This next article comes from the men's health website and contains the latest studies of "caramel color" which is in most of your cola or rootbeer sodas. In a recent seminar that my husband attended they talked about this very thing and it's strong link to CANCER. It's such a dramatic problem that Pepsi and Coca Cola are working on CHANGING their formulas. Until they do, I would avoid the stuff like the plaque...
The chemicals in question are potentially carcinogenic compounds called 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI) and 2-methylimidazole (2-MEI). The CSPI tested Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper products for 4-MEI and found that Coke and Pepsi contained up to 5 times the amount of the chemical deemed safe by the California government. (The FDA does not currently list 4-MEI or 2-MEI as known human carcinogens.) (Speaking of cancer—is it in your future? Test your risk here.)
So does caramel coloring cause cancer? The science isn’t conclusive.
In research published in 2007, the National Toxicity Program exposed rats and mice to—and this is key--high doses of 4-MEI and 2-MEI. They found that exposure to 4-MEI was linked to lung tumors in mice; 2-MEI was linked to developing thyroid gland and liver tumors. (Click here to learn how to cancer-proof your body.)
“Some of these associations were considered ‘clear evidence,’ which means that these chemicals are strongly related to these types of cancers,” says John Bucher, Ph.D., associate director of the NTP and one of the researchers on the study. (Clear evidence is actually a technical term here, the highest level of association the NTP uses.)
These studies are hard to replicate in humans. After all, scientists can’t exactly feed people high doses and see who develops cancer. But according to Bucher, we can assume that chemicals carcinogenic to rodents will cause cancer in us, too... Coke and Pepsi also just modified their caramel color recipes to include less 4-MEI than the samples tested by the CSPI.
We hope soda—regular or diet—isn’t a staple in your diet anyway. The CSPI notes that a bigger concern with soda is the “10 teaspoons of sugar in every can.” For that reason alone, it’s smart to cut back and hydrate with plain H20." Written by Jessica Girdwain