Feeds

Excess of cola floors Oz ostrich farmer

Soft drinks hard on health, doctors warn

New hybrid storage solutions

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds
Space rock appears out of nowhere, buzzes planet on Sunday
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Square Kilometre Array reveals its 1.6TB-a-day storage and network rigs
Boolardy Engineering Test Array - aka BETA - is about to come out of Beta
LOHAN invites ENTIRE REG READERSHIP to New Mexico shindig
Well, those of you who back our Kickstarter tin-rattling...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.