A new study has discovered that consuming only one energy drink could increase the risk of heart attack or stroke in 90 minutes, with researchers saying that these drinks narrow blood vessels and therefore can restrict the flow of blood to vital organs.
Though previous studies have discovered a link between energy drinks and nerve, stomach, and heart problems, University of Texas’ new findings are among the first to shed light on the potential increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Researchers looked at 44 students from the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, with all participants in their 20s and classed as ‘healthy’ non-smokers.
TONIGHT on #FridayNightFeast Channel 4 8pm – ENERGY DRINKS! We've been hearing it from the front line – teachers, kids, parents – energy drinks are #NotForChildren! We now need everyone to tell the government to step in. SHARE this post and tell the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, that he needs to ban the sale of energy drinks to children under 16!
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They tested the function of the endothelium, the layer of cells lining the surface of blood vessels – the dysfunction of which has been shown to be an indicator of heart attacks as arteries aren’t able to fully dilate.
Participants’ endothelial function was tested before each of them drank a 24-ounce energy drink and before being tested again 90 minutes later. Within this time, the internal diameter of blood vessels had, on average, been decreased by nearly half.
According to Dr. John Higgins, a professor of medicine at the McGovern School: “As energy drinks are becoming more and more popular, it is important to study the effects of these drinks on those who frequently drink them and better determine what, if any, is a safe consumption pattern.”
Past studies have also delved into the effects of energy drinks on young people.
In a study from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, researchers discovered that 55 percent of 12 to 24-year-olds surveyed reported suffering conditions like vomiting, chest pains, and even seizures after consuming the drinks.
Lead author of the study, Professor David Hammond added: “Most risk assessments to date have used coffee as a reference for estimating the health effects of energy drinks. However, it is clear these products pose a greater health risk. The health effects from energy [drinks] could be due to different ingredients than coffee, or the ways in which they are consumed, including with alcohol or during physical activity.”
Famous TV chef Jamie Oliver has also been vocal about the potential risks of energy drinks – having campaigned for kids to be banned from buying the products.
Earlier in 2018, he told the Mirror that: “We have a massive problem with kids and energy drinks. Too many children are regularly using them to replace breakfast. Teachers from across the country have told me how their lessons are disrupted in classrooms because of these drinks, packed with stimulants.”
“The energy drinks industry has never thought these products were suitable for children. They even say ‘not for children’ on the labels! The sale to kids should be stopped as soon as possible.”
“It’s really great news that the government is announcing their intention to stop selling these drinks to kids. I’m sure parents and health experts across the UK will happily tell the government this is the right thing to do.”
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