By Dean L. Jones, CPM
The general medical community has become extremely forthcoming with their clients suggesting to minimize the consumption of sugary filled soft drinks due to their lack of nutrition, contributory to tooth decay, and how it can lead to unhealthy weight gain. However, aside from these basic recommendations, I am curious why doctors side step the issues concerning the many other ailments caused by the over consumption of processed sugar.
Recently on the television morning news show CBS This Morning’s Healthwatch shared findings on a new Harvard University study revealing how soft drinks can be linked to causing osteoarthritis of the knee. Over a four-year period 2,000 men were x-rayed periodically to measure the change in cartilage thickness and found that those who lost the most joint space were those who drank the most soda, a contributing factor to osteoarthritis. On average heavier men suffer the most knee arthritis, but in this study it was the thin soda drinkers who had the most progression of this disease.
The side step was how nothing was conclusive from the study about how the soft drink ingredients could have caused this abnormality, whereas the Healthwatch segment made their own assumption that the lost of joint space could be caused by the caffeine and/or high fructose corn syrup used in the beverage which may lessen the absorption of calcium. Sadly is how doctors absolutely know how bones store calcium and when the body has a calcium deficiency the brain relays a message to seek calcium from our bones to meet its’ needs. Calcium is the main part of bones and teeth and it helps to ensure efficient muscle contraction, and blood clotting. In addition, calcium is useful for lowering blood pressure, assists the heart, muscles and our nerves to work properly.
Accordingly, getting sufficient calcium is important because excretion of calcium occurs whenever we eat large amounts of processed sugar. On an average, only 10% of the calcium is absorbed wherever processed sugar is present, which makes it easy to have some kind of calcium deficiency. Doctors know how when processed sugar is overtly eaten it depletes bone density in the body, moreover, the phosphoric acid in sodas has been found to also interfere with calcium absorption.
The nutritional health community is willing to bash sugary soft drinks, but they seem unwilling to disgrace processed sugar since it is used in just about every packaged item known to man. The economy would come to a screeching halt if we really believed the dangers of what eating too much processed sugar could do to the body and mind. Nonetheless, the general recommendation for those 19-50 years is to consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily and for us folks over 50 years 1,200 milligrams per day are needed to replenish the rapid loss.
Mr. Jones is a marketing strategist with the Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), sharing his view on mismanagement practices of packaged foods & beverages.