Notices
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Sodium Benzoate

  1. #1 Sodium Benzoate 
    Forum Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Transient
    Posts
    2,914
    Just got in an argument over which is worse, Beer or Soda, and one of the main arguments against soda was that the preservatives cause DNA damage that speeds the aging process and thus cause degenerative diseases that are typically seen only in people who are of older age. I was curious if anyone knows of any studies about this that were concrete, I couldn't find any aside from a few abstracts that didn't give me anything conclusive or peer reviewed and my opponent wasn't giving sources aside from "this guy I know". This may even belong in chemistry, the two fields aren't my strong points

    Any help is appreciated.


    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    The question I have is are we talking about diet soda or regular? Enough beer to intoxicate you or one or two per day?

    The difference will be the sugar, which is -hands down- worse for you than beer if consumed in reasonable quantities.

    So, two sodas per day have loads of sugar and no nutritional benefits other than water (but the other ingredients may act as a diuretic, reducing the benefit of the water).

    Beer, if consumed in quantities of one or two per day, contains flavonoids (thought not in the same quantities as red wine) and polyphenols, which are antioxidants. In addition, the alcohol acts to break up bad cholesterol while increasing the good cholesterol (HDL).

    Various sites around the interwebs are fond of citing a 1999 study by a researcher at the Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas who reported those who consume moderate amounts of beer (one to two a day at the most) have a 30-40% lower rate of coronary heart disease compared to those who don't drink. I've never been able to substantiate that research since none of the sites actually list a proper citation, so it could be bogus.

    As far as the health benefits or risks of drinking soda, other than the sugar, there probably isn't any one way or the other. I've never heard of any "DNA damage that speeds the aging process" and I'm quite skeptical of it. Phosphates are present in many sodas, even diet, and there is some link to osteoporosis for heavy soda drinkers and those who were probably already at risk for osteoporosis. This is a bone disease involving bone loss, phosphates tend to leach the calcium or at least react to it chemically such that new bone growth doesn't happen, which is essential for maintaining strong bones.

    There are those who, quite pseudoscientifically, go on and on about the "poison" of aspartame (Equal™) but there is no scientifically demonstrated ill-effect with aspartame. Its far safer than sugar, which can lead diabetes.

    My vote is on beer. But then, I'm an archaeologist.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Transient
    Posts
    2,914
    http://www.yumsugar.com/Does-Soda-Mess-Your-DNA-280775 This is what I have, and it's specific to the preservatives in soda that are absent from beer. I haven't seen anything peer reviewed about this, or published in a reputable journal.

    The guy, Peter Piper at the Sheffield University in Britain, is the one making the claim, and I haven't been able to find his article (if it exists at all) nor any other article in a peer reviewed journal on the topic
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    I'm still very skeptical.

    It says he "tested the impact of sodium benzoate on living yeast cells in his laboratory," but says nothing about controlled study on humans or even mice. There's a lot of chemistry that occurs between straight sodium benzoate as applied to yeast in a petrie dish and the digestive system of a human being. There are acids, bases, proteins, sugars, etc. all mixing from the bottling company to the stomach.

    It isn't as if he was saying it could lead to tooth decay. He's saying it can "damage DNA." This is an extraordinary claim that needs extraordinary evidence and, I dare say, there seems to be an absence of "damaged DNA" among human populations given the volume of soda consumed on an annual basis. Something is clearly missing by time it reaches humans if his findings are true for yeast.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not a big proponent of soda. I prefer coffee, water and scotch. Not necessarily in that order.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Transient
    Posts
    2,914
    Personally, my vice is soda, never touch alcohol. But, given that I couldn't find anything about it, I wasn't sure. Thanks though. I'm just looking for anything that shows he's right.

    The general argument from my perspective was that Alcohol leads to far worse conditions when taken in relative amounts to each other than soda.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    2,256
    Here's the abstract for the article they seem to be citing.

    http://goo.gl/Ez4U

    Specifically what he's saying is that in a strain of yeast mutants with a diminished capacity to deal with free radicals, that sodium benzoate caused noticeable amounts of damage to the mitochondrial DNA. He then suggests that this may be reason to investigate the effects of sodium benzoate on the endothilial cells of the intestines.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    I agree. If you drink beer the way some people go through soda, you'll end up with all sorts of problems from physical impairment to liver disease.

