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I've heard it claimed that Coke helps prevent infections.

The Independent

Some open-water swimmers drink Coke after racing, both for the sugar rush and because it is said to neutralise harmful bacteria taken in with the water that has inevitably been swallowed over the 10km. Coke contains phosphoric acid, which works in the same way as the hydrochloric acid produced by the stomach to reduce risk of infection – though acid-resistant organisms such as cryptosporidium will not be killed by it.

Does the phosphoric acid in Coke help with reducing risk of infection?

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  • 1
    I note that Dr Scott's statement is a non-sequitur, when put next to the claim.
    – Oddthinking
    Mar 9 '12 at 3:49
  • I removed the non-sequitor because it detracted from an otherwise interesting question. Roll back if you see a need for it but I would update the question to make that statement relavent.
    – Chad
    Mar 9 '12 at 17:32
  • Found this "Antimicrobial activity of olive oil, vinegar, and various beverages against foodborne pathogens", but I'm not paying $37 for the full text - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17536679
    – Tom77
    Dec 11 '12 at 13:27
  • 1
    Take it @Tom77 "The survival of foodborne pathogens in aqueous extracts of olive oil, virgin olive oil, vinegar, and several beverages was evaluated. Vinegar and aqueous extracts of virgin olive oil showed the strongest bactericidal activity against all strains tested. Red and white wines also killed most strains after 5 min of contact, black and green tea extracts showed weak antimicrobial activity under these conditions, and no effect was observed for the remaining beverages (fruit juices, Coca-Cola, dairy products, coffee, and beer)."
    – denten
    May 17 '13 at 17:10

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