New Zealand woman dies from drinking too much Coke

WELLINGTON , New Zealand - Experts have concluded that a New Zealand woman's eight to 10 litre a day Coca-Cola habit likely caused her to suddenly collapse and die, the Associated Press reported.

Natasha Harris, 30, was a stay-at-home mother of eight who was helping her children get ready for school when she collapsed slumped against a wall.

Her partner, Chris Hodgkinson, quickly called emergency services and tried to resuscitate her using mouth-to-mouth. However, all efforts failed and she passed away in February 2010.

Medical reports state that she died of a heart attack. However, expert witnesses at an inquest testified that her 2-gallon-a-day Coca-Cola habit, combined with poor nutrition, likely lead to hypokalemia.

Hypokalemia, also known as low potassium levels, can include abnormal heart rhythms.

Pathologist Dr Dan Mornin added that the high levels of caffeine in the Coke that built up to toxic levels in her body may have contributed to her death.

Hodgkinson testified that Harris would drink between 2.1 to 2.6 gallons of regular Coke every day.

She would drink a Coke when she woke up and would drink another just before she went to sleep.

He admitted she was addicted to Coke. Reports by the Daily Mail UK said she would go 'crazy' if she ran out of it, becoming moody, irritable and low.

'Products are safe': Coca-Cola

The family would buy 2.5 litres a day, which is the maximum for a promotional price.

She also ate very little and smoked about 30 sticks of cigarettes a day.

Before her death, she had been experiencing blood pressure issues and was easily tired. She had also been reportedly vomiting six times a week.

The family, however, attributed her poor health to the stress of taking care of the eight children and gynecological problems.

Dr Mornin was not alone in his believes. Another pathologist testified that excessive long or short term Cola ingestion can be fatal in individual cases.

Karen Thompson, a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola Oceania, insisted that the company's products are safe.

She pointed out that any "grossly excessive ingestion of any food product" without the inadequate consumption of essential nutrients, combined with not seeking medical help when needed, can cause adverse results.

She gave an example of even drinking too much water can kill.