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About Sodium Benzoate
Note: This page is based on a newsgroup posting. As always, consider whether what is said here really applies to you and whether this is credible information. Our standard (see credo ) is whether a thesis is "interesting." We let you decide.
Recently I felt exceptionally bad after a shopping trip and after much thinking worked out that the only difference that day had been that I drank two large glasses of Sprite.
A trial confirmed the insight. A number of posters have suggested avoiding soft drinks because of the carbonate content, however this seems unlikely as a cause of problems: I drink fizzy mineral water all the time without any trouble.
The only non-innocuous ingredient specified on the label of Sprite is Sodium Benzoate (in UK/Europe, also referred to as E211; E210, E212 and E213 are benzoic acid and other benzoate salts, if you should come across them). Further tests revealed that I have similar problems with other soft drinks that have benzoate in them but not in those that haven't. E.g. unbranded tonic water makes me ill, whereas Schweppes tonic water doesn't. The first contains Sodium Benzoate, the second not.
I haven't been absolutely thorough in my research, but enough to convince myself. The same may or may not be true for others. Sodium Benzoate is absorbed directly into the blood and is then broken down by the liver (N.B. as are alcohol and caffeine -- is there a link here?)
It is generally considered safe but on the other hand some people are known to be allergic to it (skin rashes etc.) and it is thought that it is implicated in Attention Deficit Disorder (see recent postings). Some people believe it possibly to be carcinogenic.
(Originally a newsgroup posting on 1/27/98 by Alex Parisotti, aparisotti@compuserve.com )

This information is forwarded to you by the Prostatitis Foundation. We do not provide medical advice. We distribute literature and information relevant to prostatitis. While we encourage all research we do not endorse any doctor, medicine or treatment protocol. Consult with your own physician.
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