March 12, 2016 — A new study has found that consuming just two cans of energy drinks per day can increase blood pressure and cause irregular heart rhythm.
The results of the clinical trial were presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association in Phoenix, Arizona. According to lead researcher Sachin A Shah, associate pharmacy professor at Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences:
“Our findings suggest certain energy drinks may increase the risk of having an abnormal heart rhythm when consumed in high volumes. While we wait for more data, some consumers should exercise caution and not blindly follow the buzz.”
Conclusions are based on a study involving 27 healthy volunteers who were between 18 and 40 years old. They were given energy drinks, an equivalent drink containing panax ginseng (an ingredient in Monster Energy), or a placebo.
Subjects were instructed to drink two cans a day every six days, for three weeks. The researchers checked heart function before the drinks were consumed. Over the next 6 hours, subjects had heart function monitored four times.
The subjects who consumed energy drinks had slight increases in blood pressure for two hours. They also had long QT intervals, which is the time it takes for the heart to recover between heartbeats. Longer QT intervals indicate irregular heart rhythm. In severe cases, it can lead to a life-threatening heart condition called Torsade de Points.
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