What a Life

17.So You Like Your Fizzy Drinks?

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This blog is by no means a comprehensive discussion

about the problems associated with fizzy drinks. It is

merely an insight which will hopefully encourage

readers to go and learn more with their own research.


I don’t worry about chemicals.

There are enough chemicals entering my body through all the 

fizzy drinks I consume to worry if my lip balm is 100 percent organic.

Edie Campbell



As many of you will have gathered I was a hospital doctor once. Out with of work I lived a life of chaos. Meanwhile at work to manage a formal lunch was a scarcity. The sugar boost required to keep flogging myself daily and often overnight came from processed sandwiches, chocolates, cakes, sugar laden coffee and fizzy drinks. I consumed several cans of fizzy drinks whether at home or at work. I felt indestructible. Whatever chemicals I put into my body, I would be immune from any medical problems.

Then I had the accident. The medical team measured my blood glucose level and it was raised. Given the stress my body was suffering a raised blood sugar level was alone not indicative of diabetes. Subsequently they measured the concentration of a chemical related to a chronically raised blood glucose concentration. Diagnostically, I was a diabetic despite being thin, very active and extremely physically fit.

On gaining some semblance of physical and mental normality, they told me of this diagnosis. The bottom line for me was that I either change my lifestyle pronto or I would be stuck on anti-diabetic tablets for life. It did not take much effort for me get rid of all the high sugar components of my diet especially fizzy drinks. I have never missed them nor looked back since.

Most people might add no sugar, one sugar or two teaspoons of sugar to their tea or coffee. A can of “full fat” fizzy drink can contain up to nine teaspoons of sugar. I was drinking four – five such cans daily. It is said people in Britain consume around one-hundred liters of fizzy drinks annually. 

The sugar content of full fat fizzy drinks provides a quick energy rush because of the sugar content. This dissipates quickly. It is followed by potentially attention and concentration changes especially in children. 

Tooth decay is a big problem for people drinking fizzy drinks. Despite meticulous dental care I just could not get rid of the plaques and tartar on my teeth. Once I stopped drinking fizzy drinks, using the same dental techniques, the stains began to disappear. 

I was an adult and could make my own decisions. Children cannot. One of the regular lists I anesthetized was a child dental clinic. The vast majority of children who attended were there for dental clearances. Removal of all teeth which were usually milk teeth. I became accustomed to asking the accompanying parent what the child drank and how. Almost invariably the answer was fizzy drinks through a straw of a baby cup. This was wholly irresponsible. That is how their milk teeth were wrecked. Full fat fizzy drinks may also contribute to gum recession.

Obesity is a plague developing in the west and the affluent amongst populations worldwide. It is linked to the consumption of fizzy drinks amongst other commodities. It isn’t the glands or being ‘big boned” that matters, it is the mouth and intake. Obesity is said to have associations with an increased level around most abdominal organs. it also results in a high cholesterol level. Both these are known to be associated with heart disease. 

Fizzy drinks may also be linked to aging, migraines, depression, insomnia and perhaps even cancer. There is a possible link between early puberty in girls with the adherent risk of breast cancer. Some of the potential side effects are uncertain and require more research.

Many years ago an eleven year old primary kid was significantly obese. A local reporter had decided to visit the school to pen an article as to why there were so many overweight kids at that school. To break the ice, the reporter asked the boy, what was his favourite musical instrument? The answer was the dinner bell. Most unfortunate! Article over!! Horrifying!!

One issue that I have not mentioned yet is the link between obesity and diabetes. Diabetes is multi-organ failure on legs. It eats a human from the inside until it is all over. To name a few, it is associated with blindness, high blood pressure, circulatory problems with resulting amputations, kidney failure, heart disease and strokes. That is by no means a comprehensive list of the complications of diabetes.If anyone wants to enjoy life diabetes is best avoided. Not everyone can do this especially those who are insulin dependent but it is worth trying.

There are plenty of texts and internet articles about healthy eating, a balanced diet, how to feed your kids without me adding to them. Please read them and learn………. NOW!!



