Are you fond of drinking energy drinks? Do you know that energy drinks has been found out to cause an irreversible damage to the tooth enamel and it has detrimental effects on heart contraction? An ongoing study conducted by the Radiological Society of North America or RSNA reported that the popular energy drink which is consumed by millions of people may not only increase the heart’s contractility but it may also cause long-term health risks.
In an annual meeting in Chicago, Dr. Jonas Dorner of the Cardiovascular Imaging Section of the University of Bonn who is currently working on the study said that up to date no one has worked on the exact effects of these energy drinks on the heart functioning.
Dorner pointed out that there are concerns regarding the potential adverse side effects of energy drinks on the heart function especially in young adults and even in adolescents. Dorner said that there is no or little regulation in the US market when it comes to the consumption of these products.
In a recent study published in May to June 2012 issue of General Dentistry which is a per-reviewed Clinical Journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, the researchers found out an alarming rise in the consumption of energy and sports drink especially among adolescent population. This is of concern because it can cause irreversible damage to the teeth especially so that these drinks have high acidity levels which may cause erosion of tooth enamel – the glossy outer covering of the tooth.
Did you know that the caffeine levels of energy drinks are three times more than any other caffeinated drinks such as cola or coffee? Dorner said that the known side-effects of these drinks are palpitations, increase in heart rate, and rise in blood pressure and in most severe cases it can lead to seizure or even sudden death!
Synthetic caffeine is manufactured by the chemical industry. It is a big business in a lot of drinks that contain the drug.
Real and natural caffeine comes from different plant species. The caffeine content found within these plants varies throughout the year. It depends on several factors like time of the year harvested, soil and weather conditions and so on.
Thus, the exact caffeine content is impractical and impossible to determine for labeling products found in tea or coffee. They are constantly changing the amounts. So naturally, caffeinated products will not have the exact caffeine measurement or ingredients used that are seen on the label.
You will easily know that you are drinking synthetic caffeine when the exact measurement of caffeine is listed on the label. This is the most common and cheapest among the caffeine source. The compounds and processes may vary among chemical companies, but overall the amounts are all disturbing!
Still this is usually synthetic which can be obtained from coffee decaffeination industry. Although fortified caffeine is expensive and rarely used. You can determine if it is fortified caffeine based on the label with a measurement.
This industry uses caffeine supply with ethyl acetone, formaldehyde and methylene chloride for its removal. Take note that there is no such thing as removing the caffeine with just using plain water.
Drastically Higher Peak Strain
Dorner and his team used cardiac magnetic resonance imaging or MRI to measure the potential effects of energy drink consumption on the heart function. In the study they had 18 healthy volunteers which include 15 men and 3 women. Their average age is 27.5 years.
The subjects were given one cardiac MRI before they consume an energy drink containing caffeine (32 mg/100ml) and taurine (400 mg/100 ml), and another one was given after an hour of consumption.
The second MRI showed drastically peak systolic strain rates and higher peak strain in the left ventricle of the heart. These measurements are used to categorize the level of heart contraction or contractility. This technique is used to see how the heart receives oxygenated blood from the lung and pump it into the aorta which is then distributed throughout the body.
Toxic Sweeteners and Preservatives
Red Bull, Monster, Nos, Rockstar, Full Throttle and all other energy drinks contain the following toxic ingredients:
Sucralose or Splenda is a chlorocarbon or simply a chlorinated sugar. The common chlorocarbons include methylene chloride, trichlorethelene, and carbon tetrachloride which are all deadly! Chlorine is considered as Doberman Attack Dog of Nature which is a highly excitable and ferocious atomic element that is employed as biocide in insecticide, disinfectants, bleach, hydrochloric acid and World War I poison gas!
As the US Food and Drug Administration noted on 1998 – 11 to 27 percent of the ingested sucralose can be absorbed by the human body. A research by Roberts last 2000 mentioned that there is a research published by the sucralose manufacturer wherein 8 healthy male adults were given sucralose with 1 mg/kg amounts between 10.4% and 30.6 % of the sucralose were absorbed. More so, 1.6% to 12.2% of the sucralose were stored in the body.
