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Could soda give you cancer?
Americans’ soda habit poses a public health threat, thanks to caramel coloring added to many dark beverages, a Johns Hopkins researcher says.
While the potential downsides of too much soda are hardly new news, a recent study published in the journal Plos One states that it’s the first peer-reviewed study to assess soda drinkers’ exposure to 4-methylimidazole or its associated cancer risk.
This byproduct, also known as 4-MEI, is a potential carcinogen formed during the manufacturing of some kinds of caramel coloring, according to a press release from Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“Soft drink consumers are being exposed to an avoidable and unnecessary cancer risk from an ingredient that is being added to these beverages simply for aesthetic purposes,” says senior study author Keeve Nachman, director of the Food Production and Public Health Program at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. “This unnecessary exposure poses a threat to public health and raises questions about the continued use of caramel coloring in soda.”
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