A 31-year-old Monaco woman was recently admitted to the hospital after suffering arrhythmia and fainting spells. Her potassium levels were found to be absurdly, dangerously low. These are bad warning signs, but the woman had no family history of heart problems. Further investigation revealed that the patient had not had a sip of water in 16 years; instead she drank only cola.
The doctors told her to stop drinking cola, and then promptly wrote a paper describing the case.
This is one of those instances, like in the movie Super Size Me, that isn't really indicative of anything besides the specific case it describes. In Super Size Me, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock consumed nothing by McDonald's for a full month, and found that his health rapidly deteriorated. And, well, yes, of course it did; probably not even McDonald's executives would suggest that anybody actually do this.
That, though, was a movie about an experiment, not someone's actual life. And so it's fascinating to see just what kind of damage such an extreme diet choice can do to a person's body. The patient apparently drank about two liters of cola every day! Here were the effects:
The patient's blood-potassium level was 2.4 mmol/L. Normal blood-potassium levels for a woman of her age should have been about twice that.
A QT interval is the time in between the start of the Q wave and the end of the T wave in a patient's heart. It's dependent on heart rate but indicative of other things; a lengthened QT interval suggests severe arrhythmia and could indicate death. This patient's QT interval was 610 ms. A normal QT interval for a woman her age should have been no more than 450 ms.
The patient suffered severe fainting fits.
Amazingly, as soon as the doctors took the patient off of her bonkers cola habit, her potassium levels and QT intervals returned to near-normal. Within one week, her QT interval was 430 ms, and her blood-potassium levels returned to 4.1 mmol/L. Amazing how much torture the human body can bounce back from!
The case was reported at a European health conference this week, though it hasn't yet made its way to a peer-reviewed journal.
Did she drink diet? If not what's more amazing is that she did not die from diabetes related problems.
No chance this lady lied or exaggerated her claim of only drinking coke, huh.
While I do not believe drinking coke is part of healthy diet pyramid and drinking much coke will cause health problems, I do not consider this article science, but instead just oddball human observational story telling.
Funny...because I pretty much did just this myself. Not proud of it, but I did. I once bought a 2.5 gallon container of water with the pouring spout and it was still in my refrigerator 3 years later.
And what did I get out of it? A BMI of under 20. And a body fat percentage of 9%.
So no..don't besmirch the word "science" by writing such an unscientific article like this demonizing soda for this woman's OVERALL terrible health habits.
I would have to agree. The Coke probably helped unbalance her potassium, but had she been eating any assortment of vegetables that have plenty of potassium I'm sure she would have been able to keep her levels up.
"probably not even McDonald's executives would suggest that anybody actually do this."
The problem is, they did. That's why he made the video. They insisted their food was healthy
"Norma blood-potassium levels for a woman of her age should have been about twice that."
Should read as Normal, not Norma
I feel like the article kind of mocks this woman by tying her actions to that of Morgan Spurlock in his movie Super Size Me. What's funny to me is that this article seems to highlight this woman as an idiot for doing such a thing, as well as Mr. Spurlock when personal opinion was added to the tune of "Probably not even McDonald's executives would suggest that anybody actually do this."
In both cases, I feel that the point is to notify the unaware consumer that consuming too much of this substance does nothing but harm you. If we were to follow a person who cut out all processed food, and only lived off of water and mixed vegetables for a month, we would have the most boring documentary of a person who ended up healthier than they started, would we not?
Substituting coke for water or McDonald's for sustenance is simply a way to show that the accessories that the food industry has to offer are not healthier alternatives to the accessories that occur naturally. What if we took a person who drank two liters of cola every day and had them switch to water for 16 years? What would the article headline be then? I suspect it would sound like common sense...
If you think Mark`s story is amazing..., 5 weeks ago my sister in law basically made the small fortune of $6440 sitting there a thirteen hour week an their house and there classmate's mother-in-law`s neighbour was doing this for 9-months and recieved a check for more than $6440 in there spare time from a mac. apply the information on this address...... Cat48.com
This scenario presents itself everytime in other countries, for example in my country Mexico, the country has the first place on coke (USA sewer water) consuption, and the worst thing is that it is consumed instead of water giving them to newborns as early as a few months old. On words on a CC executive, "the first thre words that the child pronounces are: dad, mom, coke"
Drinking coke for to many time, I'm surprised that no kidney stones appeared, here in Mexico is the most common first symptom that appears to coke drinkers.
Not to mention that has vast quantities of carbohidrates, and high fructose that is highly addictive
This article seems a bit bullcrap to me and quite far from what I would call "science".
I grew up with my mother's strong Spanish influence. She first introduced me to the wonders of Coke when at just after graduating from a new-born, she put a little bit in my bottle — an archaic tradition in many hispanic countries that is losing popularity (unless you're from Mexico). I'm told that upon having tasted it just once I became instantly addicted and would cry for hours and even days until I got more. She even took me to the hospital, thinking that there was something wrong with me. The doctors suggested giving me a half-ounce or less of Coke to calm me down. This worked for a while until I became older... old enough to grab my own tasty beverage. My choice? Coke, of course.
