Friday, October 16, 2009

Mentos and Diet Coke

No, I don't advocate eating Mentos. I especially don't advocate drinking Diet Coke, for many reasons. At the top of the list is Nutrasweet. Also known as aspartame, Nutrasweet is made of two amino acids: phenylalanine and aspartate. Aspartate is well-known to increase the tendency of neurons to fire. In physiologic doses, this is perfectly fine, and indeed important for optimal neurologic function. But ingesting high doses of aspartate can actually lead to overexcited neurons, and may be linked to a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease), Huntington's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. You can read Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills by Russell Blaylock for more information.

But throw Mentos into a bottle of Diet Coke, and the result can be quite effervescent. Enjoy this video and see what happens when this tendency is harnessed to create a neat fountain display.
(And as you'd imagine, it is an EXTREMELY bad idea to drink Diet Coke and eat Mentos at the same time!)

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