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.