Soft Drink Colouring Raises Cancer Risk
We all know drinking soft drink is bad for us. And now new research has found that daily drinking of cola drinks increases the risk of cancer. And the caramel colouring is the culprit.
The key takeaway with this study is that just one can of cola a day exposes the drinker to 4-MEI – a known cancer-causing chemical.
What causes the carcinogen?
So why does cola increase cancer risk over, say, a lemonade or fizzy raspberry drink? The caramel colouring is the blame, because 4-MEI is created during the colour production process.
What’s even more frightening is that caramel colouring has no impact on flavour, taste, smell, or overall enjoyment of cola drinks. It’s added simply to make the drink look better. And it could just as easily be left out to prevent exposure to the scary carcinogen.
I drink cola daily. Should I be worried?
According to the study, people who drink cola drinks each day should be concerned. We now know a carcinogen is created when the cola is manufactured. And that should be enough to make anyone pour their cola can down the sink.
Interestingly, law makers in California have legislated warning labels on cola drinks when 4-MEI levels present a severe cancer risk. A severe cancer risk is 1 in 100,000 people exposed to the chemical.
That being said, 4-MEI levels vary across the range of cola drinks sold. And even the same drink from the same brand can have cans and bottles with different levels of the chemical.
Urvashi Rangan from the food safety and sustainability center of Consumer Reports said, "This new analysis underscores our belief that people consume significant amounts of soda that unnecessarily elevate their risk of cancer over the course of a lifetime."
So the message is clear: drink soft drinks and your risk of cancer increases. When possible, switch soft drinks for fresh veggie and fruit juices. Or stick to plain old water.
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