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Cardiac MRI reveals energy drinks alter heart function
Date:12/1/2013

n in 18 healthy volunteers, including 15 men and three women with a mean age of 27.5 years. Each of the volunteers underwent cardiac MRI before and one hour after consuming an energy drink containing taurine (400 mg/100 ml) and caffeine (32 mg/100 ml).

Compared to the baseline images, results of cardiac MRI performed one hour after the study participants consumed the energy drink revealed significantly increased peak strain and peak systolic strain rates (measurements for contractility) in the left ventricle of the heart. The heart's left ventricle receives oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumps it to the aorta, which distributes it throughout the rest of the body.

"We don't know exactly how or if this greater contractility of the heart impacts daily activities or athletic performance," Dr. Drner said. "We need additional studies to understand this mechanism and to determine how long the effect of the energy drink lasts."

The researchers found no significant differences in heart rate, blood pressure or the amount of blood ejected from the left ventricle of the heart between the volunteers' baseline and second MRI exams.

"We've shown that energy drink consumption has a short-term impact on cardiac contractility," Dr. Drner said. "Further studies are needed to evaluate the impact of long-term energy drink consumption and the effect of such drinks on individuals with heart disease."

Dr. Drner said that while long-term risks to the heart from drinking energy drinks remain unknown, he advises that children, as well as people with known cardiac arrhythmias, should avoid energy drinks, because changes in contractility could trigger arrhythmias. He also cautions that additional study is needed to address risks posed by the consumption of energy drinks in combination with alcohol.


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Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert  

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