Thursday, July 06, 2006

Cola Espionage? What's In That Cola Anyway?

It hardly rises to the level of the fictional world of James Bond battling the fictional villain, Goldfinger, but the FBI has become involved in some corporate espionage scheme involving three men who attempted to "sell trade secrerts" from Coca Cola to rival Pepsi for over a million dollars. Pepsi tipped off the government by turning over a letter about the scheme.

But it is hardly completely secretive just what ingredients have found their way into cola products and just why people crave them.

Cola products have always contained habit forming or psychoactive products that have a function on the brain to increase the buyer demand for the product. Caffeine is the most commonly used chemical to create a habit demand so that buyers will both crave and continue to purchase more of the product. It is very difficult to break a caffeine habit. Some users who try to quit find themselves climbing the walls and battling headaches and other drug withdrawal type symptoms. At one time it was even purported that some cola products even contained some cocaine around the 20's or 30's, before this product was removed from cola products. Caffeinism is just as real of a habit and a drug problem as alcoholism or drug abuse for some. Oregon State University offers some insights on caffeinism at which should convince anyone of the habit and withdrawal problems related to caffeine products.

Some cola products add coca or chocolate related products. Especially in the female brain physiology, chocolate related products add a sense of pleasure or well being that the male brain physiology is far less receptive to. This sense of pleasure creates a market demand for chocolate related products by female buyers. As much as 25 pounds of chocolate would create a marijuana-like high for female users of chocolate products, while males would require a higher level yet. But still the National Institute Of Health research does find that both the active ingredient in chocolate, anandamide does activate a pleasure sensation upon the same brain cell area as does tetrahyrocannibinol(THC). The similar effect of these two drugs to create a pleasure related demand for products such as colas that include these simply cannot be ignored.

Other products in some colas that should raise concerns are alcohol derived products. These products have a potential impact on both brain cells and the liver which is not desirable at all. Some alcohol related products are far worse than a small amount of a quality wine. Wine will at least have some positive effect on the heart. However, nonalcoholic grape juice is likely just as effective. In fact both grape juice or grape seed extract do have some positive heart related benefits. But other alcohol related products could tend to be much less safe.

Phosphoric acid is another common ingredient in some cola products. If you ever drank a large cola and ended up with a stomacj ache, then there is a good reason for this. Phosphoric acid is so potent you can dissolve an iron and steel composite nail in it over a few days time.

Some spices such as cinnamon or netmeg may find their way into some cola formulas. Glycerine from either an animal or vegetable source may even find it's way in. Usually the glycerine from animal sources is from pig byproducts, and the vegetable based glycerine must be substituted in Israel or Muslim nations where eating pork is a violation to religious dietary law. Adding glycerine from an animal source makes colas less than vegetarian. Any vegetarian or vegan who insists on drinlking a cola product should only purchase "natural sodas" from their local health food store. This way you avoid so many dangerous additives as well processed sugars, alcohol, or or caffeine additives.

With so many habit forming substances or other less than healthy additives, that cola product you crave may be far less good for you than you realize. But the inclusion of habit forming substances also explains why the cola industry is big business. It also explains why even the government gets involved in protecting "trade" secrets of this industry. But the public has the right to know what they're putting in their bodies. Food allergies, sensitivities, or other concerns demand that consumers be wise as to what chemicals they are putting in their body, and why their brains demand more and more of these products, creating billions in sales for big corporations


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