New book in Dutch

Eet vet word slank

Eet vet word slank gepubliceerd januari 2013

In dit boek lees je o.a.: * heel veel informatie ter bevordering van je gezondheid; * hoe je door de juiste vetten te eten en te drinken kan afvallen; * hoe de overheid en de voedingsindustrie ons, uit financieel belang, verkeerd voorlichten; * dat je van bewerkte vetten ziek kan worden.

Trick and Treat:
How 'healthy eating' is making us ill
Trick and Treat cover

"A great book that shatters so many of the nutritional fantasies and fads of the last twenty years. Read it and prolong your life."
Clarissa Dickson Wright

Natural Health & Weight Loss cover

"NH&WL may be the best non-technical book on diet ever written"
Joel Kauffman, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA

Caution: Some soft drinks may seriously damage your health

On 27 May 2007 The Independent on Sunday reported a new health scare over evidence that soft drinks may cause serious cell damage.[1]

Professor Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology, and an expert in ageing at Sheffield University, has been working on sodium benzoate (also known as E211), a preservative used for decades by the 74bn global carbonated drinks industry, since publishing a research paper in 1999. Now he has spoken out about the danger posed by this chemical. That danger lies in the ability of Sodium benzoate to switch off vital parts of DNA in the mitochondria to the point that it totally inactivates them.

Sodium benzoate is used in large quantities to prevent mould in drinks such as Fanta and Pepsi Max Sprite, Oasis and Dr Pepper.

Professor Piper's findings could have serious consequences for the hundreds of millions of people worldwide who consume fizzy drinks. They will also intensify the controversy about food additives, which have been linked to hyperactivity in children.

Professor Piper stated that 'The mitochondria consume oxygen to give you energy and if you damage them - as happens in a number if diseased states - then the cell starts to malfunction very seriously. And there is a whole array of diseases that are now being tied to damage to this DNA - Parkinson's and quite a lot of neuro-degenerative diseases, but above all the whole process of ageing.'

Sodium benzoate, Mitochondria and Cancer

This is bad enough, but it is potentially even more serious. It doesn't matter how many birthdays you have had, very little of you is more than eight years old, and a great deal is a lot younger than that. This is because body cells are continuously dying off and being replaced with new cells. Red blood cells, for example last about three months. It is the cells' mitochondria which play a central role in the process of programmed cell death which goes on throughout our lives, a process called apoptosis.

In cancer cells, this process is switched off. By shutting down their mitochondria, cancer cells prevent this cell death and do not die when they should. This effectively makes cancer cells immortal. This defect also confers resistance to radiation and chemotherapeutic agents. It is why cancers are so dangerous and so difficult to kill.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) backs the use of sodium benzoate in the UK and it has been approved by the European Union. A review of sodium benzoate by the World Health Organisation in 2000 also concluded that it was safe, although it noted that the available science supporting its safety was 'limited'.

Professor Piper, whose work has been funded by a government research council, said tests conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration were out of date.

'The food industry will say these compounds have been tested and they are complete safe,' he said. 'By the criteria of modern safety testing, the safety tests were inadequate. Like all things, safety testing moves forward and you can conduct a much more rigorous safety test than you could 50 years ago.'

New studies have emerged over the past few years that call into question whether such food additives, approved for use in Europe, are as harmless as regulators and the food industry suggest. In all, the EU sanctions 395 additives: 71 thickeners and emulsifiers, 64 colours, 54 preservatives, 54 antioxidants, 54 anti-caking agents and acidity regulators, 52 miscellaneous, 27 additional chemicals, and 19 flavour enhancers. Using two or more together in the same product may also make the situation worse as they may interact.

Professor Vyvyan Howard, professor of bio-imaging at the University of Ulster, questions the practice of approving additives for use that have been tested alone. In 2005, Professor Howard led a Liverpool University study that showed that, when combined, some additives in crisps and fizzy drinks had seven times the effect they had singly. Professor Howard avoids eating anything with E-numbers. He says: 'No one really knows what this chemical cocktail could be doing, particularly in the early stages of development. This cocktail is far too complex.'

Drinks manufacturers point out that sodium benzoate has been approved for use by regulators. And the British Soft Drinks Association described the safety of additives as "an area" for the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

The FSA said additives had been approved by the European Commission. 'Sodium benzoate and benzoic acid are approved for food use,' the FSA said in a statement. 'Food additives are only permitted for use after a long and careful process of evaluation. This includes rigorous assessments for safety, undertaken by independent scientific committees.'

Sodium benzoate in other foods

Sodium Benzoate is found in a very wide range of foods & drinks: bakery products, pizzas, marinated herring, yoghurt, cheese, low fat spreads, blue cheese dressing, fruit products, jams, figs, nut paste, pickles and sauces (e.g. horseradish), salad cream, sweets, candied peel, glace fruit, gelatin, desserts ipings & fillings, milk shake syrups, fruit ice-cream. Also beer, cider, wine, perry, ginger ale, ginger beer, shandy, tonic water, barley water, fruit squashes, colas (other than Coca Cola), glucose drinks, cherryade, sparkling canned drinks, soda stream concentrates, frozen fruit juices. It is also frequently used to preserve other additives, flavourings, colourings, anti-foaming agents, artificial sweeteners. In these case it is not necessarily declared on the packaging


1. Martin Hickman. Caution: Some soft drinks may seriously harm your health: Expert links additive to cell damage. The Independent on Sunday, 27 May 2007

Last updated 27 May 2007

Related Articles