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Cuppa Joe & Mountain Dew: Misery Loves Company

by | Sep 25, 2015 | Blog Post, Caffine, Children's Health, Home Page | 0 comments

Cup of Joe and Mountain Dew:  Misery Loves Company

Don’t get me wrong- I enjoy my cappuccino just as much as the next guy, but I have cut way back on coffee drinking in the last couple years.  I liked the way it curbed my appetite.  And because it’s a stimulant, the caffeine in coffee gives me the extra burst of energy, but that turns out to be short-lived and went hand-in-hand with eating less nutritious foods and later  in the day, when ravenous,  I would reach for some quick edible thing to put into my mouth when sugar fairy would visit me.

Time has had its way with me though and now  the only way I can drink coffee is when it is cut in half with decaf or with brew-able cocoa… or diluted with water. Yes, sacrilege. But I was finding that coffee was also  making me hungry… a short time after a cup I would be looking for a snack. And that’s not all… even sometimes after drinking this diluted brew my heart would start to race.  My adrenals were not enjoying Joe as much as I was.  A warning to back off.  Chronic caffeine intake will exhaust an already direct adrenal system.

What is alarming is that these days nearly 3 out of every 4 children consume caffeine daily according to a new study published in the journal, Pediatrics, covering data from 1999 to 2010. Kids favorites included coffee and energy drinks brimming with  caffeine. 1)

Most children still prefer soda as the drink of choice but it’s use is declining from 62% in 1999, to just 38% in 2010;  and coffee use has ascended from 10% to 34% during that same time period. 1) The caffeine and sugar combo are so addictive so that those who frequently drink coffee, tea, energy drinks and sodas will be coming back for more.  The effects of these substances wane over time so more of them are needed to produce the same effects..2)  Coffee and energy drinks contain more caffeine, on average, than  sodas. 3)     

But there is always the “Mountain Dew Mouth.”  In the “Mountain Dew Belt,” stretching from southern New York down to Alabama, experts say this carbonated beverage is causing an alarming incidence of “highly eroded brown teeth.” 4)  The photos on “google images of Mountain Dew Mouth” on the internet look like teeth with severe dental fluorosis which is caused by toxic levels of fluoride in the diet.  I was shocked to learn that people can use their food stamps to buy Mountain Dew. 5) Your tax dollars at work.

Mountain Dew (MD) also contains the damaging preservative, sodium benzoate, which interferes with the most basic energy production in the mitochondria;  yellow dye #5 (tartrazine) implicated in behavioral problems in children (therefore it is affecting the brain);and bromated vegetable oil which causes havoc in the thyroid, the master controller of the body.  6) With a package like that I am not surprised that this particular beverage may be very  well cause  learning and memory issues and hyperactivity such as in ADHD (attention deficit disorder), as well as anxiety attacks,  and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). .

Just as bad are the beverages loaded with artificial sweeteners  for those ”watching their weight.”  But they seem to cause the reverse effect.  Like high amounts of sugar and caffeine, artificial sweeteners cause insulin to spike… insulin is a fat storage hormone implicated in escalating rates of diabetes.  Caffeine, sugar and artificial sweeteners cause hunger pangs (insulin spikes) and subsequent deposition of fat into fat tissue. 7) And that’s not all. Artificial sweeteners have other side effects such as seizures, severe headache and other neurologic problems. 8)

There’s more. The caffeine also reduces levels of neurotransmitter production in the brain, like serotonin, which is the feel-good chemical. 9) We also have an astonishingly high number of kids with depression taking  the medication SSRI’s –serotonin reuptake inhibitors– like Prosac, which block the metabolism of serotonin so that its effects last longer. 10)   The fact is that Prosac and its ilk actually cause further depression. If you don’t have serotonin to begin with, what’s to block?  And in studies, those taking SSRI’s had a dramatic decrease in tryptophan levels in the body. 11) Artificial sweeteners also are believed to interfere with tryptophan entering the brain. 12) That is the stuff serotonin is made of so, seriously, so only do they not work, but they lower levels of the actual building blocks.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid found in animal products like poultry, organ meats, milk, cottage cheese, coconut cream and coconut milk 13) but uptake by the brain can be tricky. Some experts say this is why we need carbohydrates in the diet. While they are keeping things busy, the tryptophan has less competition crossing through the brain- blood barrier into the brain.14) Some studies show that drinking fresh (raw) milk helps to increase brain levels of tryptophan. 15)

The SSRI’s might work in the beginning, and then again they might not.  There are many who are “anti-depressant resistant,”  because they just don’t respond to the medication 16), unless something else is added, like folic acid, vitamin C etc. which makes us wonder if it is the folic acid that is doing the trick, not the SSRI’s?  It’s a messy business to start anyway because they have unpleasant side effects and then, to wean oneself off of the drug is tricky, and chronic use leads to more serotonin deficits. In the old days doctors said that depression usually was short-lived condition which resolved itself. 17) Today depression is the mainstay of the psychiatric business.  Every one these days is “on” SSRI’s.

It might be easier and less time consuming to just bump up the diet making sure to include enough quality tryptophan -containing foods fresh milk, eggs from chickens on pasture and the meat of those same chickens. Turkey is a good source but it’s not so easy to find quality turkey because most of them are raised in factory farms on antibiotics and other unpleasant things. But organic turkeys are out there.  More demand triggers more production.  Local buying clubs and co-ops may handle them as well. Until I find a source of pastured turkeys I won’t eat the industrial variety.

You can find a local producer of fresh (raw) milk, cheese, eggs, chickens and possibly turkeys through your local Weston A. Price chapter which can be found at their website:


1)Branum AM, Rossen LM, Schoendorf KC. “Trends in Caffeine Intake Among US Children and Adolescents.“Pediatrics. 2014 Feb 10. [Epub ahead of print]    2) Substance Abuse and Addiction Treatment Services.   3) Ibid, [1].   4-5) Barclay, E. “ ‘Mountain Dew Mouth’ Is Destroying Appalachia’s Teeth, Critics Say.” National Public Radio. 9-13-2013. accessed 2-15-2014  6) Natural Thyroid Choices, Mountain Dew. Accessed 2-25-2014. 7) Onusic, SP. “Violent Behavior: A Solution in Plain Sight.” Wise Traditions in Farming and the Healing Arts. Spring. 14(1). 2013. 19-35. 8) Humphries P et al.” Direct and Indirect cellular effects of aspartame on the brain.” EurJClinNutr. 2008 Apr; 62 (4): 451.   9) Kaslow JE. HOW SSRI’S DEPLETE NEUROTRANSMITTER /html/ neurotransmitter_depletion. html.accessed February 14, 2014.  10) Whitaker R. Anatomy of an Epidemic. Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America. 2010. Crown/Random House. New York. 11) Delgado PL et al. “Tryptophan-depletion challenge in depressed patients treated with desipramine or fluoxetine: implications for the role of serotonin in the mechanism of antidepressant action.” Biol Psychiatry. 1999 Jul 15; 46(2); 212-20. 12) Ibid,[8]. 13) Pennington JA. Bowes and Church’s Food Values of Portions Commonly Used, 19th edition. Wolters Kluver/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia 2010. 14) Pardridge WM, Oldendorf WH (1975). “Kinetic analysis of blood–brain barrier transport of amino acids”. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 401 (1): 128–36. doi:10.1016/0005-2736(75)90347-8. PMID 1148286. 15) Ibid, [7].  16) El Hage W et al. Mechanisms of antidepressant resistance. Frontiers in Pharmacology. Nov. 4 (146)  2013.    17) Ibid,[10], 150-153.