A fifty year old builder has recently been diagnosed with hepatitis disease. The cause of this, drinking five energy drinks a day for three weeks!
To start with, the patient thought he was simply battling with the flu. He became alarmed though when he was suffering from jaundice and his urine had turned a dark yellow.
When visiting the doctors, he complained that he was feeling generally unwell with abdominal pain that led to nausea and vomiting. Following an examination, the doctors also established that he was suffering with jaundice and his stomach was tender to the touch.
Therefore, the doctors conducted tests. The results revealed high levels of transaminases (liver enzymes). This was not only a sign of liver damage but also chronic hepatitis C infection. A liver biopsy unfortunately confirmed this. The patient was suffering from hepatitis.
The doctors treating the builder stated: “the development of acute hepatitis in this patient was likely secondary to excessive energy drink consumption.”
The patient himself was consuming increasing amounts of energy drinks to help get him through his labour intensive day. Overall, he was drinking around 160-200mg of niacin a day (a vitamin B3 found in high quantity in energy drinks). This is of a similar level to previous reports linking niacin to hepatitis!
Within each energy drink there was around 40mg of niacin. That’s 200% of an adult’s recommended daily consumption! Doctors also strongly believed that this was the cause as the patient’s symptoms began to ease after just three days without the drinks.
According to reports, around 23,000 emergency department visits each year are due to adverse reactions related to dietary supplements. Such as the ones found in energy drinks.
Reports linking energy drinks to hepatitis concluded: “as the energy drink market continues to rapidly expand, consumers should be aware of the potential risks of their various ingredients.”
“Vitamins and nutrients, such as niacin are present in quantities that greatly exceed the recommended daily intake, lending to their high risk for harmful accumulation and toxicity.”
So what do you think? Do you drink a lot of energy drinks? Let us know in the comments below.