Soda Increases Risk of Lung Disease by Nearly 80%

In Cognitive Health, Featured Article by INH Research11 Comments

There’s more bad news for soda drinkers. As if the threat of obesity and the risk of heart disease wasn’t enough. Now a study links soda to asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).

The effects of soda can swell your air passages and restrict how much air flows through your trachea. But the problems don’t end with wheezing and coughing. Soda can also obstruct the airways of your lungs. So you’ll even have difficulty breathing.

Dr. Zumin Shi from the University of Adelaide in Australia led the study that should catch every soda drinker’s attention. He’s a dietary patterns and chronic diseases research specialist. You can read his full results in the journal Respirology.

He says the study shows that avoiding soda is vital to preventing “chronic diseases like asthma and COPD.”

It’s an understatement when you see the study’s results. It says soda is linked to a nearly 80 percent increased risk of COPD. And an almost 30% increased risk of asthma.

Dr. David Katz agrees that it’s no good. He’s director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale.

“High soda intake is a good marker for poor overall attention to health,” he says.

Soda Business Fights Back

This study is just the latest in a series that reveals the harmful effects of soda.

It has soda companies taking measures to fight off the bad press. They know they can’t argue with the results. So instead, they’re looking for new ways to market their products. After all, they’re protecting the nearly $80 million soda business.

Companies are trying to create new “healthy” versions of their popular brands. For example, one company added a few vitamins and minerals to its diet cola and gave it a new name. But it still contains all the harmful ingredients as before.

One company even tried to use the “All-Natural” label…even when its sodas contained high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

But study after study shows all soda is bad for you. Even so, the soda industry continues to push back.

Neville Isdell the former CEO of one company believes his industry is being unfairly singled out. That’s because he thinks diet soda evens the playing field. He says it’s a healthier option.

“Diet and light brands are actually health and wellness brands,” he says.

That’s contrary to what we’ve written before when we told you how diet sodas boost your risk of stroke by over 60 percent.

The Third Piece of Evidence Against Soda

Dr. Shi’s new study builds a stronger case that soda is bad for you. We already know it can lead to heart disease and that it’s a major cause of obesity. But this research shows it can block your airways.

Dr. Shi collected data from 16,907 people over two years. Everyone was at least 16-years-old.

He found that drinking a liter of soda each day upped risk for COPD and asthma. The risk for asthma increased 29 percent for those who drank soda compared to those who didn’t. And COPD risk jumped 79 percent.

COPD is a lung disease that can include chronic bronchitis and emphysema. So it appears that drinking soda can have a similar effect to smoking cigarettes.

While the study only suggests an association between lung problems and soda, the findings aren’t surprising.

But there’s one other problem for people with COPD. Many people with COPD are told to go on a diet. If you’re overweight, your lungs have to work harder to breathe.

Most overweight people are not properly informed on how to lose weight. And when people hear the word “diet” they might think they can just switch from regular to diet soda. But diet soda is just as bad. It even leads to more weight gain.

3 Ways to Combat COPD

The first action you can take is to stop drinking all soda. This new research shows it’s too dangerous. Start by reducing your intake if you have to. But find a way to cut it out completely.

Water should always be your main drink of choice.

If you’re having trouble with asthma or COPD, there are two things you can do. The first is to take up yoga or a breathing exercise. Yoga has strong evidence from a number of clinical trials that show it can treat lung diseases and asthma.

Another way to fight lung problems is to take choline. Studies show it can make symptoms less severe. It’s available as a supplement online or in health food stores. You can safely take between 300-500 mg daily. The highest tolerable human dose of choline is 3.5 grams.

You can also get more choline by eating eggs. Make sure you also eat the yolks. They’re the richest source of choline. Look for vegetarian-fed, cage-free, or organic eggs in stores.


  1. Hi, thanks for the interesting info on soda and COPD. Perhaps you can also look at the benefit to COPD sufferers and the use of NAC.


  2. Looking for Organic, or natural, or home remedies for emphysema…
    AMA gives me no hope for improvement – – there are some on the net, but
    I was hoping you had some research information to share.

    Lot of websites sorta of lump COPD/emphysema and cancer together, – – are
    the same treatments used for cancer valid for emphysema ?

  3. It isn’t clear WHAT is bad about soda? I drink plain unflavored selzer water… is it bad? If so, why?

  4. The sugar in the soda is what is bad. They are trying to correlate soda intake with weakening lung health when really, it is obesity that results from too much soda. Obesity then, forces ones lungs to work harder, potentially causing the lungs to weaken. When the elastic fibers, that are essentially the lung walls, get stretched out, you are left with COPD.

    As far as carbonation goes; it is simply CO2, which is what we inhale and exhale. Carbonated water is not bad for you. Even spring water acquires small amounts of CO2 when running through a stream.

  5. I am most interested in your article. My husband nd has been coughing and choking for over 2 years – – – he drinks at least 1 litre of soda water ( from the soda stream) with diabetic cordial each day.
    I read something about diabetic cordials and soda water not being good for coughs – – and then found your article. It is amazing – – he stopped drinking the above today – – – and guess what hardly a cough.
    We have been to respiratory Drs, ENT Drs, GP and cardiologist – -no-one has suggested this – – – we will continue without drinking soda and diet cordial and see if the improvement continues. If this is the case – – then this news has to be spread near and far.
    He even tried home oxygen last week — that is how bad he has been.

  6. I have been struggling with breathing too and have been drinking a lot of pop lately. Been to Drs, on antibiotics. I am going to quit drinking pop and see if breathing improves. Thank you for pointing out something that may be the cause of much pain and fear.

  7. I was diagnosed of COPD in 2009. After trying all possible options, in November, 2016 I started on COPD Herbal formula from NewLife Herbal Clinic, the treatment worked incredibly for my COPD lungs condition. I used the NewLife COPD Herbal formula for a total time period of 4 months, it totally reversed my COPD. I had a total decline of symptoms including difficulty breathing, dry cough, low energy, fatigue and others.

    Visit NewLife Clinic web-site ww w. newlifeherbalclinic. com. I am very pleased with this treatment. I breath very well now and exercise regularly, sometimes i totally forget i ever had COPD, I am thankful to nature, the medics failed. Share with friends!!

    Beverly Donias

  8. I drink a lot of water with gas, fizzy water, can it be clarified that this is ok

    1. Hi Wayne,

      We are unaware of any research indicating that plain, carbonated water is linked to COPD or asthma.

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