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The Kidney next to the liver is the hardest working organ in the body.  The two organs work as a cohesive tag team in response to food consumption.   The liver filters out and sends all toxic residue to the Kidney via the bloodstream.  The Kidney continues with the filtration process bypassing these elements into the urine.  The urine, toxins and unwanted waste flush out of the body through the process of urination.    The Kidney and liver are the perfect tag team vital for health and homeostasis.

The devastating effects of harm to the Kidney will harm one’s health, ultimately leading to renal failure.  Experiencing this reality as a teenager was quite shocking.   The fright of witnessing my grandmother lose her life’s battle to Renal Failure was a big wake up call.     I did not have a clue of the importance of the Kidney, nor did I understand its vital importance to life until then.   Perhaps subconsciously, this is the reason for my ongoing fascination with the correlation between food and nutrition and its direct effect on the Kidney. Working as a Renal Dietitian having to witness patients daily receive dialysis reinforce my drive.

Recently, I am observing a vast number of people drinking carbonated beverages.  The average American is drinking about 45 gallons of pop every year. In total, that is 487 cans or 286 bottles or 85 2-liter of carbonated syrup every year.  However, it is incredible the fact that 45 gallons of pop pass through your system (Kidney) 365 days.  Are you POPING your kidneys?

A recent study by NIH indicates the consumption of carbonated beverages may increase the risk of kidney disease.  Drinking carbonated Beverages, rather you refer to it as Soda, or Pop, depending upon what part of the country you are from, increases the risk for kidney damage.  It is critically important to know beverages in the Cola form is extremely toxic to the Kidney.  Also, Pop is one of the risk factors for acquiring diabetes, and hypertension which is both directly related to kidney disease.  I must emphasize, the study suggests that Cola and high Fructose sugars are incredibly detrimental to one’s Kidney.

What makes Cola drinks such as Dr. Pepper/ Coke, so detrimental to the Kidney?  Have you ever noticed Cola drinks appear to taste stronger, contain more of an acidic punch vs. the lighter colored beverages such as Sprite?    To get this effect, the manufacturers add the chemical “phosphoric acid” to Colas.  The overall function of the Kidney, which is to filter and clean the body’s blood supply, everything in the blood filters through the Kidney, including the additive phosphoric acid.  Phosphoric acid, once it enters the Kidney, creates a very abnormal acidic environment by changing the chemical makeup of urine, ultimately causing harm.

In the presence of a very acid environment, stone tends to form.  The consumption of Cola not only conductive to creating kidney stones, but it also pulls calcium from the bones, which also ends up in the urine.  Excessive calcium in urine, along with the other residue in an acidic environment, is prime for the development of stones. These hard metal stones are large enough to block the flow of urine, causing bleeding and infections.  Infection stones can lead to obstructive nephropathy, which will lead to End-Stage Renal Disease.

A study in the Clinical Journal of American Society of Nephrology reports hemodialysis patients are three times more likely to have been stone formers. The research recommends for those individuals who are currently stone formers to avoid measure which are conducive to stone formation.  One such preventative measure is to avoid drinking Cola carbonated pop.

A study published in the journal Epidemiology where a team of researchers investigating the dietary habits (drinking Colas) of 465 people with chronic kidney disease and 467 healthy people.  Results indicate the participants drinking two or more Colas a day supports other findings of having a twofold risk of chronic kidney disease.

Are you popping your kidneys away to have that ice-cold Cola Drink?  Statistic state Americans consume 45 gallons of pop a year.  In contrast, more than half a million people go to emergency rooms for kidney stone problems.  As you reach for that sweet cold Cola drink on the upcoming hot summer day, ask yourself, Am I POPPING my Kidney’s away?   It’s your choice- choose wisely.