Adverse effects of energy drinks on young consumers

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (Tantao News) — http://tantaonews.com/?p=55754 A report published online today in Pediatrics by the University of Miami Department of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Integrative Medicine Program warns that the consumption of caffeine-containing energy drinks like Red Bull, Rock Star, Monster, Full Throttle and Amp may have adverse consequences among children, adolescents, and young adults.

The researchers reviewed the available literature and the energy drink manufacturers’ web sites for various aspects of product information related to the consumption and health effects of these products.

The authors noted that according to self-report surveys, energy drinks are consumed by 30% to 50% of US adolescents and young adults. Some of these drinks contain unspecified and unregulated amounts of caffeine and other stimulants such as guarana, and have been reported in association with various side effects, most commonly jitters, hyperactivity, agitation, anxiety, irritability and insomnia.  However, more serious adverse effects have been reported in children, adolescents, and young adults who take certain medications as well as those with pre-existing health conditions such as seizures, diabetes, cardiac abnormalities, and behavioral disorders.  Of the 5448 US caffeine overdoses reported in 2007, 46% occurred in children younger than 19 years. Several countries and states have restricted thesales and advertising of these products.

The authors stated that these energy drinks have no therapeutic benefit, and many ingredients are understudied and not regulated. The potential toxicity of some of these ingredients raises health concerns especially for children whose lower body weights make them a vulnerable population.  Pediatricians need to be aware of these issues, screen for pediatric consumption, and educate families about possible health consequences.

In addition, long-term research should be conducted in order to understand the potential toxic effects in at-risk populations, and the regulation of energy drink sales and consumption should be based on the resulting information.

@3 years ago
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