When talking about soda, is there one that’s really worse than the others? It’s a bit arbitrary picking a “winner,” since both regular and diet sodas are all-around terrible for our health. However, if we had to single out an ultimate soda fiend, we’d have to go with Mountain Dew.
Here are just a few reasons why:
Bromiated vegetable oil (BVO)
While many types of sodas have eliminated their use of BVO in recent years, largely due to public outcry, it still lurks in Mountain Dew. BVO is an emulsifier, which is synthesized from either corn or soybean oils, bonded to bromine. Bromine is an element that is also featured in many flame-retardant chemicals.
According to the Mayo Clinic:
“Only a few studies have looked at possible safety issues, but it appears that bromine builds up in the body. There also have been a few reports of people experiencing memory loss and skin and nerve problems after drinking excessive amounts (more than 2 liters a day) of soda containing BVO.”
To name a couple instances, it was found in 1983 that rats fed a diet of 2 percent BVO for two weeks before mating, experience temporary impotence. In 1997, a teenager in California who drank between two and four liters of soda each day was admitted to the emergency room after suffering memory loss, loss of muscle coordination, and other symptoms. The teenager had to undergo kidney dialysis before release.
It’s true these instances occurred with high amounts of BVO. However, if it does accumulate in the body, as is theorized, even a little bit over time might spell trouble. And why would you want it in your body, anyway?
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
High fructose corn syrup is an artificial sugar manufactured from corn — usually GMO corn. Due to the way it is manufactured, it can potentially contain toxic levels of mercury. Because of its unbalanced ratio of glucose to fructose, it is absorbed directly by the liver and stored as fat. This can lead to weight gain, especially around the belly area.
If that weren’t enough, HFCS has been linked to system-wide inflammation, which may be at the root of many chronic health issues, including heart disease, autoimmune disease, and cancers.
While all artificial colorings should be avoided, as many have been linked to hyperactivity and other behavioral changes in children, yellow 5 is a particularly nasty one. It is manufactured from coal tar and crude oil runoff, which contains benzene, a recognized carcinogen.
Yellow 5 has been linked to the potential for inciting severe allergic reactions, as well as symptoms including hives, skin rashes, headaches, and asthma. Two separate studies have associated this dye with decreased sperm production in mice.
On top of all this, Mountain Dew contains a couple of chemical preservatives, and a chemical to “protect flavor.” That’s a lot of chemicals for one yellow fizzy drink.
All in all, if you’re still chugging the Mountain Dew, do yourself a favor and stop. If you need a substitute, try mixing some plain carbonated water with a squeeze of fresh lemon, a squeeze of fresh lime, and some raw honey for sweetness. Delicious — without the poison.
-The Alternative Daily