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Diet Soda: A Guilt Free Beverage with Harmful Effects on the Body

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Diet Soda: A Guilt Free Beverage with Harmful Effects on the Body

Think of the countless times at a restaurant you have been put on the spot to choose a beverage once seated by the waiter. Considering what you may have heard about sugar- free soda, would the possibly harmful affects it may have on your body outweigh the number of calories you may be saving by allowing you to consume a high calorie meal? To some, artificially sweetened carbonated beverages, such as diet soda, have the same delicious taste as regular soda, but only with the satisfaction of knowing the beverage spares calories to compensate in a high calorie meal. Some people enjoy nothing more than a nice cold glass of sugar-free and calorie free diet soda to wash down
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Therefore, aspartame (APM) in diet soda can lead to cancer and the risk of developing carcinogenic effects increase in those who have a life span exposure to APM.
In addition to aspartame in diet soda contributing to cancer, it also causes memory loss. Carbonated beverages began containing aspartame in 1983, after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it (Gold, 1995). Aspartame contains 40% aspartic acid, which is an amino acid that increases the level of aspartate and glutamate in blood plasma, according to Gold (1995). This increase of aspartate, as explained by Gold (1995), causes over stimulation of the nerves by acting within the brain as neurotransmitters, which aid in sending and receiving information between neurons. Aspartate increases the possibility of destroying the cell surface’s membrane on the opposite side of the area between nerve cells (where transmission of nerve impulses occur) in the brain (Humphries, Prestorius, & Naude, 2008). As a result, excessive aspartate or glutamate can slowly destroy neurons in the brain contributed by an influx of calcium contained in the cells, thus causing memory loss.
Besides diet soda developing an effect on memory loss, the aspartame in diet soda can lead to weight gain. Mehl-Madrona, (2005), as cited in Humphries et al. (2008) explains how ingestion of aspartame can cause cravings for consumption of
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