Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Energy Drinks

energydrinks

Recent research reveals some troubling side effects of these popular beverages.

Energy drinks are one of America’s most popular dietary supplements, according to the National Institutes of Health, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually a boost for your health. There’s been a lot controversy surrounding the drinks following several recent overdoses — and even deaths — linked to the beverages. In 2014, World Health Organization researchers labeled the rise in energy-drink consumption a “danger to public health.”

So, what’s in an energy drink, and how does it affect your body?

A 2015 Mayo Clinic study, published in JAMA, examined the effects of drinking a single 16-ounce can of a popular energy drink (Rockstar Punched). Researchers conducted the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on 25 healthy volunteers with an average age of 29.

THE EFFECTS

  • 74%: The average percentage increase of the fight-or-flight stress hormone norepinephrine in study participants’ blood levels.
  • 6.2%: The average percentage increase in study participants’ systolic blood pressure.

THE INGREDIENTS

Researchers observed that the effects could be the results of the following stimulants in Rockstar Punched.

  • Caffeine: 240 mg (by comparison, a shot of espresso has about 64 mg)
  • Sugar: 62 grams (15½ teaspoons)
  • B vitamins and ginkgo biloba (additional stimulants)

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

Advertisements
Vitamins and Supplements

Beta-Carotene Supplements May Increase Mortality Risk

betacarotene

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Jun 12 – Beta-carotene supplementation leads to a small but significant increase in all-cause mortality and mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to results of a new meta-analysis reported in the June 14th issue of The Lancet. And while vitamin E supplementation is associated with no such risk, it does not exhibit clinically beneficial effects. Dr. Marc S. Penn and associates at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio analyzed seven randomized controlled trials of vitamin E treatment and eight trials of beta-carotene treatment, all of which included at least 1000 patients.

Beta-carotene use was examined in close to 140,000 patients, among whom all-cause mortality rate was 7.4% in the active treatment group and 7.0% in the control group (p = 0.003). In the six trials that evaluated cardiovascular death specifically, rates of death were 3.4% in the treatment group and 3.1% in the control group. Only one trial failed to show a detrimental effect of beta-carotene on death rates. Dr. Penn’s group points out that beta-carotene has adverse effects on lipids, and that cigarette smoking destabilizes the beta-carotene molecule with deleterious results.

Therefore, “the use of vitamin supplements containing beta-carotene and vitamin A… should be actively discouraged,” they conclude, and “clinical studies of beta-carotene should be discontinued.” Among the more than 80,000 patients included in vitamin E trials, the lack of efficacy leads the authors to “not support the continued use of vitamin E treatment.”

In fact, Dr. Penn told Reuters Health that a previous study has shown that vitamin E can block the effects of statins and niacin, which are established therapies. “So I think there’s no evidence they’re good and there is a hint that they may be harmful.” Therefore, Dr. Penn and his associates recommend that vitamin E be excluded in trials of patients at high risk of coronary artery disease. Dr. Penn also noted that ophthalmologists recommend large doses of vitamin supplements for macular degeneration. Certainly, if there is a risk of other diseases, and beta-carotene has been shown to be efficacious, the supplements should still be taken, he added.

Otherwise, “we should really be focusing on healthy diets,” he said. “The concept of vitamin supplements to overcome bad dietary habits is not a valid thesis, at least with vitamin E and beta carotene.”

However, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade association representing the dietary supplement industry, blasted the Cleveland Clinic’s analysis, calling it “irresponsible, over interpreted, and old news disguised as something new for publicity purposes,” in a press statement.

The Council further notes that beta-carotene risk is associated primarily with smoking. They also maintain that vitamin E has potential benefits for vision, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and coronary disease.

References: Lancet 2003;361:2017-2023.

Karla Gayle

Health and Wellness Associates

Chicago IL

Archived