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Energy drinks may not be good for health: Report

28 April 2017

The World Health Organization has warned that energy drinks ''may pose a danger to public health''. Earlier, the American Academy of Paediatrics had warned the children should not consume energy drinks.

However, The American Beverage Association stood by the safety of energy drinks, arguing that many of the ingredients were also found in common foods and had been rigorously studied for safety.

Most energy drinks typically contained caffeine, added sugars, vitamins, such as B vitamins, and legal stimulants like guarana. They also contained taurine, an amino acid naturally found in meat and fish and L-carnitine, a substance in our bodies that helped turn fat into energy.

"Overall, the concern is that these vitamins, amino acids and herbals are often present in higher concentrations than naturally in food or plants, and the effects when combined especially with caffeine may be enhanced," said Katherine Zeratsky, a clinical dietitian at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, CNN reported.

Dr John Higgins, a sports cardiologist with McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, who had led multiple studies on energy drinks and health impacts, agreed.

According to Higgins, more research was needed to determine how caffeine, sugar and stimulants, could interact to cause negative health effects.

"They're sort of a black box. We really don't know a lot about them," Higgins said of energy drinks.

Meanwhile, according to a small new trial, the surge from energy drinks could cause unhealthy changes in heart rhythm and blood pressure that did not occur with other caffeinated beverages.

The blend of caffeine, sugar and herbal stimulants might caused changes in the heart's electrical system that could promote an abnormal and potentially dangerous heart rhythm, the researchers found.

"Consumers should be aware that drinking an energy drink is not the same as drinking coffee or soda. There are differences," said lead researcher Emily Fletcher, deputy pharmacy flight commander from David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base in California, Health Day reported.

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