I keep seeing people arrive at this blog by searching on the question “Does Mountain Dew cause ALS?” At first I thought it was because I had mentioned Mountain Dew in a post on preventing als. Now I am wondering if others are seeing the Mountain Dew, als connection. So here’s what I have seen and my take on Mountain Dew and als.
When working with someone to help him or her heal, I generally start by talking about basic things that could be contributing to the health problems the person is experiencing. It’s a good way to get a person thinking and to find some easy changes that can be made to improve a situation.
So, a few years ago, during this process, a guy diagnosed with als told me that prior to starting to notice the nerve problems, among other things he had been drinking about sixty, yup, sixty ounces of Mountain Dew a day. That’s five cans or three twenty ounce bottles of the stuff every day. Wow. So anyway, he had been stressed out in multiple ways and, beyond staying high on sugar and caffeine, not taking good care of himself, and sure enough his nerves had started to break down and he was so called diagnosed with so called als.
Soon after that, I was talking with another guy diagnosed with als and I happened to ask him,”By the way, do you drink Mountain Dew?” He told me, “Yes. I love the stuff.”
Around that time I met with another guy diagnosed with als, and during the meeting I asked him if he drank Mountain Dew. The answer was “Yes”, and sure enough there in the kitchen was a case of it, next to a case of, I think it was, Coke. He too had been stressed in multiple ways around the time he had started noticing nerve problems, and had not been sleeping well for months.
I have seen other cases where Mountain Dew and other caffeine containing beverages seem connected to neurodegeneration, and, while it does not add up to a whole lot of data and I have not done a huge amount of research into the Mountain Dew, als connection, I am sure that Mountain Dew can be a factor in the creation of the problem known as als.
Here’s the thing. Als is really just really poor nerve health. So anything that’s not good for one’s nerves is going to factor into the creation of the cascading neurodegeneration known as als. So consider this.
Sugar, plenty of which is found in Mountain Dew, can help foster internal inflammation, which is part of neurodegeneration. While I have heard that small amounts of caffeine may have some benefit for some people somehow, continual intake of huge amounts of caffeine and sugar, using this high to remain on the go constantly, and sleeping poorly sounds like a great way to keep one’s nerves overexcited and stressed, which once again sounds like a great way to create als. Also, do the in some countries banned artificial color and the brominated vegetable oil in Mountain Dew have some specific qualities that contribute to neurodegeneration? That’s possible too. For instance, tremors, convulsions and breathing difficulty are associated with ingestion of bromide. In addition, there are other ways drinking Mountain Dew can figure into the creation of als.
Also, if a person is willing to drink artificially colored, caffeine laden, genetically modified corn syrup filled stuff day in and day out, it seems likely that the person is not being careful in other ways, in which case, in addition to being a factor in the creation of so called als, drinking Mountain Dew is an indicator of lack of awareness of how to maintain health.
Is drinking some Mountain Dew enough to create cascading neurodegeneration? Maybe. Maybe not. Even the guy who was drinking sixty ounces a day had going on in his life a host of als creating things, such as relationship issues, use of disconnection strategies and military service related trauma. So his Mountain Dew consumption was just part of the als creation picture. My guess is that for most people most of the time, as harmful as Mountain Dew might be to their health, they are not going to experience als just because they drink some. Still, it can be a contributing factor, and in general drinking it is probably not a good idea.
So there’s my answer to that Mountain Dew causing als question. I guess I should be glad that one or two servings of Mountain Dew was enough for me to decide not to have any more. Maybe reading this post will be enough for others to decide the same thing.