As the temperatures rise so may the temptation to indulge in an icy cold soda – but you may want to resist that impulse. New research released from the UK shows that sodium benzoate, the common preservative found in these fizzy drinks, switches off essential parts of our DNA leading to premature aging and age-related disease. Reading this study I suddenly felt very fortunate for my lack of a sweet tooth which has kept me away from soft drinks for over 10 years! 

Just two weeks ago you may have read my article on mitochondria, the fascinating little energy generators found in our cells. If not you may soft drink dangerswant to scroll down and take a peek because Dr. Piper of Sheffield University has found that benzoate damages and destroys the DNA of these vital organelles:

“These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it: they knock it out altogether. The mitochondria consumes the oxygen to give you energy and if you damage it — as happens in a number of diseased states — then the cell starts to malfunction very seriously. And there is a whole array of diseases that are now being tied to damage to this DNA—Parkinson’s and quite a lot of neuro-degenerative diseases, but above all the whole process of ageing.”

Given that the greatest fear that most of us have about getting older is loss of mental and physical prowess, it only seems to make sense that we find healthy alternatives to consuming soft drinks. If you’re used to the super-sweet flavor of  regular sodas, it make take a bit to get used to the more balanced flavor of the natural soda alternatives (Izzies is my favorite), but believe me – your mitochondria will thank you!

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