During the delicate stage of pregnancy, women are very careful of their diet. More often than not, they settle for fewer calories, less sugar, or zero calories, but with the same after taste. However, just recently, the world of motherhood was threatened with the studies linking diet sodas to premature birth. This is something that should not be taken for granted by expecting moms out there. With this regard, we are encouraging our readers to please pay attention on some important information this article will reveal.
Researches on Diet Soda and Premature Birth
- Recent studies revealed in July 2010 issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition how diet soda can impose risk of delivering premature baby. The content such as artificial sweetener in diet soda is the culprit, according to several researches. When we say premature or preterm, the delivery happens before 37 weeks of pregnancy, where in general, the supposed delivery is between 37-40 weeks of pregnancy.
- Another conclusive study in Statens, Serum Institut in Copenhagen wherein there were 59,334 Danish women who participated in the study who had been asked how many soft drinks (both carbonated and non-carbonated) they consume each day during the onset of pregnancy. Among those participants, 3, 0000 women or 5% of the population delivered premature babies. To sum up the study, the result is almost the same as the first research mentioned above. Women who consumed one serving of diet soda with artificially sweetener were 38% higher risk to deliver premature babies than to those who have not consumed any diet soda at all. Much worst to those women who were consumed four diet sodas or more daily, they were 80% more chances to deliver preterm babies.
- Take note that diet soda are classified as non-carbonated, how about carbonated drinks with caffeine? Is there a significant relationship to premature birth of pregnant women? Let us take for example the research conducted in US dated January 2008 to pregnant women who consumed 1-2 cups of coffee daily. It was found that these pregnant women who are exposed to caffeine had 20% augmented risk to deliver premature baby.
Harmful Effects of Artificial Sweetener
What is in the artificial sweetener that makes it harmful to pregnant women? Few studies are recommending future researchers to dig more on the results of the clinical studies conducted to human which resulted that it is the potential toxicity of artificial sweeteners that makes it poisonous in nature.
The artificial sweetener such as aspartame is studied to be toxic to humans as it breaks down into methanol, aspartic acid, and phenylalanine. In many researches, methanol is considered as cancer-causing substance as it oxidizes into formaldehyde and then formic acid. Same primate studies were conducted to apes that were exposed to low doses of methanol.
It turned out that they have shorter lengths of pregnancy as to compare with those who have never been exposed to methanol. With this regard, health experts are discouraging the consumers to avoid aspartame, or any artificial sweeteners and chemical sweetener substitute because these may have by-products of toxic side effects.
Acidity of carbonated and non-carbonated drinks
The active ingredient in most soda is phosphoric acid which pH level is 2.8, very acidic. Phosphoric acid can also leach calcium from bones and the major contributor to osteoporosis and other various diseases. Much worst is that the average pH level of mouth is ranging about 6.2 to 7.0, an indication of slightly more acidic than water. Therefore, any sodas consist of too much acid can tilt our pH balance to a very unhealthy level.
Can you imagine the effects of either carbonated or noncarbonated drinks to your baby once you consumed those unhealthy drinks? Maintaining a healthy pH balance is important for expectant mothers. To maintain the pH balance of body, mothers are strongly encourage to embrace alkaline diet wherein 80% rich in alkaline foods should be consumed (green leafy vegetables, fruits, legumes, etc.), and only 20% of acid forming food (meat, dairy products, etc.).
No matter how difficult it seems to give up low calorie diet soda during pregnancy, may it be for the best health of your baby. Many pregnant women may dispute that there were no harmful effects done to their baby by drinking diet soda. But this is a matter of life and death because it can lead to pregnancy complication to both mother and baby wherein the doctors will require both of them for longer hospitalization and put the baby in the incubator for faster recovery. The long term health problems could be breathing difficulty, digestive problems, brain disorder, and more cases of death.
Even though there are recommendations to further the study and come up with more conclusive results, there is no harm it can be done to any expectant mothers to bear the nine months in a healthy diet and commit in providing the best start in their baby’s life.