    I don't have more than one or two of each in a given day. Generally, a six-pack of both will last me a week (beer and soda).
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Transient
    Posts
    2,914
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Here's the abstract for the article they seem to be citing.

    http://goo.gl/Ez4U

    Specifically what he's saying is that in a strain of yeast mutants with a diminished capacity to deal with free radicals, that sodium benzoate caused noticeable amounts of damage to the mitochondrial DNA. He then suggests that this may be reason to investigate the effects of sodium benzoate on the endothilial cells of the intestines.
    Do you know if there's any reason to believe his claims? Is there any evidence you are aware of? Or can I, at this point in time, safely dismiss this when it comes to humans?
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    2,256
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Do you know if there's any reason to believe his claims? Is there any evidence you are aware of? Or can I, at this point in time, safely dismiss this when it comes to humans?
    Dr. Piper himself doesn't seem to be making any claims about potential health risk to humans. He just proposed that it might be a worthwhile avenue for investigation. At this point and time I wouldn't worry too much. Piper seems to think that the sodium benzoate causes small, mostly undetectable, damage in yeast, but in the mutants it becomes much more obvious, so he thinks it might be causing some slight damage to human epithilial cells. It's mere speculation he's tagged onto the end of his paper.

    Edit: Also, what kind of terrible parent would name their child Peter Piper.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    The interesting thing to note is the paper is from 1999 and there really hasn't been a lot of buzz about it in the last 10 years. Also, soda consumption in the world has climbed steadily in the last 100 years but so has life-expectancy. So if there is any deleterious effect, it is obviously negligible when contrasted with the health benefits of modern western diet and medicine.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Transient
    Posts
    2,914
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Do you know if there's any reason to believe his claims? Is there any evidence you are aware of? Or can I, at this point in time, safely dismiss this when it comes to humans?
    Dr. Piper himself doesn't seem to be making any claims about potential health risk to humans. He just proposed that it might be a worthwhile avenue for investigation. At this point and time I wouldn't worry too much. Piper seems to think that the sodium benzoate causes small, mostly undetectable, damage in yeast, but in the mutants it becomes much more obvious, so he thinks it might be causing some slight damage to human epithilial cells. It's mere speculation he's tagged onto the end of his paper.

    Edit: Also, what kind of terrible parent would name their child Peter Piper.
    And then popular news journals take it out of context... Okay, i get it now. Thank you. It's potential damage, but very slight damage. Not anything that can lead to death or anything like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    The interesting thing to note is the paper is from 1999 and there really hasn't been a lot of buzz about it in the last 10 years. Also, soda consumption in the world has climbed steadily in the last 100 years but so has life-expectancy. So if there is any deleterious effect, it is obviously negligible when contrasted with the health benefits of modern western diet and medicine.
    This is a pretty good argument against the negative effects of soda, yes. I kind of like this argument better than mine, too
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    what kind of terrible parent would name their child Peter Piper.
    At least they did not name him Pied.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    A good guide to food additive is from the approach by regulatory authorities.

    Additives such as preservatives are vetted closely by such groups as the FDA. Those organisations have literally thousands of scientists working for them, and they use the latest data. They are not always right and have been known to reverse earlier decisions, but they operate according to the best current data.

    If the FDA etc say that sodium benzoate is OK up to a certain dose, then that is generally correct.
    Wiki has a good description.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_...ety_and_health

    This includes the observation that sodium benzoate is permitted by FDA up to 0.1% by weight, and appears harmless at those levels, in spite of Dr. Piper's study.

    As Skinwalker pointed out, sugar is in a different category. One of the major flaws in the whole regulatory process is a reluctance to impose restrictions on anything that has been used for a very long time, say more than 50 years.

    Since sugar fits in with this 'grandfather' principle, it does not get regulated. Yet sugar does far more damage than sodium benzoate. If you want to drink something like soda, better by far to stick to the diet equivalent with little or no sugar.

    The other material that is as bad, or worse than sugar, is alcohol. Fortunately beer does not contain a lot. But if you habitually drink heaps of beer, it may cause you more harm than the sugar will.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •