Feeds

Excess of cola floors Oz ostrich farmer

Soft drinks hard on health, doctors warn

3 Big data security analytics techniques

A report in the International Journal of Clinical Practice is warning of the perils of quaffing too much cola - a habit which can, by lowering blood potassium levels, result in symptoms from mild muscular weakness to paralysis.

The doctors behind the fizzy doom-mongering cite the extreme case of the Oz ostrich farmer who, having drunk 4-10 litres of cola a day for three years, required emergency treatment for lung paralysis following "sudden onset of muscle weakness after returning home from an evening of kangaroo-shooting".

He required "intubation and mechanical ventilation", and was subsequently found to be "profoundly hypokalaemic". He was "advised to curtail his cola drinking, and his potassium level normalised, his weakness resolved, and he made a full recovery".

The paper's author, Dr Moses Elisaf of the University of Ioannina in Greece, explained that hypokalaemia could be caused by too much of three common cola ingredients - caffeine, fructose and glucose.

He said: "The individual role of each of these ingredients in the pathophysiology of cola-induced hypokalaemia has not been determined and may vary in different patients.

"However in most of the cases we looked at for our review, caffeine intoxication was thought to play the most important role. This has been borne out by case studies that focus on other products that contain high levels of caffeine but no glucose or fructose."

In an commentary on the paper, Dr Clifford Packer of Ohio's Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Centre, noted that some people might think 10-litre-a-day Aussies might be considered "so rare that it is not a public health issue".

However, he notes that from 1999 to 2002, "several million US teenagers were consuming two or more litres per day" and that "aggressive mass marketing, super-sizing of soft drinks, and the effects of caffeine tolerance and dependence, there is very little doubt that tens of millions of people in industrialised countries drink at least 2–3 litres of cola per day".

Apart from the risks associated with depleted blood potassium levels, "sugar-sweetened soft drinks have been shown to cause obesity, type 2 diabetes, dental decay and metabolic syndrome".

Packer's list continues: "They appear also to increase the risk for osteoporosis, gout, gastroesophageal reflux disease, hypovitaminosis C, albuminuria and chronic kidney disease (CKD).

"Case reports have linked soft drinks with secondary hyperparathyroidism, oesophageal perforation, haematuria, swallow syncope, pseudoporphyria, tongue erosions, hyponatraemia and gastritis."

And the good news? Packer notes: "The only therapeutic use of soft drinks is described in a few case reports of the successful use of Coca-Cola to dissolve phytobezoars."

For the record, phytobezoars are "concretions of poorly digested fruit and vegetable fibres that are found in the alimentary tract", and those of you with a penchant for unusual alimentary tract concretions can find one such case right here. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?
Vital linguistic question interrupts LOHAN spaceplane mission
95 floors in 43 SECONDS: Hitachi's new ultra-high-speed lift
Guangzhou skyscraper denizens to hold on to hats
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
STEALTHY NANOROBOTS dress up as viruses, prepare to sneak into YOUR BODY
Cloaking techniques nicked from viruses tackle roadblocks on way to medical frontier
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.