What are the risks associated with energy drink consumption?

Washington, DC – Years of research have identified a variety of serious health risks associated with downing a couple of energy drinks, such as liver damage, increased blood pressure, tooth erosion and more.

Other risks associated with energy drink consumption include but not limited to the following:

  1. caffeine overdose (which can lead to a number of symptoms, including palpitations, high blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, convulsions and, in some cases, even death)
  2. type 2 diabetes – as high consumption of caffeine reduces insulin sensitivity.

Despite the warnings, energy drinks are still among the most commonly used dietary supplements in the United States. In fact, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, “almost one-third of teens between 12 and 17 years drink them regularly.”

Now, new research to be presented at the American Heart Association’s summit in Chicago next week suggests consuming just one drink can lead to negative effects on blood vessel function.

For the study, scientists at the McGovern Medical School in Houston examined 44 nonsmoking young and healthy medical students in their 20s. They tested baseline endothelial function (or blood vessel function) and then tested it again 90 minutes after the participants consumed one 24-ounce energy drink.  Endothelial function is a powerful indicator of cardiovascular risk.

The researchers also recorded artery flow-mediated dilation using an ultrasound that reveals overall blood vessel health before and after the 90-minute mark.

What they found was an acute impairment in vascular function after just one drink. At baseline, vessel dilation was, on average, 5.1 percent in diameter. After 90 minutes and one drink later, vessel dilation fell to 2.8 percent in diameter. 

According to lead researcher John Higgins, that reduction can restrict blood flow and oxygen delivery.

Courtesy Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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