Junk-food benefit of the week: Sprite could help cancer patients

By David Kiefaber on Tue Nov 16 2010


Can Sprite cure cancer? Well, no. But according to new research, it can help cancer patients absorb drugs prescribed to them during treatment, depending on the acidity of the patient's stomach. Or it could make matters worse. Like many pieces of medical journalism, this article is woefully unclear. Either way, researchers at Eli Lilly mixed an oral cancer drug with Captisol (to improve the drugs' solubility) and flat Sprite in an artificial stomach, and found that the Sprite "regulated the acidity in the stomach so as to allow the body to absorb more of the cancer drug." Skeptics claim there are too many biological intangibles to suggest that Sprite actually helps cancer patients, plus it's only uncarbonated Sprite that works. Not exactly the best endorsement for a refreshing beverage, I would say. I don't see Sprite capitalizing on this anytime soon, which is for the best. Junk-food ads are bad enough—on the rare occasion that they make health claims, they get even worse. And I do not want Thirst the Creepy Action Figure claiming he can cure cancer.



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