The Startling Risks of Soft Drink Consumption (A Series) – Part 9: Gastrointestinal Distress

One common problem on the rise in recent years, especially in teenagers, is general gastrointestinal (GI) distress and acid reflux. The common complaint heard is chronic “stomach ache”. In almost every case, if one successfully stops drinking sodas and caffeine, the symptoms diminish or disappear altogether.

You see, in addition to caffeine, sodas also contain an array of chemical acids as additives, such as acetic, fumaric, gluconic and phosphoric and citric acids, all of them synthetically produced. (This is why certain sodas work so well when used to clean car engines.) For human consumption, however, the effects are much less satisfying and quite precarious. Drinking sodas, especially on an empty stomach, can upset the fragile acid-alkaline balance of the stomach and other gastric lining, creating a continuous acidic environment. This prolonged acidic environment can lead to painful inflammation of the stomach and duodenal lining and over the long term, to gastric lining erosion. The carbonation in soda also neutralizes stomach acids, impairing the breakdown and absorption of essential nutrients. So, you can see, sodas and “sports drinks” aren’t just causing white scars/decalcifications on the teeth of orthodontic patients. They have been shown to be systemically harmful. (To be continued)