A 30-year-old New Zealand mother of two, died of a heart attack in 2010. Experts say Natasha Harris’ 2 gallon a day habit of Coca-Cola likely caused her death.
According to ABC News, Pathologist Dr. Dan Mornin testified at an inquest on Thursday that Harris probably suffered from hypokalemia, or low potassium, which he says was probably a result of her 2 gallon a day diet.
According to the U.S. National Institute of Health, symptoms of hypokalemia can include abnormal heart rhythms.
Mornin also said that toxic levels of the stimulant, caffeine, found in Coke, also may have contributed also contributed to her death.
Chris Hodgkinson, Harris’ partner, testified that Harris drank between 8 and 10 liters (2.1 to 2.6 gallons, 21 cans or 4- 2 liter bottles) of Coke per day.
“The first thing she would do in the morning was to have a drink of Coke at her bedside and the last thing she would do at night is have a drink of Coke,” Hodgkinson said.
Harris’ overall diet and health were not well. According to Hodgkinson, Harris ate very little and smoked 30 cigarettes per day. In the months leading to Harris’ death, Hodgkinson said she had high blood pressure and lacked energy.
On the morning of her death, Harris was helping get her kids ready for school, when she collapsed. Hodgkinson performed mouth-to-mouth and called emergency medical services. They were unable to revive her.
Pathologist, Dr. Martin Sage, told ABC News, “it is certainly well demonstrated that excessive long or short term cola ingestion can be dramatically symptomatic, and there are strong hypothetical grounds for this becoming fatal in individual cases.”
Karen Thompson, a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola, said, “We concur with the information shared by the coroner’s office that the grossly excessive ingestion of any food product, including water, over a short period of time with the inadequate consumption of essential nutrients, and the failure to seek appropriate medical intervention when needed, can be dramatically symptomatic.”
Although, Thompson maintains that Coca-Cola is a safe product.
Experts warn that while Diet Coke may contain less calories, it has 40% more caffeine per ounce. So, it would appear that there is no safe soda. If you drink diet, it has more caffeine and if you drink regular soda, it has more sugar. Everything in moderation.