Even Single Energy Drink Could Hurt Blood Vessel Function

Henrietta Strickland
November 8, 2018

Energy drinks have been associated with many health problems associated with the heart, nerves and stomach.

Researchers from the University of Texas at Houston says the drinks narrow blood vessels, which restricts blood flow to vital organs.

During the study, researchers at the McGovern Medical School examined the health status of 44 non-smoking young and healthy medical students in their 20s. Exercise and sports require maximum blood flow so oxygen can get to cells quickly, Higgins said.

The new research report which will be presented at the American Heart Association's upcoming summit next week shockingly suggests that consuming a single energy drink could lead to negative effects on the proper functioning of blood vessels.

As a result, they found acute dysfunction of blood vessels after only one drink. "This could explain why there have been cases where kids have had a cardiac arrest after an energy drink", he said. In addition, people under 18, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, caffeine-sensitive individuals, those taking stimulants or caffeine-based drugs or those with heart disease should stay away from energy drinks, he added.

The study, which tested blood vessel or endothelial function in non-smoking, young, healthy adults found that the participants had significantly diminished blood vessel function soon after consuming just the one energy drink.

During the second test, the researchers looked at the students' artery flow-mediated dilation, an ultrasound that measures overall blood vessel health. These components - usually caffeine, taurine, sugar, and other herbal components - may act on the endothelium (lining of the blood vessels) to make it constrict.

Some experts believe the cardiovascular side effects could be related to their impact on blood vessel - or endothelial - function.

Taurine is an amino acid which is thought to increase energy.

But the team says its findings are among the first to shed light on the possible mechanism linking the high consumption of energy drinks to an increased risk metabolic syndrome.

Earlier this year it was revealed almost 70% of 10 to 17 year-olds in the United Kingdom consume energy drinks - more than anywhere else in Europe. "Nothing in this preliminary research counters this well-established fact."The study findings are scheduled for presentation November 12 at a meeting of the American Heart Association, in Chicago".

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