New findings regarding the dangers to health by soft drinks has caused fear in the UK and is sure to cause concern in other parts of the world, according to a report published in the Irish Independent.
According to recent research, carried out by Sheffield University in the UK, a preservative that is commonly found in soft drinks can cause essential parts of human DNA to stop working, leading to serious health problems.
The health problems most commonly thought to arise from this preservative are not what most would associated with drinking a soda or fruit juice, but more with the aging process and excessive alcohol consumption.
Many of us know today that too much soda should be avoided as it can lead to dental problems. But the new research reveals that the preservative commonly found in soft drinks can also lead to cirrhosis and Parkinson’s.
The head expert that worked on the study, Peter Piper, took a close look at this common preservative, known as E211, otherwise called sodium benzoate. Piper told the Independent that “these chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it, they knock it out altogether. The mitochondria consumes the oxygen to give you energy and if you damage it then the cell starts to malfunction very seriously.”
Sodium benzoate or E211 has been used in soft drinks for many years. This isn’t the first time this commonly used preservative has been the subject of controversy. Last year it was causing fear over its potential to cause cancer if it was combined with vitamin C. It was found that when E211 was combined with Vitamin C, a carcinogenic was created, called benzene. Last year the Food Standards Agency in the UK investigated a number of soft drinks that had this combination and found four to have unsafe levels of benzene. As a result these four drinks were taken from store shelves.
Many may be wondering what the purpose of E211 is and why it is so commonly used. The reason E211 is used is that is keeps the soft drinks fresh by not allowing mould and other harmful bacteria to grow. E211 isn’t just found in soft drinks, it can be found in other food products such as salad dressing.
Both the food agencies in the US and Europe have sodium benzoate as an approved safe to use substance. However, Piper was quick to point out that the test carried out by these two food agencies were old and now inaccurate.
Piper said, “By the criteria of modern safety testing, the safety tests were inadequate. Like all things, safety testing moves forward and you can conduct a much more rigorous safety test than you could 50 years ago. We are feeding vast amounts of them to children inadvertently. Is this a completely safe process?”
The UK Food Standards agency, when questioned about the research said that E211 was safe, “Sodium benzoate and benzoic acid are approved for food use. Food additives are only permitted for use after a long and careful process of evaluation.” (ANI)
Many foods contain E211 or other preservatives that are thought to be harmful to human health. For example E102 has been linked to thyroid tumours. E110 can have side effects that include tumours of the kidney, hives and throwing up. The preservative E407 have been recently researched and thought to cause cancer. These are just a few of the many E preservatives that we often consume on a daily basis without thinking about them. It maybe time to take a closer look at what you are eating.