Energy drinks may pose risks for high blood pressure, heart disease patients

November 14th, 2007 - 8:37 am ICT by admin  
The study was conducted by a team of researchers at Wayne State University, who found that drinking just two cans of a popular energy drink is enough to increase blood pressure and heart rate levels in even healthy adults.

This increase in patients with heart disease could reach dangerous levels the researchers now warn.

Lead researcher James Kalus, Pharm.D., senior manager of Patient Care Services at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Mich., and a former Wayne State researcher, said that patients with high BP and heart disease should be warned not to take such drinks.

“Individuals with high blood pressure and heart disease should be advised to avoid these drinks,” he said.

Most energy drinks contain high levels of caffeine and taurine, an amino acid also found in protein-containing foods such as meats and fish.

The study was conducted on a group of 15 healthy young adults who were asjed to abstain from other forms of caffeine for two days prior to and throughout the study.

On the first day baseline measurements of blood pressure, heart rate and electrocardiogram (ECG) were taken. Then the participants drank two cans of an energy drink that contained 80 milligrams of caffeine and 1,000 milligrams of taurine.

Researchers then measured blood pressure, heart rate and ECG again at 30 minutes, one, two, three and four hours after consumption. This continued for the next five days, and then, on the seventh day, the researchers followed the same procedures used on the first day.

The researchers compared average baseline measurements on days one and seven to maximum values during the observation period.

Over the duration of the study, heart rates increased five to seven beats per minute and systolic blood pressure increased 10 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) after energy drink consumption, the researchers reported. No significant ECG changes were observed.

“This occurred while participants were sitting in chairs watching movies. The increases in heart rate and blood pressure weren’t enough for something to happen acutely, but a person on hypertension medication or who has cardiovascular disease may not respond as well,” said Kalus.

“While energy drinks increase concentration and wakefulness, people with risk factors for heart disease could have a bad reaction. The subjects in this study were healthy with low blood pressure.”

“This could be further augmented by energy drinks. Energy drinks could affect some individuals if they didn’t know they had a problem in the first place. The study raises some concerns.”

The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2007. (ANI)

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