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Energy Drinks May Raise Blood Pressure, Cardiac Risks

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New research suggests that healthy young adults who do not consume caffeine regularly have a higher blood pressure after consumption.

Researchers found that people experienced greater rise in resting blood pressure after consumption of a commercially available energy drink — compared to a placebo drink — thus raising the concern that energy drinks may increase the risk of cardiac events.

“We know that energy drink consumption is widespread and rising among young people. Concerns about the health safety of energy drinks have been raised. We and others have previously shown that energy drinks increase blood pressure,” Anna Svatikova, lead author of the study, said in a statement. “Now we are seeing that for those not used to caffeine, the concern may be even greater. Consumers should use caution when using energy drinks because they may increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, even among young people.”

For the study, researchers gave a can of a commercially available energy drink or a placebo drink to 25 healthy young adults, between the ages of 19 to 40, and assessed changes in heart rate and blood pressure. Blood pressure and heart rate were recorded before and 30 minutes after energy drink/placebo drink consumption, and were also compared between caffeine-naïve participants (those consuming less than 160 mg of caffeine per day, the amount frequently found in a cup of coffee) and regular caffeine users (those consuming more than 160 mg of caffeine per day).

They found that people experienced a marked rise in blood pressure after consuming the energy drink as compared to the placebo. The effect was most dramatic in people who did not typically consume much caffeine. Overall, the blood pressure increase was more than doubled in caffeine naïve adults after consuming the energy drink vs. placebo, researchers found.

The findings will be presented March 14 at the American College of Cardiology’s 64th Annual Scientific Session in San Diego.

Read more: http://www.universityherald.com/articles/16837/20150315/energy-drinks-may-raise-blood-pressure-cardiac-risks.htm#ixzz3UUB7FpS7

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