Pravda: Americans to Become Used to Drinking Russian Kvass

Bottled Kvas in Russia

Bottled Kvas in Russia

From Pravda.ru:

The famous producer of soft drinks Coca-Cola will sell  kvass under the trademark “Krushka & Bochka” (Mug & Barrel) , which is produced in Russian factories, in the  U.S. , according Bigness.ru.

The start of sales of the famous Russian drink is timed to the visit of Dmitry Medvedev to the country . Kvass will be sold in plastic bottles  of 0,5 liters. The new product can be purchased later this month in stores Whole Foods Market in New York. A bottle of the drink will cost about 2.5 dollars. Coca-Cola began production of kvass in Russia in 2008.

Today, Coca-Cola produces 500 brands of carbonated and still beverages, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, Vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid and Georgia Coffee.

That’s nice to know, but what is kvass anyway? From Wikipedia:

Kvass or kvas (borrowed from Russian квас (kvas) or from Polish kwas (meaning acid) in the 16th century), sometimes called in English a bread drink, is a fermented beverage made from black rye or rye bread  (which contributes to its light or dark colour). By the content of alcohol resulted from fermentation, it is classified as non-alcoholic: up to 1.2% of alcohol, according to the standard of Russia.

It’s still – or again – very popular in Russia, again from Wikipedia:

Although western soft drinks such as Coca-Cola  and Pepsi  previously smothered the commercial sale of kvass in Russia, currently kvass is being marketed as a patriotic alternative to cola, sparking a recent “kvass revival.” For example, the Russian company Nikola (whose name sounds like “not cola” in Russian) has promoted its brand of kvass with an advertising campaign emphasizing “anti cola-nisation.” Moscow-based Business Analytica reported in 2008 that bottled kvass sales had tripled since 2005 and estimated that per-capita  consumption of kvass in Russia would reach three liters in 2008.

The news release from Coca Cola can be found here.

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Coca Cola harmful to Male Fertility?

It seems that’s what Danish scientists concluded. In a work published in the American Journal of Medical Research they urge people to stay away from Coca Cola. Writes Fars News (in Persian):

Fars News Agency: Danish research on the sperm of 2,500 young Danes concluded that consumption of the beverage, “Coca-Cola” had a severe negative effect on their sexual ability and therefore urged people to avoid drinking.

Fars News is not the only one carrying this news, though. The study is also mentioned on Reuters:

Men who drink about a quart or more of cola every day could be causing harm to their sperm, results of a Danish study hint.

On average, these men’s sperm counts were almost 30 percent lower than in men who didn’t drink cola. While most of the sperm counts would still be considered normal by the World Health Organization, men with fewer sperm generally have a higher risk of being infertile.

The link is unlikely to be due to caffeine, the researchers say, because coffee did not have the same effect, even though its caffeine content is higher. Instead, other ingredients in the beverage or an unhealthy lifestyle could be involved.

However, Reuters doesn’t mention a warning by the researchers not to drink Coca-Cola:

It is still not clear if the cola or the unhealthy lifestyle, or both, is to blame. However, Dr. Fabio Pasqualotto, of the University of Caxias do Sul in Brazil, who was not involved in the study, said the drink itself probably wasn’t the most important factor.

The study itself says in its Conclusion section:

In conclusion, we found that moderate caffeine or cola consumption  (≤800 mg or 1 L of cola per day) was not associated with a reduction in semen quality. However, among the small fraction of men (3%) who consumed “high” quantities of cola, and possibly caffeine, daily (exceeding 800 mg or >1.0 L, respectively), several semen parameters were reduced. The associations found for high-quantity cola drinkers could not be attributed to the caffeine content in cola, which was not high. We cannot exclude the possibility of a threshold above which cola  (and possibly caffeine) negatively affects semen quality. Alternatively, a less healthy lifestyle among these men may explain the findings. Since cola consumption is high and has been increasing among young Danes, our findings, if confirmed, may be of public health concern.

The study mentioned is available here.