it’s okay, people. the diet coke isn’t going to kill me.
Posted on 23 June 2009
I drink quite a bit of diet coke. Probably two cans, each day that I work. I’m forever being told by people “that’ll give you brain cancer you know” or “that stuff’s gonna kill you!”
I admit, it’s not the best habit to be drinking some kind of synthetic beverage a couple of times a day. It’d probably be more healthy if I drank water instead. However, water doesn’t taste fizzy and delicious so I choose the browner, tastier option. There are several fronts on which people base their concern but certainly the most adamant opposition is due to the use of aspartame as an artificial sweetner. Here’s a quote from the FDA in 1999: “[aspartame is] one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved.” Just putting that out there, to begin with.
Over the next little while, I’m going to try and bust up some myths using a collection of theoretical biochemistry and citation of empirical studies. I want to debunk the toxicity of each of the first-order metabolic products of aspartame – methanol, phenylalanine and aspartic acid.
I’ve half-written and half-researched methanol thus far. I intend not only to quote the numerous studies and facts everyone else does, but also to show theoretically that the amount of methanol produced from the metabolism of aspartame is far from enough to overcome the blood’s various pH buffering mechanisms. It is metabolic acidosis which leads to the typical symptoms of methanol poisoning.
If I’m not bored after debunking aspartame, I’ll treat you to a couple of other debunkings I’ve come across – like the one about how caffeinated beverages dehydrate you.
Stay tuned! I’m on my little high-horse!