There are two things I’ll never understand:
1.) Why does all of the best information about sugar, diet, and nutrition always come out of Europe, when we’re perfectly capable of the same level of research and reporting in this country?
2.) Why on Earth does anyone in their right mind still drink soda?
In case you’re wondering what these burning questions could possibly have to do with one another, let me explain.
I recently came across a news report that revealed yet another danger of drinking too much soda. As far as I can tell, this recent research didn’t make headlines in any major U.S. news outlets (the article I read was from the U.K.). Which is maddening, because its conclusions are downright concerning.
Particularly if you’re a man who values his virility. (And what man doesn’t?)
Granted, we already know about soda’s role in the twin epidemics of diabetes and obesity. And that obviously hasn’t done much to slow down consumption. But if becoming an obese, diabetic, sugar addict isn’t enough to make you steer clear of the soda fountain, maybe this new discovery will do the trick…
Researchers have found that soda can interfere with erectile function and sperm count.
Now that’s a warning I’d like to see on labels everywhere. At least it would make people stand up and pay attention (pun intended).
Some details: Researchers at Denmark’s Copenhagen University Hospital looked at more than 2,500 cola-drinking men. And they found that when guys were drinking large quantities of soda — as in, a liter (that’s a little less than three cans of Coke) per day, or more — it took a significant toll on their sperm counts.
In fact, heavy soda drinkers averaged sperm counts around 35 million per mL, compared with the 58 million per mL observed among men whose consumption was lower.
Granted, that figure is still considered within the normal range — but we’re talking about a 30 percent difference here. Not to mention the fact that any reduction in sperm count elevates the risk of infertility.
And in case you were wondering, this connection has nothing to do with caffeine. In fact, the researchers found no link between sperm count and coffee or tea consumption. So the culprit is clearly an ingredient unique to soda.
And it’s pretty easy to guess which one, when you consider the results of a similar study from a team of researchers in Poland…
This one linked excessive soda consumption with erectile dysfunction. (Is there a man reading this who isn’t paying close attention now?) And scientists pointed directly at high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as the source of the problem.
Ample blood flow is necessary to achieve an erection — and HFCS damages the delicate arteries in the penis. It also contributes to visceral fat accumulation (the fancy term for that spare tire), which is another well-known risk factor behind struggles with ED.
This news report was quick to point out that the occasional can of Coke isn’t likely to do too much damage. (Remember, sperm count dropped at a liter a day. Though unfortunately, that amount isn’t all that uncommon.) But “it probably wouldn’t hurt,” they continue, “to make the switch to water.”
Again…I don’t get it. This kind of cavalier attitude will not do you any favors. Unless, of course, you like playing with fire.
If you want diabetes and you don’t want your penis to work, sure, grab a can of Coke. But if you want a family — and/or you want a fulfilling sex life after your childbearing years are behind you — I suggest you ditch soda for good.
And let’s not forget that HFCS is found in a long list of processed foods and drinks. Soda may be the top source…but it’s hardly the only one.
So, go ahead and toss any other HFCS bombs that might be hiding in your fridge or pantry out while you’re at it.