There are several factors at work when it comes to the risks of soft drinks, not the least of which are sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. But the most recent one to make a name for itself is sodium benzoate, a preservative you'll find listed in the ingredients of most sodas.
The latest study on this chemical, conducted at the University of Sheffield in Great Britain, found that sodium benzoate increase the production of free radicals, which are associated with a long list of health concerns, from aging to cancer. It causes this increase by damaging cell mitochondrias' ability to prevent the oxygen leaks that cause free radicals. The same sort of damage has also been linked to overconsumption of alcohol.
Plus, your liver goes into overdrive trying to clear this chemical out of your system -- just like it does with alcohol.
I'm certainly not suggesting that you replace soda with alcohol. All I'm saying is that soda isn't the lesser of two evils that most people believe it to be. And if it's a matter of that occasional beer or glass of wine, you're much better off with that than a sodium-benzoate-and sugar- (or worse, aspartame-) laden soda.
Taken from: www.wrightnewsletter.com