Many years ago I had the misfortune to have a couple of sips of a diet fizzy drink. For me, it was disgusting. Full fat please anytime. Yet many people jumped onto the diet drink bandwagon because they believed that these were safer. Really? 

This component of the blog is a more scientific presentation because it has to be.

Diet drinks do not contain sugar but they contain a sweetener called aspartame. Aspartame was accidentally discovered by James Schlatter working for G D Searle. That was in 1965.Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar. It took 16years to pass through vigorous scientific opposition. In 1981 Ronald Reagan fired the incumbent FDA (US Food and Drug Administration Chairman). Hulley became the newly appointed chairman. In the same year he gave the go ahead for aspartame to be added to dry foods. In. 1983 aspartame was allowed to be added to drinks. By 2012 over 6,000 food and drink products contained aspartame worldwide. Yet many of the unsuspecting public had no idea about the product and its potential manifestations. Many still don’t. In a multibillion dollar industry, few would stand in Central Park or Hyde Park Corner and shout about it loudly.

Aspartame may account for over 75% of adverse reactions to food additives as reported to the FDA. 

Side effects of aspartame can be categorized as follows:

Nervous System – headaches, migraines, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, irritability, depression, fatigue, insomnia, hearing loss, slurred speech, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, tinnitus, vertigo.

There maybe an association with epilepsy, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimers Disease.

Joints and muscles – chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, joint pains. 

Pregnancy – birth defects.

Lymphatic system – lymphoma.

Chest – breathing problems

Immune system – allergy, skin rashes, hives, anaphylaxis and death.

The greatest irony of all is that many out there will believe because these drinks are diet drinks there can be no weight gain or risk of diabetes. WRONG!! Diet drinks are also linked to weight gain and diabetes. 

Aspartame is broken down to three components in humans. Aspartic acid, Phenylalanine and Methanol (wood alcohol). Methanol is synthesized from aspartame. All three of the chemicals mentioned above are toxic themselves. 

Aspartic acid acts is an amino acid. In excess in the brain it speeds up transfer of chemical substances that pass signals from one brain cell to the next. It is known as an excitotoxin. The end effect is that it allows dangerous chemicals and ions into brain cells which harm and destroy these vital cells. Many of the chronic adverse effects are appreciated only when a significant number of brain cells from a particular part of the brain are destroyed. There maybe an association between such nerve cell destruction and Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, memory loss, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and a host of other problems. 

Phenylalanine is also an amino acid. Some people suffer a genetic disorder called Phenylketonuria. These people cannot metabolise this amino acid. This disorder can result in premature death due to the high levels of phenylalanine in the brain. The same can happen in those consuming large amounts of aspartame especially with a high carbohydrate intake. Phenylalanine depresses brain serotonin concentration so mood swings, violent rages and depression are possible outcomes.  

Methanol is a synthetic product of aspartame. This can only occur when the temperature is 30 degrees centigrade. What is normal body temperature in humans? 37 degrees centigrade. At this temperature methanol is metabolized to formic acid and formaldehyde. Both are toxic to humans. 

Methanol is a by product of fermentation. It is in most beers in minuscule, un-harmful concentrations. It is also component of antifreeze, car screen wash. When ingested in excess it can result in death. There are many cases from around the world when methanol has been added to alcohol. and resulted in fatalities. More recently the FDA agreed to allow aspartame to be added pre-cooked foodstuffs. Since these are always heated to a temperature above 30 degrees centigrade, methanol and it’s metabolites are an ever present. 

Lastly, the end by product of aspartame is a chemical, diketopiperazine. It has been suggested that it may be responsible for brain tumors. The evidence is by no means clear nor researched properly.

S0, what happens in most British hospitals? The public are sold diet drinks as if there was no tomorrow. Full fat drinks are often banned. A situation created largely by dietitians. People, we have been led through a tunnel at the end of which there is no light.

There will be plenty of authors who will likely disagree with my negative assertions. The purpose of this blog is to give my view. Other material should be read by readers to develop your own thoughts.


Sleeping with the Gasman


Thank you for reading this blog:

Kindest regards

Jazz Pal-Kerr





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