A multi-potential carcinogen – aspartame which is consumed daily at 20 milligrams per kilogram of body weight that is of lower quantity compared with the maximum recommended dosage by FDA which is 50 mg/kg of body weight and European Union of 40 mg/kg.
Studies show that aspartame increases the incidence of having malignant tumors in rats. In the females it can increase the incidence of lymphomas and leukemia as well as other cancerous cells in the urethra and pelvis. In the males, it can specifically increase the risk of malignant tumors in the peripheral nerves.
Energy drinks contain Acesulfame-K (Potassium) which represents as one of the favorite food additives used in sweetening drink. ACE-K is approved by FDA but there are many possible problems correlated with its consumption. Although, there are many studies that confirm its safety, ACE-K is still suspected of causing benign thyroid tumors.
In the rats the tumor development took 3 months wherein the period of consumption of the additive is between 1 to 5 %. The period is so short hence the substance is believed to contain significant carcinogenic properties. The methylene chloride which is a solvent used to manufacture the ACE-K is the substance that is primarily responsible for its carcinogenic characteristics.
Benzoate is known to damage the important area of the DNA which is known as the powerhouse of the cell called the mitochondria. This chemical is capable of causing severe damage to the DNA in mitochondria to the point that it can actually inactivate it. It can literally knock it out.
Potassium Benzoate is used as an artificial color and it is considered as carcinogenic poison used in making foods and other products that are visually appetizing and appealing.
There are a dozen of different phosphates containing food additives that are use in a hundred of processed foods. Studies have shown that among healthy adults, people with higher phosphate levels have higher mortality rates. Phosphate causes rapid progression of specific illnesses like chronic kidney disease. The phosphate additives has been linked to accelerated aging and increased risk of heart disease
They also interfere with the way the body activates vitamin D.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup causes increased weight gain, diabetes hypertension, and insulin resistance plus the fact that it is manufactured from the genetically modified corn.
In the 2013 Canadian Neuroscience Meeting, the results of the conference showed that high-fructose corn syrup may cause behavioral reactions that are similar with those produce by drugs of abuse like the cocaine.
Increased amount of HFCS consumption may cause depletion of chromium in the body which is important in helping glucose pass through the bloodstream into the cells.
In a recent US study, half of the tested samples of the commercial high-fructose corn syrup contain mercury which was found in nearly a third of the 55 popular brand names in the food and beverage industry where HFCS is the first line or second line labeled ingredient.
The Food and Chemical Toxicology have labeled the potassium sorbate as carcinogen. This shows positive mutation results in the mammalian cells. Some studies have shown broad toxic and systemic effects on the non-reproductive organs of the animals. There are no long-term studies that have been initiated on either humans or animals, so there is not enough evidence to theorize what could happen after long term use of this preservative.
Nevertheless, based on the short-term toxic and carcinogenic effects, is this worthy to find out?
Dorner said that there is still a need for further studies to understand how elevated heart contractility can affect the athletic performance and a person’s daily activities. They also need to know how long the possible effect of the drink will last.
He also pointed out that the long-term health risks associated with energy drinks are unknown. But they advice that people especially children with cardiac arrhythmias should not consume these drinks. There is also a need for new studies to assess the possible risk posed by energy drinks in addition with alcohol.
The Heart Foundation has not issued any statement on this unpublished research whether heart contractility is a bad thing.
The Radiological Society of North America is composed of 53,000 radiologists, medical physicist, radiation oncologist and other related scientist. They publish two-peer reviewed journals on Radiology and Radio Graphics.
For now that everyone is waiting for the outcome of the study, one thing is clear – energy drinks contain lots of chemicals that poses potential risk to your heart and overall health. Thus, consuming high amounts of energy drinks may not be good for your