Factual data extracted from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reporting system, indicate that there have been 113 reported cases associated with adverse reactions resulting from the consumption of energy drinks. Namely, Monster energy drinks, 5-hour energy, Rockstar and Red Bull energy drinks.
The Dietary Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection Act, requires that manufactures, packers, and distributors of non-regulated dietary supplements; report cases which have been known to have serious adverse health-related events in connection with the use of the products they manufacture, distribute and sell.
Energy drinks are classified as dietary supplements, which are not regulated by the FDA. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) prevents dietary supplements from being subjected to approval by the FDA. The act has also shifted the burden of proof of harmful ingredients on dietary supplements to the FDA, as opposed to the manufacturer. Due to the legal implications, cost, and time that it takes to prove the harmful effects of unregulated drugs and dietary supplements, the FDA uses reported data as a resource to create public awareness as it relates to harmful consumer products.
Of the 113 cases reported in the U.S. that were known to have had serious adverse reaction to the consumers’ health, 18 cases resulted in death. 5 were directly linked to Monster energy drinks, and 13 to 5-hour energy drinks. No fatalities have been attributed or have been reported by the manufacturers or distributors of Rockstar and Red Bull.
The FDA reports also show that 61 individuals required hospitalization after consumption of the drinks, and 70 had serious adverse effects; including life threatening conditions and disability.
The FDA encourages consumers to report any cases that result in serious adverse events in connection with the use of unregulated products, unfortunately very few cases are reported by consumers due to lack of knowledge concerning the FDA’s event reporting system, or because the side effects are confused with food poisoning and taken lightly.
Billions of drinks have been sold in the United States alone, but the number of unreported deaths and adverse reaction associated with the drinks is unknown.
The so called energy drinks have several ingredients that are known to enhance the metabolic system, boost energy, promote body performance, and promote mental alertness. The drinks have gained popularity among athletes, students, young people and adult workers, specifically long-distance drivers. The combination of the ingredients are said to be safe according to its manufacturers, but the adverse reaction to a large number of consumers do not indicate so.
The adverse reaction associated with the consumption of the drinks is alarming; but yet, the products remain on the market unregulated and available to all age groups. Most consumers don’t read the factual data on the labels, or associate potential health risks with over the counter products; especially when they are sold openly to the public.
The list of adverse reaction to the drinks reported to the FDA is unknown to many consumers, unfortunately regular consumption of the drinks could essentially continue to impact consumers’ health in a negative manner.
In the 113 cases that have been reported to the FDA through October 2012, the patients reported symptoms and outcomes of great concern, including but not limited to, life threatening conditions and disability, thus the need to create public awareness about the continuous adverse reactions directly linked to the consumption of energy drinks.
Over 100 adverse reactions that affect the body’s physical and mental health were reported. The most common symptoms reported by patients that lead to other serious conditions or required medical intervention include: pancreatitis – heart rate increase – chest pain – dyspnea – blood pressure increase – acute myocardial infarction – intracardiac thrombus – adrenal insufficiency – tremor – rhabdomyolysis – bipolar disorder – psychotic disorder – suicidal ideation – salmonella gastroenteritis – memory impairment – palpitations – blood pressure fluctuation – loss of consciousness – atrial fibrillation – cardiac arrest – respiratory rate increase – arrhythmia – hypertension – gallbladder disorder – respiratory arrest – syncope – hemorrhage – pulse absence – spontaneous abortion – convulsion supraventricular tachycardia – shock – anaphylactic – hypotension – coma – acquired immunodeficiency syndrome – cerebral hemorrhage – hematemesis and bronchospasm.
Although the 18 deaths reported and linked directly to the consumption of Rockstar, and 5-hour energy drinks, have not been proven in a court of law. There is enough circumstantial evidence in the cases reported to believe that the consumption of energy drinks cause more harm than good to the consumers health.
Is the elevated and exaggerated level of energy that causes a dysfunctional reaction to the body’s mechanism, and hyperactive metabolic system really worth risking your life?
Rockstar, 5-hour Energy, Monster and Red Bull energy drinks are sold under the premise that the body’s performance, energy and metabolism will improve within minutes and the effects will last for hours. While that could all be true, it is unfortunate that the consumers are not warned about the harmful long-term effects of the drinks’ ingredients. The rapid heartbeat and hypertension that the drinks cause, in essence, lead to other serious health complications if consumed regularly. When consumers become dependent on the drinks, their lives are at risk.
In the meantime, the size of the popular power drinks has increased; exposing consumers to higher doses of its ingredients, and elevating the risk to additional adverse reactions. Sadly enough, unregulated manufacturers are oblivious of the reality of their products and the adverse effects on humans. Their profits keep growing in billions and so have the number of cases reported. In 2012, the number of patients reporting life-threatening conditions increased as much as 25%.
There are many alternatives to energy sources in a balance diet. Fruits, vegetables and nuts contain great natural nutrients that boost the energy level naturally without causing any harm.