Monday, May 28, 2007

Sodium benzoate, often found in sodas, can switch off vital parts of DNA

Some soft drinks may seriously harm your health The Independent 5/28/07 "...The problem - more usually associated with ageing and alcohol abuse - can eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver and degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's...serious consequences for the hundreds of millions of people worldwide who consume fizzy drinks...Concerns centre on the safety of E211, known as sodium benzoate, a preservative used for decades by the £74bn global carbonated drinks industry. Sodium benzoate derives from benzoic acid. It occurs naturally in berries, but is used in large quantities to prevent mould in soft drinks such as Sprite, Oasis and Dr Pepper. It is also added to pickles and sauces...Sodium benzoate has already been the subject of concern about cancer because when mixed with the additive vitamin C in soft drinks, it causes benzene, a carcinogenic substance...Professor Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology, tested the impact of sodium benzoate on living yeast cells in his laboratory. What he found alarmed him: the benzoate was damaging an important area of DNA in the "power station" of cells known as the mitochondria..."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 - as happens in a number if diseased states - then the cell starts to malfunction very seriously. And there is a whole array of diseases that are now being tied to damage to this DNA - Parkinson's and quite a lot of neuro-degenerative diseases, but above all the whole process of ageing."...He advised parents to think carefully about buying drinks with preservatives until the quantities in products were proved safe by new tests. "My concern is for children who are drinking large amounts," he said...Coca-Cola and Britvic's Pepsi Max and Diet Pepsi all contain sodium benzoate. "

Not a pretty picture. Time to hunt through the fridge and pantry for drinks and food with sodium benzoate in them.

Kinda makes you wonder what other food industry preservatives and other chemicals have the ability to turn on and off genes... I suspect we'll be hearing about plenty in the future... alas.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Professor Peter Piper, pickles and Dr Pepper?