April 16, 2024

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BMJ: The potential harm of energy drinks should be taken seriously

BMJ: The potential harm of energy drinks should be taken seriously.


BMJ: The potential harm of energy drinks should be taken seriously.  A 21-year-old guy drinks 4 cans of energy drinks a day and drinks them into the ICU. The potential harm of energy drinks should be taken seriously.

We still know very little about the effects of excessive and long-term use of energy drinks on the cardiovascular system.

Worldwide, the consumption of energy drinks is growing rapidly. Many people first think of supplementing energy with energy drinks when staying up late, playing games, and working overtime.

However, we still know very little about the effects of excessive and long-term use of functional drinks on the cardiovascular system. Although most consumers are not aware of this, some researchers are beginning to worry about the impact of functional drinks on cardiovascular dysfunction and heart failure health problems.

Researchers from St Thomas Hospital in the United Kingdom published a case report entitled: Energy drink-induced cardiomyopathy in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

The potential harm of energy drinks should be taken seriously.

A 21-year-old guy was admitted to the intensive care unit with severe biventricular heart failure(ICU). In the previous 4 months, he had experienced weight loss, shortness of breath after exercise, and other symptoms, and then worsened, he had to interrupt his university studies and was sent to St. Thomas Hospital for treatment.

The doctor’s examination found that the patient’s bilateral ventricles were severely damaged, but he had no heart failure such as myocardial infarction, no family history of heart disease, and no other substances harmful to the heart.

Further investigation revealed that the guy had quit smoking for several years, did not drink alcohol, and did not use drugs illegally. However, in the past 2 years, he drank an average of 4 bottles of energy drinks (500ml per bottle) every day. He stopped after being discharged from the hospital. Drinking functional drinks, the heart function has been well restored.

The doctor who treated him said that the fundamental reason for the patient to enter the ICU was long-term excessive drinking of functional drinks. Therefore, functional drinks can be drunk, but in moderation.

This article also published a mental journey of the patient, he said:

When I drink four bottles of energy drinks a day, I feel obvious heart tremors and palpitations, which makes me unable to concentrate on work and university studies. I often suffer from severe migraines when I do not drink energy drinks. This restricts me from performing daily tasks, even going to the park or taking a walk in leisure activities.

In the end, I was sent to the ICU. These experiences made me extremely painful. First of all, I suffered from delirium and memory problems, so that I did not remember why I was in the ICU. Secondly, I often feel powerless to exercise or talk, so I feel scared, and eventually lead to severe insomnia, and I often cannot fall asleep until early in the morning. Finally, because of these problems, I often feel overwhelmed and become anxious and depressed.

I think that we should have more understanding of the effects of functional drinks and the substances contained in them. I believe that they are very addictive, and functional drinks are too easy for children to obtain. They should be made similar to those on the outer packaging of cigarettes. Warning words to explain the potential hazards of the ingredients contained in functional drinks.


In addition, the paper also mentioned many cases of cardiovascular problems and even deaths caused by drinking functional drinks.

The underlying mechanism of heart failure induced by functional drinks is still unclear, but the author said that the high content of caffeine in functional drinks can promote the release of central catecholamines by acting as a competitive antagonist of myocardial adenosine receptors, possibly through chronic sympathetic nerves. Excessive stimulation leads to stress cardiomyopathy.

In addition, studies have shown that functional drinks can increase blood pressure and may cause arrhythmia. These chronic effects may also lead to heart failure.

The author of the paper said that this special case reminds us that for those patients with cardiomyopathy who cannot explain the cause, they should know their detailed medical history, including the consumption of functional drinks. In the follow-up, we should further study the specific causes of heart failure, arrhythmia and other heart problems caused by functional drinks, and determine the safe dosage and potential toxicity mechanism of functional drinks, so as to help people at risk to stay away from functional drinks.


(source:internet, reference only)

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