Energy drinks increase heart strain

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  • Published: Dec 2, 2013
  • Author: Steve Down
  • Channels: MRI Spectroscopy / NMR Knowledge Base
thumbnail image: Energy drinks increase heart strain

If you take an energy drink, the strain on your heart will increase over the next hour. So said scientists from the University of Bonn in a presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago on December 2nd.

“Until now, we haven't known exactly what effect these energy drinks have on the function of the heart,” said radiologist Jonas Dörner. So the team gave an energy drink containing taurine and caffeine to 18 young healthy adults and followed how the heart reacted using cardiac MRI.

The results were striking. The left ventricle, which receives oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumps it to the aorta, experienced a significant increase in peak strain and peak systolic strain rate. There were no concurrent increases in heart rate, blood pressure or the amount of blood ejected from the left ventricle of the heart.

“There are concerns about the products' potential adverse side effects on heart function, especially in adolescents and young adults, but there is little or no regulation of energy drink sales,” observed Dörner. “Now, further studies are needed to evaluate the impact of long-term energy drink consumption and the effect of such drinks on individuals with heart disease.”

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