Anyone for a Coke Zero?

Lack of having anything interesting for me to do has led me to try Coca Cola Zero.  I generally don’t drink fizzy drinks, not because I don’t like them, more because there are a lot of calories for no nutritional gain. You could argue the same for beer, but don’t even try and pretend like thats the same.

I know I could drink diet drinks and then not have to worry about them being calorific, but I don’t like the taste, they’re not awful but I can find better things to drink. I know many people will steer clear of diet drinks due to the aspartame content, but thats not my reason. Many moons ago I used to work in food safety and had colleagues how dealt with and researched aspartame from a neutral perspective.

I have it from them that no research has ever stood up to peer review and any evidence linking aspartame and ANY health issue was found to be circumstantial after further research. The very make up of aspartame is such that is pass through the body quickly and leaving no trace, its why you’ll see warnings of ‘laxative effects’ on products that have a high content.

That said, they also tried to limit their intake of aspartame and wouldn’t consume diet drinks, so read into that what you will!

Any way back to the point in hand, coke zero; tried it, didn’t hate it, still wont bother buying it. It doesn’t taste bad, but it doesn’t taste like ‘proper’ coke either. I remember hearing back when it was launched that coca cola’s plan was to try and tap into the image conscious male mind, men who didn’t want the empty calories of coke but didn’t want to seem feminine by drinking diet coke, a product which has been long marketed to women.  I guess in some respects its worked because I tried it, but I think may people will have the same take as me in so much as trying it, and moving on.

The prevalence of drinks like vitamin water now on the market I think its far more likely that people will turn to these options instead, rather than a pretend coke at full price. Although, they to are owned by Coca Cola and are have sugar listed as the second ingredient.

Water anyone?




4 Responses to “Anyone for a Coke Zero?”

  1. 1 J.T. Waldron December 19, 2010 at 5:29 am

    Here is a link to a pdf of the most recent aspartame cancer study:
    And here is an abstract:
    (By the way, Soffritti conducted three long-term studies in recent years and all three studies showed a causal relationship between aspartame and cancer).
    Many studies with dubious funding sources (Anjinamoto, Searle, Merisont, etc.) will attest to the safety of aspartame. Non-industry funded studies are found in this link:

  2. 2 thethoughtherder December 19, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Hey, thanks for the links. This is actually one of the papers that was shown to not stand up in peer review due to discrepancies. EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) studied it and found it to be flawed, some of the main points were;

    > The slight increase in incidence of cancers known as lymphomas and leukemias in treated rats was considered to be unrelated to aspartame treatment and most likely attributed to the high background incidence of inflammatory changes in the lung. In addition, there was no dose-response relationship with respect to increasing doses of aspartame.

    > The findings in the kidney, ureter and bladder, observed mainly in female rats, are not specific to aspartame and have been observed with a number of chemicals administered to rats at high dose levels. Such changes are normally the result of irritation or imbalances in calcium metabolism specific to rats and are of no relevance for humans.

    > Concerning the malignant tumors of the peripheral nerves, the numbers of tumours were low with no clear dose- response relationship over a wide dose range. There is also uncertainty about the diagnosis of these tumours. The Panel indicated that this finding can only be fully evaluated by an independent peer-review of the relevant tissues

    More info

    I should stress (and I don’t think I can stress enough) I’m not an advocate for aspartame and I strongly believe in the more natural the better when it comes to food, but I also believe that any info used either for or against should be as accurate as possible. Most importantly thanks for having an opinion, the more people reading labels the better!

  3. 3 Ben December 20, 2010 at 12:04 am

    I generally don’t drink fizzy drinks either (what is wrong with water from the tap.. nothing, though I do add flavoured squash a lot of the time).

    Anyway, don’t mind coke zero, but will drink regular coke if I am going to drink anything. I might feel differently if I was drinking it every day.

  4. 4 thethoughtherder December 20, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Yeah I think that is the best way to look at it, no fizzy drink sugar free or otherwise should be seen as something to be drunk everyday, and if you do then you should expect some kind of detrimental affect.

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