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November 22nd, 2017 by admin

L2 – Traduction 3

Energy drinks could weaken the heart

Energy drinks have been around for a few decades, but have really taken off in recent years.  As their name suggests they give a boost of energy, usually due to several psychoactive substances they contain which improve attention and concentration and reduce the feeling of tiredness.  They are not the same thing as sports energy drinks which contain nutritional substances vital for sports performance.

For a while now, public health authorities have been concerned about the effects of excessive consumption of some of the substances in energy drinks, including caffeine and taurine which, in high doses, might lead to heart problems or anxiety.

One by one, institutions are condemning the dangers of excessive consumption of this sort of drink, in particular when they are consumed with alcohol.  Now a team from Friedrich Wilhelm University in Bonn have presented their work at the annual congress of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in which they demonstrate the effects of a single drink on the heart.

Lower contractile function after one energy drink

“Several epidemiological studies have demonstrated a link between the consumption of energy drinks and heart problems,” said Jonas Dörner, director of the study.  “But none has shown the effects they have on heart function.”  So he and his team undertook this job.  Thanks to MRI the scientists were able to observe cardiac function in 15 healthy participants aged 27 ½ on average.  They took images of the heart before and one hour after absorption of an energy drink containing 400mg/100ml of taurine, and 32mg/100ml of caffeine.

When they looked at the images of the heart, the study’s authors observed increased cardiac tension in the left ventricle after consumption of the energy drink.  This part of the heart receives oxygenated blood from the lungs and sends it into the aorta which then distributes it to the rest of the body.  However, the researchers did not note any difference in heart rate, blood pressure, nor in the rate of blood pumped by the left ventricle.  In contrast, the heart showed lower contractile function after consumption of the beverage.

“Additional studies are now needed to understand the mechanism and to determine how long it lasts,” the researcher said.  “We also want to evaluate the effect of regular consumption of these energy drinks on heart function.” For the present, the study’s authors recommend that children and the frail abstain from consuming such products.