Mountain Dew Ingredient May Reduce Fertility, Make You Flame-Proof

If you've ever slammed a Mountain Dew or similar citrus-flavored soda during a marathon gaming session, you may want to step back and re-evaluate what you're putting into your body. A new feature published at reveals the history and potential health risks of brominated vegetable oil, otherwise known as BVO, a banned-in-Europe emulsifier that is also used in flame retardants.

In addition to Mountain Dew, the article reports that Squirt, Fanta Orange, Sunkist Pineapple, Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange, Powerade Strawberry Lemonade or Fresca Original Citrus all contain BVO. It goes on to explain BVO:

Brominated vegetable oil, which is derived from soybean or corn, contains bromine atoms, which weigh down the citrus flavoring so it mixes with sugar water, or in the case of flame retardants, slows down chemical reactions that cause a fire.

Brominated flame retardants lately are under intense scrutiny because research has shown that they are building up in people's bodies, including breast milk, around the world. Designed to slow the spread of flames, they are added to polystyrene foam cushions used in upholstered furniture and children's products, as well as plastics used in electronics. Research in animals as well as some human studies have found links to impaired neurological development, reduced fertility, early onset of puberty and altered thyroid hormones.

Sure, it's not really news that Mountain Dew contains ingredients that aren't exactly healthy, but the fact that people are drinking the same compound that is regularly used to make upholstery flame retardant seems worth noting. The article goes on to trace the FDA history of bromine-including food, saying that some experts think that the old FDA data should be replaced by new studies.

In 1997, emergency room doctors at University of California, Davis reported a patient with severe bromine intoxication from drinking two to four litres of orange soda every day. He developed headaches, fatigue, ataxia (loss of muscle coordination) and memory loss.

In a 2003 case reported in Ohio, a 63-year-old man developed ulcers on his swollen hands after drinking eight litres of Red Rudy Squirt every day for several months. The man was diagnosed with bromoderma, a rare skin hypersensitivity to bromine exposure. The patient quit drinking the brominated soft drink and months later recovered.

Reactions this severe may not be a concern in the general population, the study's doctors said.

"Any normal level of consumption of BVO would not cause any health problems - except the risk of diabetes and obesity from drinking that much sugar water," said Zane Horowitz, medical director of the Oregon Poison centre and author of the 1997 case study.

But in the gamer scene, a normal level of consumption is not normal. Everyone, it seems, knows someone habitually needing a fuel fix, and consuming enough to up his or her risk.

Well OK, that last part seems a little bit anti-video game. But then again, a lot of gamers do drink intense amounts of citrus soda while playing…

(And let's pause for a moment to chuckle at how often all of this stuff uses words with "bro" at the beginning. Truly, "Bromoderma" is a gamer disorder if ever I've heard of one.)

In all seriousness, the article is worth a read. If you really do drink enough soda to give yourself bromoderma or bromine intoxication, maybe consider balancing your diet a bit? You could even just switch to regular colas like Coke and Pepsi, neither of which include BVO.

Brominated battle: Soda chemical has cloudy health history []


    Potatos have starch in them, starch is used in glue. You are gluing your insides by eating products with starch in it -_-

    As with ANYTHING (including healthy stuff) consuming large amounts in small amount of time will do horrible stuff to your insides.


      Anything can be poisonous in large enough quantities. For things like arsenic it is quite small amounts and bread is quite large, but all extremes are dangerous, whether it's quantities, religion or emotion.

      Yeah these warnings seem pretty redundant. So a guy drank 8 litres of the same soda every day for multiple months - and he developed health issues? Are we meant to be surprised? I read an article earlier today about the possible psychosis and paranoia inducing effects of coffee. I was getting a little worried reading it, until I saw that the case study was about a guy drinking *over 4 litres* of coffee every day. Umm... yeah.

      It seems that the general principle of 'don't be retarded with food' will yet again yield healthier results. *Shocked*

      For some reason I doubt that anyone has eaten an obscene amount of potatoes during a gaming marathon.

    Good thing V is the MW3 branded drink of choice in AUS...

    That and I'm pretty sure that "The Dew" is a different formula here.

      Correct. Ours tastes funny, and has no caffeine.

    That explains why the Solo man doesn't have kids...If it's that easy I'm going to follow suit

      hahaha. Love it.

    Four litres of orange soda every day... Eight litres of "red ruby squirt" every day... Is it any wonder they got sick? Drinking eight litres of *anything* every day will cause problems. Eight litres of *water* a day is extreme, afaik.

      Yup, you can even overdose on water.

    So... alright, let me see if I can figure this out.

    People can be 'Bro's'. Bro's drink Broterade and also play video games?

      Missed the MW3 that was shopped into the picture.

      I'm having a bad week, Kirk is obviously having a bad week. Anyone else having a bad week?

    Mountain Dew here is nothing like the Mountain Dew in the states. there it is marketed as a full-on energy drink.

      It also feels thicker than normal soft drinks, kind of like a watered down syrup.

      No, it's not. They had an energy drink VERSION, but it wasn't the same product. Ours is pussified because the government thinks that non-brown soft drinks shouldn't have caffeine. Makes perfect sense…

    I leave this without any further comment.

    these arguments are hilarious

    but if you are playing MW3, your not going to have sex at all in your life anyway. so this study is futile. XD hotihotihoooo

    A question that poses to all games, would you rather have kids, or become a fire proof superhero?

    Anything that makes COD players sterile is a good thing though.

    I wonder if that stuff is banned in Australia...?

    I don't think I drink eight litres of anything in a week!

      You clearly don't love chocolate milk enough.

        Lol. For me it's probably water

    Now Mtn Dew are just going to do what all the cigerette companies do, hire scientists to show its inconclusive.

    SO... if i drink Mountain Dew i will become fire proof? *runs to closet puts on superheroes costume.

    Mountain Dew just needs to be marketed as a liquid contraceptive for firefighters.

      How about instead of water in the trucks they use mountain dew you can be saved and quench your thirst at the same time.

      Hahahaha. Probably a better marketing avenue.

    Also, uh, failing to see a downside to not having to worry about making kids, and no longer having fire as a weakness.

    I like how you suggest drinking pepsi and coke instead. It reminded me of someone who told me they smoke lite cigerettes because its the healthier option.

    i seriously thought Bromine was some made up / improvised pun when i first saw it. I am glad i don't drink that. though i should cut back on the zero sugar sodas

    I switched to Coke - The healthy choice.

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