Drinking this popular drink damages your heart. The study that confirms the damage of its ingredients

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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A new study has confirmed that energy drinks can have negative effects on heart function and cardiomyocytes

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Attention to energy drinks: they can damage the heart. A new study has confirmed that energy drinks can have negative effects on heart function and in particular on cardiomyocytes, the muscle cells of the heart. And the "fault" would be above all of some ingredients.

The new study by researchers at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS) found that some energy drinks have negative effects on human cardiomyocytes. Led by Dr Ivan Rusyn, the scientists found that heart cells exposed to some energy drinks had adverse reactions, including accelerated rate and adverse effects on heart function.

Previous studies have usually emphasized caffeine, but new research has found that other ingredients are also far from useful for our heart: theophylline, adenine and azelate.

The study, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, was based on 17 well-known and popular brands on the market. The researchers then treated the cardiomyocytes with each drink and recorded data on beat rate, ion channel function, and cytotoxicity to observe differences in how the cells reacted. So they noted that human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (human heart cells grown in the laboratory) exposed to certain energy drinks exhibited increased heart rate and decreased ion channel function, which is critical in many respects. of heart function. They also had the opportunity to observe the cardiac effects of energy drinks under controlled conditions outside the human body.

So what happens to our body when we take these drinks?

According to the authors, consumption has been linked to ventricular and atrial arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease that makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood), increased blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions.

With global sales of energy drinks estimated at $ 53 billion in 2018 and growing rapidly, it's important to understand the potential unintended health consequences associated with these drinks, according to Rusyn.

"Because the consumption of these beverages is unregulated and widely accessible over the counter to all age groups, the potential for adverse health effects of these products is a matter of concern and needed research," continues Rusyn.



The dangerous ingredients

The researchers also studied the composition of energy drinks using new methods. By comparing the effects and the different concentrations of the ingredients in each drink, they were able to deduce which ones would be most harmful to cardiomyocytes. Using mathematical models, the researchers then determined that potential common ingredients responsible for these adverse effects include theophylline, adenine and azelate.

"Little is known about the ingredients that can contribute to the negative effects of energy drinks on the heart," said Rusyn. “In particular, the evidence of cardiovascular effects from human studies remains inconclusive as controlled clinical trials have been largely limited in the number of participants; Only a limited number of types of energy drinks that are difficult to compare directly have been tested because different methods have been employed to assess the function of the cardiovascular system. "

More research is needed on the ingredients identified in this study to ensure the safety of their consumption.

"These data confirm other studies in humans," Rusyn said. "Therefore, we hope that consumers will carefully weigh the alleged ergogenic (performance-enhancing) benefits of these drinks against the emerging data that suggests they may have real adverse effects."

While waiting to learn more, the advice is always one: moderation.

Sources of reference: ScienceDirect, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences,

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