This past week, my wife Sandi and I watched a deeply moving picture, "I Can Only Imagine," starring Cloris Leachman, Dennis Quaid and Trace Adkins. The story revolves around a brutal father who beat his wife and son regularly. The mother fled, leaving her 11-year-old son to the ravages of the father's beatings throughout his teens. Finally, the son flees the house to find his life as a singer with a traveling band. Yet, he suffers the traumas of his father's beatings.
Horribly, husbands and significant others beat a woman every 15 seconds in this country and murder three women 24/7 in America. Since I've written columns on that American tragedy, I know the horrors more than most. For every mother and child who has suffered violence and abuse from a father, my heart suffers.
With all the problems in this country, family violence needs to move front and center as to stopping it and solving its causes. Once a child suffers beatings and verbal abuse, it causes a lifetime of subconscious misery that plays out in his or her daily life.
At the end of the movie, the son reckons with his father while writing a song, "I can only imagine," that sends him to the top of the charts. Not a dry eye in the theater when the film ended!
After the show, Sandi, an RN, looked up a woman on Ted Talks who offers patients "Hypno-Therapy" which takes a person back to their childhood traumas, and releases them from the subconscious. Danna Pycher speaks on Ted Talks. You might give it some thought if you suffer childhood traumas. Here's her video:
At the same time, this column deals with ill health brought about by consumption of Coke, Mountain Dew, Pepsi and all soda pops offered in the market place.
At the beginning the movie, the screen lit up with a big bottle of Coke which popped its top with the words, "Open a bottle of happiness." Mountain Dew shows young kids racing, skiing and sailing in vibrant settings as they consume "The Dew." Pepsi runs similar ads while they advertise "zero sugar." You can also buy Coke Zero and Diet Mountain Dew.
I'm here to share with you that all soda pops drain their damaging contents into your body with terrible health consequences over time.
Soda pop increases your risk of heart attack. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, published March 2012 in the journal Circulation, found that drinking just one sugary beverage a day was associated with a 20 percent increase in a man's risk of having a heart attack over a 22-year period.
Carol Simontacchi, author of, The Crazy Makers: How the Food Industry Is Destroying Our Brains and Harming Our Children, said, "One liter of an aspartame-sweetened beverage can produce about fifty-six milligrams of methanol. When several of these beverages are consumed in a short period of time (one day, perhaps), as much as two hundred fifty milligrams of methanol are dumped into the bloodstream, or thirty-two times the EPA limit."
"What may happen, in the face of day-to-day, continuously high levels of sodium in the diet and the bloodstream, is that we experience a type of acute hypernatremia—not enough to kill us or cause the myelin sheath to lose its integrity, but enough to keep our sodium potassium pump slightly dysregulated and throw off the electrical system of the brain…. Americans drink soft drinks that are often loaded with more sodium and which further unbalance the mineral stores."
That's not all. Soda pop in any drink destroys your body's health balance.
1. Soda can cause a decline in kidney function.
In an 11-year-long Harvard Medical School study, including 3,318 women, researchers found that diet cola is linked with a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline. (Source: www.FoodRevolution.org)
2. Soda increases diabetes risk.
High levels of sugar in soda, places a lot of stress on your pancreas, potentially leaving it unable to keep up with the body's need for insulin. Drinking one or two sugary drinks per day increases your risk for type 2 diabetes by 25%.
At this time, diabetes races across the American population like the Kentucky Derby, but it kills our parents and kids.
More than one quarter of seniors (ages 65 and older) have diabetes (25.9 percent, or 11 million seniors). Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for around $245 billion in medical costs and lost productivity each year.
3. Caramel coloring in soda is linked to cancer.
The artificial brown coloring in colas is a chemical process, it is not made from caramelized sugar. It is made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperatures. These chemical reactions result in the formation of 2-methylimidazole (2-MI) and 4 methylimidazole (4-MI), which in government-conducted studies caused lung, liver, or thyroid cancer or leukemia in laboratory mice and rats.
4. Soda increases obesity risk in children.
Each additional soda or other sugary drink consumed per day increases the likelihood of a child becoming obese by about 60 percent. Sugary drinks are connected to other health problems as well. Have you looked across the American landscape lately? Seven out of ten Americans suffer from obesity to gross obesity. Our kids face a lifetime of ill health, poor self-concept and living with fat.
5. Soda contains high amounts of sugar
The average 20-ounce can of Coca Cola, Mountain Dew and Pepsi carry the equivalent of 17 teaspoons of sugar, it's not hard to see that soda can be bad for your teeth and your overall health.
6. Drinking more than one soda daily increases your risk for heart disease and metabolic syndrome.
According to Ravi Dhingra, M.D., lead author of the study and an instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School states "If you are drinking one or more soft drinks a day, you may be increasing your risk of developing metabolic risk factors for heart disease."
The Framingham study included nearly 9,000 individuals, over a four-year period. Researchers found that individuals consuming one or more sodas a day had a 48 percent increased risk of metabolic syndrome compared to those consuming less than one soft drink daily.
7. Diet soda does not help you lose weight.
A University of Texas Health Science Center study found that the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater their risk of becoming overweight. Consuming two or more cans a day increased waistlines by 500 percent greater than those who do not consume diet soda.
8. Diet sodas contain mold inhibitors.
They go by the names sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate, and they're used in nearly all diet sodas.
"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," Peter Piper, a professor of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of Sheffield in the U.K., told a British newspaper. The preservative has also been linked to hives, asthma, and other allergic conditions, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Note: Some companies have phased out sodium benzoate. Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi have replaced it with another preservative, potassium benzoate. Both sodium and potassium benzoate were classified by the Food Commission in the UK as mild irritants to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.
9. Sodas containing ascorbic acid and potassium benzoate can form benzene, a known carcinogen.
Benzene can form in beverages and foods that contain both ascorbic acid and potassium benzoate. According to the FDA, when benzoate is exposed to light and heat in the presence of vitamin C, it can be converted into benzene. According to the American Cancer Society, benzene is considered a carcinogen.
In my research, I discovered another 10 deleterious aspects of Coke, Mountain Dew and Pepsi consumption. When you drink it, you poison your body. When you drink it over time, you poison yourself into multiple health consequences. What really makes me sick, mothers put Coke in the baby bottles.
When you add the Diet Pop moniker to soda pop, you're adding deadly aspartame, sucralose and other synthetic sugars. All of them cause horrible consequences to your body over time.
What's a good drink to consume all your life? Answer: cool, clear, clean and delicious WATER!