A serious reason to avoid energy drinks: they can cause seizures

Energy drinks usually contain a lot of of caffeine, sugar, usually taurine [used to prevent oxidative stress induced by exercise 30, and to enhance weight loss (2) and to reduce anxiety levels, (3)], B-vitamins, ginseng, inositol [preliminary results exist that it can be effective in treating depression, and panic attacks, (4)], an anti-oxidant carnitine, and Guarana, rich in caffein.

The drinks are marketed to students, athletes, and career-oriented, hard-working young people (5).  Recent reports are troubling since they showed that these drinks may be cause abnormalities in brain blood vessels (6), maniacal conditions, and even death (8). Such ingredient as caffeine is known to cause seizures, especially in the sleep-deprived state, which is often the reason to buy an energy drink (7).

Researchers from St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ, reported cases  of adult patients with seizures, always in association with over-consumption of energy drinks. These patients had no brain or EEG abnormalities and never had seizures without energy drink consumption (9).

References

1. Amino Acids 2004 Mar;26(2):203-7. Epub 2003 May 9
2. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 2006;583:235-42
3. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 2006 83 (2): 271–6
4. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 2001 21 (3): 335–339.
5. In: Infofacts Resources. April 2004 ed: The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention; 2004
6. J Addict Dis 25 2006, pp. 45–48
7. N Engl J Med, 2000, 343  pp. 1833–1838
8. Seizure, 2003,  12  pp. 519–521
9. Epilepsy & Behavior, 2007 10, Issue 3,  pp. 504-508
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