Energy drinks, many of which contain too much caffeine, may be harmful to children, according to a new study published on Monday.
The finding was based on a review of the literature on energy drinks, researchers at the University of Miami said in the study appearing in the journal Pediatrics.
Many of the energy drinks reviewed contain three times the caffeine of a cola and some of which have five times more, said the study.
The study showed that caffeine in the drinks can exacerbate cardiac conditions, especially in children with eating disorders, and interfere with calcium absorption and bone mineralization in young adolescents.
Energy drinks produce extra calories which can contribute to diabetes, high body mass index and dental problems, according to the study.
Also, energy drinks contain additional ingredients which may boost caffeine levels, said the study.
The study also found that many children and young adults in the United States have tried energy drinks, and some consume them heavily.
A survey of college students reported that 51 percent regularly consumed one or more of the drinks per month, and a majority of those students drank them several times a week.
Insufficient sleep and a desire for more energy were cited as reasons for such consumption, said the study.
The drinks are unregulated in the United States, and the number of overdoses of caffeine from drinking them remains unknown, the study said.
But in Germany, Ireland and New Zealand, officials have reported cases of liver damage, kidney failure, seizures, confusion and arrhythmias associated with energy drink use, according to the study.
In spite of the fact that the FDA has banned the drink Four Loko, students still want it, which makes the manufacturer of it very happy. Some students have had to find medical help as a result of the over consumption of this drink that combines alcohol and caffeine. Recently, some University students had to be taken to the hospital after they blacked out at party. It is becoming apparent that regular consumption of this drink could lead to alcohol addiction. This, in turn, will eventually require North Carolina alcoholism detoxification for regular Four Loko drinkers who live in the Tar Heel state.
At a recent music concert almost 30 people were treated an illness that was determined to be related to alcohol and 11 people were taken to the hospital. The drink Four Loko has also been involved of deadly automobile accidents. As a result of a study that was conducted and these incidents, the FDA sent warning letters four of the companies that manufacture the mixed beverage.
The drink Four Loko is the equivalent of 8oz. of coffee and four beers. Some health officials believe that the drink is dangerous since the caffeine hides the level of intoxication, which makes it hard for the consumers to determine their limit accurately. There have been some scientific studies that have even determined hat caffeine is a food additive that is unsafe.
Despite what the experts say, the makers of Four Loko disagree. Phusion Projects say that the drink Four Loko is no more concerning than consuming Red Bull and Vodka. They still believe the combination of caffeine and alcohol is safe. Further, popular drinks such as Irish coffees and rum and colas that have been consumed responsibly and safely or years should be facing the same scrutiny that the drink Four Loko have faced recently.
The FDA website recently reported that of the combined use of alcohol and caffeine among college student in the United States, the use was as much as 26%. Most college students don’t see a problem with the energy drink. Although the statement by Four Loko CEO might be considered by some to be a valid argument, others believe they see the social influences combined with the science of their product as a larger possible risk than any other mixed drink.
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