Drinking large amounts of cola can cause paralysis, doctors warn
Drinking large amounts of cola every day can cause muscle problems, an irregular heartbeat and even paralysis, doctors have warned.
Chronic consumption of the drink can cause a condition called hypokalaemia, in which levels of potassium in the blood fall, in some patients. Symptoms can range from mild weakness and constipation to paralysis.
Researchers said that family doctors should look out for muscle problems in people who drink large amounts of cola, after finding that patients who drank between two and 10 litres a day developed the condition.
Writing in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, researchers from the University of Ioannina in Greece detail cases of the condition, including a pregnant women who was drinking between three and seven litres of the soft drink a day.
“We are consuming more soft drinks than ever before and a number of health issues have already been identified including tooth problems, bone demineralisation and the development of metabolic syndrome and diabetes” said Dr Moses Elisaf, who led the review of research.
“Evidence is increasing to suggest that excessive cola consumption can also lead to hypokalaemia.”
All patients made a full and speedy recovery after they stopped drinking cola and took supplements of potassium.
Both the sugar and caffeine in cola can help to trigger the condition, the team behind the study believes.