Common sense will tell you that any drink loaded with sugar is not exactly a healthy beverage. Even then, refreshments like soda are consumed by millions of people on a daily basis. The irresistible taste and fizz of a soda pop is just so insatiable for some that the immediate satisfaction of having one outweighs the health risks.
A new study now shows that sugar is not the only factor you should be concerned with when consuming soda. A recent study found that most soda beverages – including the globally popular Coke and Pepsi – contain a caramel coloring ingredient that is linked to cancer. The ingredient in question is a chemical known as 4-methylimidazole, also known more simply as 4-MI. The coloring is not derived from natural caramel; it is produced using a mixture of chemicals that involves ammonia.
4-MI has been shown to induce cancer in lab rats, though whether it can have the same harmful effect on humans remains unknown at this time. 4-MI is found in both regular and diet soda. The amount found in a 12-ounce can exceeds the limit that is recommended by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.
Despite the health risks posed by 4-MI, health experts insist that there is no cause for alarm. The dosage in a single serving is practically negligible. High fructose corn syrup is a far more serious health risk factor than 4-MI.
There are hundreds of reasons you shouldn’t be drinking soda; its contents are nothing but empty calories, it has no nutritional benefits, and it can lead to obesity. However, 4-MI does not appear to be one of those reasons you should be concerned over. As long as you have soda in moderation, then there is no need to worry about any harm from being exposed to a little caramel coloring.