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The soft drink Coca-Cola was invented at the end of the 19th century and was originally positioned as a substitute for alcohol. The composition of the original drink included coca leaves and kola nuts with a high content of caffeine – hence the well-known name originates. The current formula of the drink is a trade secret, but throughout the 20th century, other companies still managed to produce drinks that were similar in color and taste. Recently, scientists conducted an experiment on mice and found that Coca-Cola makes them less intelligent. There is good reason to believe that the same effect the drink has on humans.
Proof of the harmfulness of Coca-Cola
Scientists once again proved the harmfulness of the popular carbonated drink during the experiment, the results of which were published in the scientific journal Experimental Gerontology . The researchers collected laboratory rodents and divided them into age groups of two, eight and fourteen months. Subsequently, for 57 days, one half of the mice from each group were fed only cola. The other half of the rodents were part of the control group and drank clean water.
Immediately after a period of unusual diet, the rodents were released into a maze to test their mental abilities. To find out how the carbonated drink affects the mice in the longer term, the cognitive test was repeated 10 days later. On top of all this, some lab mice have been euthanized in order to study their brain state more clearly.
As expected, “Coca-Cola” on the mental abilities of mice reflected badly. Particularly strong memory impairment and inability to pass the maze was noticeable in young individuals at the age of two and eight months. An autopsy showed that areas of the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus were damaged in their brains. For reference, it is worth noting that the first area is responsible for coordinating thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals. The hippocampus, in turn, plays a big role in memory and attention retention. In mice that drank water, there were no problems with the functioning of the brain.
Why Coca-Cola is bad for the brain
Scientists believe that the substances that make up cola cause disruptions in the body’s defense system against oxidative stress. At every moment in the cells of mice and humans, reactive oxygen species arise – they are oxidizing agents and can cause irreparable harm to health. To neutralize reactive oxygen species, there are special proteins in the body of mice and humans. Most likely, the use of cola somehow causes a decrease in the activity of these enzymes, which is why there are problems with the work of the brain.
Scientists tend to assume that cola affects humans in the same devastating way. This can be believed, if only because the mouse and man have 50% identical DNA and are mammals. Although, a share of skepticism in this matter also does not hurt, because despite all the similarities, there are many distinctive features between us and mice. It would be nice if scientists conducted a similar experiment with humans. You just need to somehow do without an autopsy – fortunately, there are MRI and other technologies that allow you to assess the state of brain health.
Why cola is bad for health
The harmfulness of cola to the brain has been proven only on the example of mice – how it affects the mental abilities of people is not clear. Basically, the harmfulness of this drink is associated with a large amount of sugar. It is believed that one can of cola can contain up to 45 grams of several varieties of sugar. And this despite the fact that the daily norm for a person is 25 grams.
Due to the excessive consumption of sugar, people get fat, and this entails a huge number of health problems. First of all, the risk of developing diabetes mellitus increases. In addition, overweight people usually always suffer from diseases of the cardiovascular system. In 2012, scientists completed a long study of 40,000 men and found that carbonated drink drinkers were 20% more likely to die of a heart attack than others.
In addition to this, there are reasons to believe that Coca-Cola provokes the development of cancer. In 2010, scientists conducted a study of 60,000 people and found men and women among them who drank at least two cans of cola a day. It turned out that they were 87% more likely to suffer from pancreatic cancer than other people.
Myths about the harmfulness of cola
At the same time, there are many assumptions about the dangers of Coca-Cola, which are fiction.
Some people believe that drinking cola is so bad for teeth that they can dissolve over time. This is not true, because the acidity index of a carbonated drink is about 2.37 pH. To cause at least some harm to the human body, this indicator must be below zero.
There are many videos on the Internet in which people throw a coin into a glass of cola and the drink dissolves the rust. Because of this, many are afraid that cola will do the same to their stomach. Indeed, cola copes well with rust – the reason for this lies in the content of a certain amount of phosphoric acid. Hydrochloric acid, which is contained in our stomach, has approximately the same property. But after all, nothing bad happens – because of it, no one has a hole. So you shouldn’t be afraid that cola will make a hole in your stomach either, it’s just a myth.