  

Phosphoric acid, comprising mineral phosphorous, gives soft drinks a tangy taste and tartness. Thus it is for this well-rounded flavor and sharp taste that phosphoric acid is added in soft drinks. Besides, it is used as a source of nutrients for yeast to prevent or slow down the growth of molds and bacteria in food or drinks, which otherwise proliferate rapidly in a sugary solution.

Quantity of Phosphoric Acid in Soft Drinks
Soft drinks do contain phosphoric acid; however, these carbonated drinks are not a major source of phosphorus.  Soft drinks contribute little amount of phosphorus to the diet. Phosphoric acid in soft drinks forms only two to four percent of the recommended phosphorus intake. 

The U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance of phosphorus is 800 mg per day.  One cola glass contains 48 to 56 mg of phosphorus, whereas an equivalent amount of milk contains 250 mg. A can of 375ml soft drink contains 60 mg of phosphorous. Phosphoric acid is corrosive; however, acid concentration in soft drinks is even lower compared to that in lemonade or orange juice. 

Effects of Phosphoric Acid in Soft Drinks
The issue whether phosphoric acid has any effect on the overall calcium balance in the body remains debated. Epidemiological studies have shown that phosphorus intake does not impact the overall calcium balance; rather, it is necessary to maintain bone health. Contrarily, some argue that phosphoric acid in soft drinks causes teeth decay.

soda drink bad for health
Occasional drinking does not cause any harm; however, if you continue to consume soft drinks regularly, tooth decay is a common occurrence, especially in teens that love to sip carbonated drinks throughout the day. 

In case of frequent consumption of soft drinks, the phosphoric acid lowers pH of the mouth, thus turning saliva acidic. In order to bring the pH level above 7, calcium ions are pulled from the teeth, resulting in loss of calcium from the teeth. Without adequate calcium, rapid depletion of the tooth enamel begins.

Studies have shown that an increasing number of teens are found to have yellow teeth, which is attributed to their habits of rampant soda drinking. Yellow teeth indicate tooth decay and bone loss.

soda drinks bad effects
Phosphoric acid, when taken in large amounts, interferes with calcium absorption. It also contributes to imbalances, thus leading to further loss of calcium. An Academy of General Dentistry study warns that drinking any type of soft drink poses health risk to your teeth because of the phosphoric and citric content. The study measured the pH of 20 soft drinks soon after their cans were opened. Slices of enamel were immersed in these sodas for 48 hours. 

After 48 hours, when the slices of enamel were removed from the soft drinks, they had lost five percent of their weight. Thus the study concluded that prolonged exposure to highly acidic substances is bad for tooth enamel and terrible for bone health. It can accelerate deterioration of the jawbone. The study concludes that some of the soda drinks are as acidic as battery acid.

Some studies have even indicated that frequent consumption of soft drinks or sodas, containing phosphoric acid, leads to kidney damage. These studies claim that there is a connection between carbonated beverages and urinary changes indicating how phosphoric acid combines with calcium, magnesium to form kidney stones. 

Because kidneys cannot store acids or completely filter them, these acids accumulate and form kidney stones in combination with other salts. In case of extreme acidic levels, kidneys fail to carry out the normal bowl cleaning cycle, thus resulting in several ailments, such as nephritis and uremic poisoning.

A new study links consumption of soda to aggression, attention problems in young children, besides making them obese.  The Columbia University study states that kids who downed four or more servings of cola drinks faced behavioral problems, concentration issues, and indulge in fights more often socially.

Bottom Line
Thus we can conclude that merely drinking a can of soda does not harm the tooth enamel. It is frequent consumption of these carbonated drinks that is seen as a culprit in harming the teeth bone and enamel. However, besides phosphoric acid, it is the other additives and sweeteners that make soda drinks unhealthy. Soda drink side effects are aplenty, and your health is in your hands!


Image credit:
1.http://personalexcellence.co/challenges/files/21dhl-sodadrinks.jpg
2. http://www.doctortipster.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/soda-and-weight-gain.jpg
3. http://res.mindbodygreen.com/img/ftr/7-side-effects-soda-mbg.jpg
4. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HOFnZtPtD6M/TaWQfNFfuRI/AAAAAAAAHQY/BeHM8fzmr7o/s640/Soft%2Bdrinks-759211.JPG

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