I was diagnosed with Diabetes at the age of 11 but it's not what you think. This was the sort caused by something in my genes. The doctors said that I had probably been born with a bad pancreas at the start. You're thinking all the Coca-Cola did me in but being a diabetic would have been a fact regardless of what I consumed. I have always been a diabetic as far as I'm concerned and have never been considered overweight by any definition of the word.
The point of the aforementioned life's story is to move to the present where I now consume (more or less) 2-liters of Diet Coke per day. Here's the thing... The rest of my diet more than makes up for whatever kind of "poisons" I put in my body. Lots of vegetables (mostly raw), high-fiber fruits (like plums and such), low carbs, and clean protein (although I do have a weakness for steak). My blood sugars are stable unless I get stressed out and my potassium levels, along with the rest of the chemical ingredients which make the soupy balance of good health are just fine.
I've been drinking nearly 2-liters of Coke per day for most of my life and I'm 35 years old.
This article might want to take a look at the other garbage this poor lady was consuming for her health to have fallen so much.
tsk tsk... had an aunt who drank nothing but soda for a few years and got diabetes.
"... Morgan Spurlock consumed nothing by McDonald's for a full month..."
giographix, your current age is of no consequence. Your age at the time of your death, particularly if your demise was the direct result of anything but accident. Your story will be of more relevance if you make it to 65 in decent health.
The fast food industry has shown a propensity to give what the masses want, fast food often with little nutrition. Many are unaware of the damaging effects from repeated visiting their particular "fast food" establishment.
One person that was suffering from kidney failure was diagnosed as having eaten three times a day for a month at a local McDonald's restaurant. Once this person quit this culinary habit, their kidneys returned to normal.
Coke is strong enough that mechanics use it to kill battery acid. It also contains phosphoric acid, the same chemical used to kill rust.
There is a Bible principle that many have followed with regard to what they eat and drink: "Shrewd is the one that has seen the calamity and proceed to conceal himself, but the inexperienced have passed along and must suffer the penalty."(Prov 22:3)
The body can handle small amounts of various foods and drinks we take in that is not "natural", but health issues can result (and it varies from person to person) when they make a steady diet of "unnatural" foods.
A person should gauge themselves as to how they feel, and take the necessary measures when they note that a certain food or drink is causing a change in how they perhaps feel.
I’m surprised that some of the comments below are missing the point. I think the story is about how resilient the human body can be after spoiling it, just like what the article on http://superhuman.ly pointed out. Aren’t you amazed that after just a week of leaving off the soda her levels were almost back to normal?
I have been drinking a six pack or more of coke/Pepsi since I was 16. I am 43 now. I drink a few cups of coffee in the morning for the past few years, but still, my main liquid intake consists of regular CocaCola, and my health is great.
This article hardly seems indicative of, well, anything.
I've been drinking Pepsi (switched from Coke after the "New Coke" scandal of 1986) for over 4 decades, at the rate of about 4 cans a day. (never "diet" or "caffeine free" though)
My BMI is perfect, as is my health. I have the eating habits of an urban raccoon, and barely touch fruits or veg. I smoke, fairly heavily, but can still do a 5K without a single wheeze. (I have bad knees, which holds me back from going farther, with ease, although I CAN do it)
I rarely touch water or juice, but I also don't drink coffee, tea, milk or alcohol.
I suspect my ridiculously good health is more good gene's and a good mental attitude, than anything the scientific community can quantify.
Well I don't know what to say 16 years is nothing. I've been drinking coke for 30 years now I drink anywhere from 2 to 4 liters daily. I maybe have 1 or 2 glasses of water a week and some weeks none at all.I don't drink anything else maybe some milk once or twice a month.I have no weight problems and no health problems at all.
I work as a Cashier at a Gas Station, and a majority of the Trashy people that come in there, only know of Soda Pop as their drink of choice. One long-haired hippy, who smells like dog****, and never cuts his fingernails, drinks only Mountain Dew 1 liter sizes. He complains that "demons" are all against him, that they cause him constipation, muscle cramps, back pains, and vertigo imbalances. I read the book Caffeine Blues, so I know what's affecting him. I suggested he stop drinking Soda Pop and instead drink water. He says Water taste like ****, and that he likes his Mountain Dews more. I told him that the Mountain Dew was causing him his problems. And he said, that that was impossible, something that tasted so good could not be responsible for his problems. Oh well, I tried, can't teach stupid. At least he ain't breeding and raising others to follow his trashy ways. When he causes his untimely death, that will be one less ignorant idiot.
What total drivel, both the article and the response above! The Coke had nothing to do with her illness or her low potassium. Like most soft drinks Coke is water and sugar with tiny amounts of caffeine and phosphoric acid and flavors, giving energy from the sugar and water to hydrate the body, but empty of other nutrients, and in no way harmful. Her illness was ENTIRELY due to something else, very likely insufficient nutrients, deficiency of some critical nutrients. Gosh, what a bunch of idiots you are!
The article and responses should not have been printed in a publication that calls itself "Science." No science here whatsoever.