Sodium benzoate, or benzoate of soda, is another foodadditive that messes us up in multiple ways. It interfereswith the energy-generating mechanism in themitochondria of our cells.
Caution: Some soft drinks mayseriously harm your health
Martin HickmanLondon Independent Sunday May 27, 2007A new health scare erupted over soft drinks last night amid evidence they maycause serious cell damage. Research from a British university suggests a commonpreservative found in drinks such as Fanta and Pepsi Max has the ability to switchoff vital parts of DNA. The problem - more usually associated with aging and alcoholabuse - can eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver and degenerative diseases suchas Parkinson's. The ﬁndings could have serious consequences for the hundreds of millions of peopleworldwide who consume ﬁzzy drinks. They will also intensify the controversy aboutfood additives, which have been linked to hyperactivity in children.Concerns centre on the safety of E211, known as sodium benzoate, a preservativeused for decades by the £74 billion global carbonated drinks industry. Sodiumbenzoate derivesfrom benzoic acid. It occurs naturally in berries, but is used in large quantities toprevent mould in soft drinks such as Sprite, Oasis and Dr. Pepper. It is also added topickles and sauces.Sodium benzoate has already been the subject of concern about cancer becausewhen mixed with theadditive vitamin C in soft drinks, it causes benzene, a carcinogenic substance. AFood Standards Agencysurvey of benzene in drinks last year found high levels in four brands which wereremoved from sale.Now, an expert in aging at Shefﬁeld University, who has been working on sodiumbenzoate since publishing a research paper in 1999, has decided to speak out aboutanother danger. Professor Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and