Caramel color in colas may increase risk of cancer

the ONA take:

People who drink sodas that contain caramel color, a popular ingredient in dark colas, are likely exposing themselves to carcinogens that contribute to development of cancer, according to a new study published in PLOS ONE.

Johns Hopkins researchers led by Keeve Nachman, PhD, at the Center for a Livable Future (CLF) conducted a follow-up study to a 2014 Consumer Reports that analyzed 11 different soft drinks for 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI) concentrations, a possible human carcinogen that is formed during the manufacture of caramel color.

They modeled exposure to 4-MEI as related to routine soft drink consumption levels in the U.S. The study also paired results with beverage consumption data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to measure for population risk and cancer burden.

They found that 4-MEI levels varied substantially across soda brands, even for the same type of beverage. Additionally, they found a geographic difference in 4-MEI levels, with soft drinks products sold in California containing lower levels than samples observed outside the state.

There is currently no federal limit on 4-MEI in food or beverages. However, Consumer reports petitioned the FDA to urge beverage makers in taking steps to protect public health.

“This new analysis underscores our belief that people consume significant amounts of soda that unnecessarily elevate their risk of cancer over the course of a lifetime,” said Urvashi Rangan, PhD, executive director at the Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability Center.

Caramel color in colas may increase risk of cancer
People who drink sodas that contain caramel color are likely exposing themselves to carcinogens that contribute to development of cancer.
Public health researchers have analyzed soda consumption data in order to characterize people's exposure to a potentially carcinogenic byproduct of some types of caramel color. Caramel color is a common ingredient in colas and other dark soft drinks.
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