Friday, September 05, 2008

Red Bull Boosts Energy - And Stroke Risk

tidbits that tantalizeHow Far Will it Push You?

Late night study sessions, final exams, and cross-country drives. They all call for a bit of superhuman effort, a stamina that goes beyond the normal resources. What's a young guy or gal to do? Well, reach for a Red Bull of course.

Red Bull is a popular stimulant energy drink created by an Australian entrepreneur in the 1980s. It's wildly popular among young adults, with over 3.5 billion cans sold in 143 countries in 2007. That's a lot of Bull...

But, despite the welcome surge of energy, the young imbibers are also getting a more worrisome physiological boost. Their risk of stroke and heart attack, even after a single can, is spiking significantly. Researchers at the Cardiovascular Research Centre at the Royal Adelaide Hospital assessed the impact of Red Bull in the cardiovascular systems of young drinkers. They found that within one hour of drinking Red Bull the blood in the test subjects had become sticky, viewed as a warning sign of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Red Bull Australia disputes the findings. But, even they recommend against consuming more than two cans each day. They also failed to mention that Norway, Uruguay, and Denmark have banned the sale of Red Bull due to health concerns. Hmm...

The scientists say that individuals with any predisposition to cardiovascular disease should be especially cautious. They also warn that drinking Red Bull when you're already stressed, or have high blood pressure, could have dire consequences.

So, it appears to come down to this: whom do you trust to give you the straight scoop when it comes to Red Bull - the marketers or the scientists?

To read more about this study, see this from Reuters. To read a thorough assessment of energy drinks, see this from Family and Consumer Sciences, Texas A&M University.


Blogger PharmacistMike said...

I guess Red Bull will have to change their slogan:

"It Gives You Wings"**
*You may eventually need someone to wipe the oatmeal from your chin if you continue to drink it.

9:18 AM  
Blogger tim said...

Hi Mike.

Yeah, it sounds like pretty serious stuff. I've seen several stories pop up about this in the past few days. Glad to see the public is being clued in.

Thanks for the note - have a great weekend,


10:48 AM  

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