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  #1  
Old 13 February 2013, 06:22 PM
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Icon24 Coroner Links Mom's Death to Coke 'Addiction'

A New Zealand coroner has linked the death of a 31-year-old woman to her Coca-Cola addiction.

Natasha Harris died Feb. 25, 2010 from a cardiac arrhythmia, according to a 19-page coroner's report. And while Harris, a mother of eight from Invercargill, New Zealand, was known to smoke heavily and skip multiple meals, coroner David Crerar concluded that the sugar and caffeine she got by drinking more than 2.6 gallons of Coca-Cola Classic per day was "a substantial factor" in her death.

http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs...ws-health.html
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  #2  
Old 13 February 2013, 06:29 PM
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That's almost seventeen 20 ounce bottles a day. I really have no problem believing that was a factor.
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  #3  
Old 13 February 2013, 06:32 PM
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This Telegraph article talks about an actor who had a very serious hospitalization from drinking about 8 liters of water per day during a play's run. This woman was drinking about 10 liters per day of Coke. So while the Coke drinking could certainly have been a substantial factor in her death, I think the fact that Coke has no warning signs is a bit overdramatic.
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Old 13 February 2013, 06:37 PM
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Is this the woman whose family attempted to sue Coke after her death?
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  #5  
Old 13 February 2013, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
And while Harris, a mother of eight from Invercargill, New Zealand, was known to smoke heavily and skip multiple meals, coroner David Crerar concluded that the sugar and caffeine she got by drinking more than 2.6 gallons of Coca-Cola Classic per day was "a substantial factor" in her death.
In other words, if you drink an unhealthfully extreme amount of soda on top of other extremely unhealthful behaviors, that could be really bad for your health.
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  #6  
Old 14 February 2013, 04:24 AM
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I remember seeing a biography of Christina Onasis years ago where they said she had a major Coke addiction that contributed to her death (along with other bad eating and dieting habits).
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  #7  
Old 14 February 2013, 04:28 AM
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Must be the high-fructose corn syrup. Yep that's it.
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  #8  
Old 14 February 2013, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Must be the high-fructose corn syrup.
I know you're joking but, in Australia they use cane sugar.
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Old 14 February 2013, 02:15 PM
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And why the quotes around addiction? You can certainly get physically addicted to caffine and psychologically addicted to just about anything. Considering the symptoms she'd experience when not drinking Coke and the fact that she continued to do so despite the health problems it caused, it certainly sounds like a "real" addiction.
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  #10  
Old 14 February 2013, 02:37 PM
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I agree--addictions have been found, and found harmful, from use of many foods, substances, etc. I would like to understand how the medical authorities teased this out from tobacco use, not eating, and other habits as a cause of her death. I admit to being picky about this sort of thing, having seen old death certificates that list dementia and things like it as a cause of death. If I knew the person had walked out of a 4th window and fallen to their death because they were "demented" that might be one thing. Same with this--would drinking 2.5 gallons a day of any liquid have contributed to her death?
I guess things don't necessarily go better with Coke.

Ali
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  #11  
Old 14 February 2013, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali Infree View Post
Same with this--would drinking 2.5 gallons a day of any liquid have contributed to her death?
IANAD, but based on the actor who was send to the hospital in critical condition from drinking 2 gallons a day of water, I would think so. The report says she had low potassium levels which can occur from excessive water consumption.
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Old 14 February 2013, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
This Telegraph article talks about an actor who had a very serious hospitalization from drinking about 8 liters of water per day during a play's run.
A Finnish school girl died the other year after having drunk too much water.
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  #13  
Old 14 February 2013, 04:06 PM
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Was it a hazing or contest-related death? Because my search mostly found deaths related to forced excessive water drinking. I was trying to find a case where voluntary excessive water consumption resulted in a person's death. The actor was the closest I found in the first few pages.
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  #14  
Old 14 February 2013, 04:34 PM
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Perhaps not "voluntary" but I'm sure that some types of mental distress may lead to a person's drinking too much water, to a point where it is dangerous.

As for the woman with the Coke addiction, you have to figure that this was an addiction and the sign of a very unstable mind. Consuming that much liquid - any liquid - means consuming it quickly. This woman likely didn't take the time to enjoy or "savor" the taste of what she was drinking. It is quite possible that if she were blindfolded, she couldn't tell what she was drinking - be it Coke, diet-Coke, or water - because she wouldn't be tasting it as she was drinking it. I'm not surprised that she was skipping meals too - her stomach would rarely be empty, and the acid in the Coke would have mess with her own stomach acid balance - she likely had heartburn or acid reflux. She still had enough energy to function from the sugar, but not likely in "normal" fashion.
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  #15  
Old 14 February 2013, 05:45 PM
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Psychogenic polydipsia can certainly lead to dangerously low serum sodium levels (aka hyponatremia) and can be fatal. It is a mental illness. So like Hero_Mike said, not forced by another person at least.

I would have to do the calculations on Coke because even though it is a lot of free water, it has some potassium and I think some sodium.
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  #16  
Old 14 February 2013, 05:55 PM
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Since I have a can in front of me, I can help there. 45 mg of sodium per 12 oz can, and no mention of potassium. I don't think that is enough salts to offset the fluid intake. I am with those who say it is basically water toxicity.
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  #17  
Old 14 February 2013, 06:17 PM
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Yes, that amount of sodium is about 1% of what would be in normal saline- an IV solution approximately isotonic with human serum:

normal saline has 9 grams (9000 mg) sodium per 1000 mL
Coke has 0.125 grams (125 mg) per 1000 mL

So it is basically water.
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  #18  
Old 14 February 2013, 07:16 PM
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I can't imagine drinking that much of anything daily, especially loaded with caffeine. My cousin's boyfriend has a self proclaimed coke addiction, but he only drinks two 2-liters a day. I'll have to show him this article!

Last edited by TripleAAA; 14 February 2013 at 07:23 PM.
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  #19  
Old 14 February 2013, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TripleAAA View Post
I can't imagine drinking that much of anything daily, especially loaded with caffeine. My cousin's boyfriend has a self proclaimed coke addiction, but he only drinks two 2-liters a day. I'll have to show him this article!
That's 1700 calories a day. That alone might be reason to cut back a little. Not to mention the damage to his teeth.
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