Back on the nutrition front, I listened to a podcast yesterday that made the claim that Diet Coke contains chemicals that kill brain cells. So I checked it out….and here’s what I found.
Whilst being calorie free, the sugar substitutes in diet sodas play a trick on your brain and overstimulate your sugar receptors. They trigger insulin release, which sends your body into fat storage mode and often leads to weight gain.
‘Low calorie’ foods seem appealing, but as with so many things now, those well-intentioned ideals are not holding up to longer term scrutiny.
The main chemical involved here is aspartame – commonly known as NutraSweet, Equal, Splenda….
Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol.
Aspartate is a neurotransmitter. It helps the transmittion of information from neuron to neuron in your brain. Unfortunately, too much aspartate in the brain kills certain neurons by allowing the influx of too much calcium into the cells. This influx triggers excessive amounts of free radicals, which kill the cells.
The neural cell damage that can be caused by excessive aspartate is why they are referred to as “excitotoxins”. They “excite” or stimulate the neural cells to death. It’s a slow process and children are particularly vulnerable as their Blood Brain Barrier (which normally protects the brain from excess chemicals and toxins), is not fully developed. Even in adults, it allows seepage, so excess levels are obviously not good!
In addition to these, diet soda contains mold inhibitors, preservatives which are more commonly named as, sodium and potassium benzoate. “These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it — they knock it out altogether,“ Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology at the University of Sheffield in the UK, told a British newspaper recently.
When you google, there’s plenty of information around this if you want to read more, but it certainly seems there’s something to it
So if you are diet soda consumer, consider a switch to a healthier alternative, if you want optimal brain health and capacity. Healthy, varied, non-processed nutrition is what the brain requires for optimal functioning. And water always works a treat! Of course, it’s up to you in the end.
Have a healthy day.