Coke Addiction Led A 30-year Old Woman To Cardiac Arrhythmia

April 21, 2012 6:08 PM EDT
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Coca cola (Photo: Flickr)

Drinking one can of coke per a day can be conceivable. How about drinking gallons of coke, not per a month or per a year, but per a day?

Fairfax media released the inquiry result of Natasha Harris’ death. It reported that drinking excessive Coke contribute to her death.

After her inquest, Dr. Dan Mornin, a pathologist stated that Natasha Harris, a 30-year-old, stay-at-home mother of 8 children, died of cardiac arrhythmia and probably suffered from hypokalemia, or low potassium and he assumed her excessive consumption of Coke and poor nutritional condition cause it.

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Hypokalemia refers to the condition of low potassium in the blood. The important function of Potassium, one of the primary electrolytes is to maintain the electrical activity of cells. Fresh fruits, vegetables, meats can provide us with potassium. The loss of gastrointestinal tract or the kidney can lead to hypoklemia. The possible causes of hypokalemia are antibiotics, diarrhea, kidney diseases, eating disorder, eating excessive licorice or herbal teas. Mild hypokalemia can increase blood pressure a little, but moderate and severe ones can cause muscle weakness or spasms, and paralysis.

Mornin said Coke along with caffeine had probably contributed to her death.

According to Harris' partner, she drank between 8 and 10 liters (2.1 and 2.6 gallons)of Coke daily.

"The first thing she would do in the morning was to have a drink of Coke beside her bed and the last thing she would do at night was have a drink of Coke," Hodgkinson said in a deposition. "She was addicted to Coke."

According to his testimony, not only drank she exessive Coke, but also ate she little and smoked 30 cigarettes every day.

Professor Doug Sellman of the National Addiction Centre argued that there were many people addicted to food and died as a result of their craving of specific food, like chocolate or soda. But he added that there weren't many health services that catered for people with food addictions.

In fact, the American Psychiatry Association's manual on addictions does not include food, electronic gaming, and sex, which Sellmon hoped be included in the manual.

Soft drinks are usually linked with obesity, and obesity also is associated with diverse diseases: heart disease, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, stroke, sleep apnea, poly ovarian syndrome, osteoarthritis.

On February 24, 2012, the New Zealand Medical Journal released a new list of "non-essential, energy dense, nutritionally deficient (NEEDNT) foods to educate obese people about foods to avoid.

The first NEEDNT foods are alcoholic drinks. Biscuits (or cookies) are the second. The next are butter, lard, dripping or similar fat (used as a spread or in baking/ cooking, etc.), cakes, chocolate, coconut cream, condensed milk, cordial, corn chips, cream and etc. They include some foods which we count as healthy foods. Energy drinks, fruit juice, honey, nuts roasted in fat or oil, maple syrup, whole milk and yoghurt with more than 9g of sugar per 100g. (more information

The Coca Cola layer said her inquest did not prove that her excessive consumption contributed to her death. The medical evidence indicated it was a possibility, not a probability.

''The grossly excessive ingestion of any food product, including water, over a short period of time with the inadequate consumption of essential nutrients, and the failure to seek appropriate medical intervention when needed, can be dramatically symptomatic . . . we believe that all foods and beverages can have a place in a balanced and sensible diet combined with an active lifestyle,” said Karen Thompson, Coca-Cola Oceania public affairs and communication manager.

But there are many coke lovers around the world. Drinking it occasionally would not matter. But there are many people who are not willing to give up their habit of drinking coke at the cost of their health.


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