When 33 year old non-smoking father Cory Terry died playing basketball after consuming Red Bull, a wave of concern over the safety of energy drinks was unleashed (See our October 30, 2013 blog entitled "Wrongful Death Suit Filed Against Red Bull"). Many believe that energy drinks contain potentially dangerous levels of stimulants and additives, while others believe they are a quick and safe solution to fatigue.
The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) conducted an ongoing study to determine how energy drinks, which commonly contain taurine and caffeine, affected the heart. Researchers from the University of Bonn, Germany, utilized cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before and after their subjects consumed energy drinks. The findings showed that heart contraction rates in otherwise healthy adults, was "significantly increased" one hour after consumption. Further, that there was "significantly increased peak strain and peak systolic strain rates in the left ventricle of the heart." The researchers in this limited study, believe additional studies are warranted to determine the mechanism and long lasting effects of energy drinks. Representatives of Monster Beverage Corp. stated that they found the study to be "alarmist and misleading."
The findings in the RSNA study offer insight into just how energy drinks affect the heart and may be the proverbial tip of the scientific ice berg. With the alarming increase of energy drink related emergency room visits and limited regulation of the sale of energy drinks, many believe this is cause for serious concern. In particular, many have voiced concern for our children and young adults who are often swayed by expensive advertising and misleading commercials. When it comes to the health of your family, perhaps it is best to error on the side of caution.
Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.