Part 2: Phosphoric Acid
Picky eaters love soda pop! Don’t think toddlers and preschoolers drink much pop? Soft drinks provide more added sugar in a typical 2-year-old’s diet than cookies, candies, and ice cream combined. Yikes!
More than 15 billion gallons of soda pop were sold in 2000. That’s least one 12-ounce can per day for every man, woman, and child in America. But, kids drink more soda pop than their parents. In the past 10 years, soft drink consumption among children has almost doubled in the United States.
Sugar, primarily high fructose corn syrup, is only one of the many health concerns with soda pop. Phosphoric acid is an additive in most soft drinks and we never hear about it.
It’s the active ingredient giving soft drinks a sharper flavor and it helps to keep the carbonated bubbles from going flat. Phosphoric acid slows the growth of molds and bacteria, which would otherwise rapidly multiply in the sugary liquid.
Improved flavor and keeping bacteria in check are good enough, but phosphoric acid robs the body of vital nutrients, as it increases the loss of magnesium and calcium in the urine. It also dissolves the calcium in enamel. Obviously, weakened enamel makes it easier for bacteria to enter the teeth, causing cavities in children.
Avah knows healthy drinks like water, milk, and fruit juice are yummy, too.
While parents may believe that sugar is the primary culprit of soft drink’s adverse effects on tooth decay, enamel erosion occurs whether the soft drink is sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners. According to a report published in General Dentistry, phosphoric acid in soft drinks causes tooth enamel erosion, even when occasionally consumed.
“Drinking any type of soft drink poses risk to the health of your teeth,” said Kenton Ross, a dentist and spokesman for the Academy of General Dentistry. “My patients are shocked to hear that many of the soft drinks they consume contain nine to 12 teaspoons of sugar, and have an acidity that approaches the level of battery acid,” Ross said.
With less calcium available, the bones become more porous and prone to fracture. Phosphorus is a major contributor to the rising increase in osteoporosis. Recent human studies suggest that girls who drink more soda pop are more prone to broken bones. Even a few cans of soda pop per day can be damaging, especially when they are consumed during the critical bone-building years of adolescence and childhood.
Dr. Bess Dawson-Huges, a bone-disease expert at the Tufts University in Boston, said, she’s especially concerned about teenage girls. “Most girls have inadequate calcium intakes, which makes them candidates for osteoporosis when they’re older and may increase their risk for broken bones today.”
The pH of most soda pop is very acidic 2.8. As I discuss in Healthy Kids and pH Levels, for health people need to eat more alkaline foods. Soda pop is a highly acidic drink which does the opposite. There is an easy solution: replace soft drinks with healthful drinks, like water, milk, and fruit juices.